Motive in Wagener slayings unknown

Suspect took own life after attempting to hit officers with vehicle, officers returned fire
Ken Myers: Wagener man shot his wife, her sister, their mother and his ex-girlfriend Saturday, authorities said.

Authorities have not yet uncovered a motive for Kenneth Myers, 47, the gunman suspected of fatally shooting four women Saturday before killing himself in Wagener early Sunday.

Aiken County sheriff's Capt. Charles Barranco said investigators had been working since Saturday night to piece the story together but still have questions.

The sheriff's office received a call around 6 p.m. Saturday that led them to a home on Daytona Road, where deputies found three women dead, each from a single gunshot wound.

Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton identified the women as Angela M. Myers, 25, the wife of the alleged gunman; Tabitha T. Brown, 25, her twin sister; and Vicki May Hook Brown, 50, their mother.

Authorities began searching for Kenneth Myers and questioning people he knew in the area.

About 1 a.m. Sunday, during those checks, deputies found Myers' ex-girlfriend, Esther Baldwin, 47, dead from a single gunshot wound at her home in the 600 block of Big Branch Road.

Wagener police later spotted Myers in Baldwin's vehicle, and a chase involving police and sheriff's deputies ensued.

Barranco could provide few details of the chase, but said deputies and Wagener police shot at Myers when he tried to ram his vehicle into police vehicles.

The chase ended back at the original location on Daytona Road, where Myers shot himself, Barranco said.

Carlton ruled the women's deaths homicides and Kenneth Myers' death a suicide.

The sheriff's office requested that regional and crime scene agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigate the officer involved shooting around 3:25 a.m.

Neither Barranco nor a SLED spokeswoman could say whether Myers was hit by police gunfire or how long the chase lasted.

The home where Myers lived on Old 96 Indian Trail was about a five-minute drive from his wife's home.

Dan Robbins, his neighbor, said Myers installed windshields for a living.

He described Myers as a "strange bird" who kept to himself, but not someone he thought was capable of inflicting such violence.

Some days, the two would chat by the fence that separates their properties while Myers worked in his vegetable garden.

On Sunday, narrow driveways barred by iron gates and no-trespassing signs tacked onto trees were the only signs of life along the road.

Barranco, SLED and Carlton said the investigation is ongoing. The coroner said autopsies are scheduled for today in Newberry, S.C., and toxicology is pending.

Reach Tracey McManus and Kyle Martin at (706) 724-0851.