Suspect Killed in Officer-Involved shooting Identified
A suspect who was involved in an officer shooting in Landrum on Wednesday, January 17, has been identified as Gary Pratt Whitten, a 36-year-old man from Taylors, South Carolina. Whitten was shot by multiple deputies when he exited a mobile home with a firearm. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Thankfully, no deputies were injured during the incident.
The events leading up to the officer-involved shooting began earlier that day in Greenville County. Emergency personnel responded to a house fire on Millebrooke Circle, where they discovered the bodies of two deceased females. The victims have been identified as 56-year-old Kelli Whitten, the suspect’s mother, and 55-year-old Anissa Henderson.
Both women had suffered multiple blunt-force traumatic head injuries and thermal burns, although the official cause of death is still under investigation. It has been revealed that Henderson and Gary Whitten were in a relationship, and Henderson had filed a domestic violence complaint against him in December. Whitten was arrested on the charges but was released on bond earlier this month, with one of the conditions being the wearing of an ankle monitor.
Coinciding with the house fire, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office received a tamper alert from Whitten’s ankle monitor. It was discovered that he had cut off the monitor before stealing a car from the residence and leaving the scene. The investigation into the double-homicide in Greenville County is ongoing.
Authorities were able to track Whitten’s location to Kirby Street in Landrum using license plate cameras. When confronted by law enforcement, Whitten emerged from the mobile home armed with a firearm, prompting deputies to open fire. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has been requested to investigate the officer-involved shooting.
Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger commended the law enforcement agencies involved in both counties for their swift response and thorough investigation. He also stated that there is currently no known reason why Whitten would have been in the Landrum area after committing the crimes in Greenville County.
As the investigation continues, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is focusing on the double-homicide case, while SLED works on the officer-involved shooting. SLED plans to release a critical incident community briefing video on March 2.
The tragic events that unfolded in Landrum and Greenville County have left the community in shock. The authorities involved are committed to bringing justice to the victims and uncovering all the facts surrounding these incidents.