In a devastating turn of events that shook Anderson and Greenville communities, Kelli Kaughman Whitten, a 56-year-old resident of Anderson, and Anissa Kelley Henderson, a 55-year-old from Greenville, tragically lost their lives on January 17. Their deaths occurred during a house fire on Millbrooke Circle, leaving investigators puzzled and seeking answers.

Tragically, both victims, Whitten and Henderson, were discovered by authorities with traumatic head injuries and thermal burns, indicating a horrifying act of violence.

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Shortly after their bodies were found, law enforcement identified a person of interest through the use of a license plate reader at a residence in Spartanburg County. The efforts to engage this individual took a dangerous turn when, despite repeated attempts to communicate, he emerged from his home brandishing what appeared to be a firearm, but turned out to be a showerhead. This resulted in an officer-involved shooting, ultimately leading to the death of the person of interest.

Friday brought a grim revelation as the coroner officially identified the deceased person of interest as Gary Whitten, a 36-year-old from Greer. Moreover, it was revealed that Gary Whitten was the son of Kelli Kaughman Whitten, deepening the tragedy surrounding this incident. Coroner Mike Ellis from the Greenville County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Whitten had been involved in a relationship with Anissa Kelley Henderson, adding another layer of complexity to this heart-wrenching tale.

Shockingly, it was discovered that Whitten had a recent brush with the law. Following a complaint lodged by Henderson herself, he had been arrested and charged with criminal domestic violence. Despite the gravity of the charges, Whitten willfully violated the conditions of his bond, sharing the night with Henderson on a forbidden Wednesday. These details highlight a troubling pattern of legal defiance and disregard for the safety and well-being of others.

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In the aftermath of the fatal shooting, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office launched a thorough investigation into the incident. After a comprehensive examination by the Office of Professional Standards, it was unequivocally determined that the actions taken by eight deputies, resulting in the use of lethal force, were justified.

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