Rutherford teen shoots, kills mom’s boyfriend during assault

Three children and their mother are recovering from a tragic incident that left one man dead.

On Wednesday, shortly after midnight, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a 911 call about a shooting at 175 Lakeview Drive Forest City. When deputies arrived on scene, they located deceased 46-year-old Steven Kelley, of Indiana, in the residence with two gunshot wounds.

In addition to Kelley, the other residents of the house were his girlfriend Chandra Nierman, as well as Nierman’s 12-year-old son and two daughters, ages 15 and 16. All five had recently moved to the area from Indiana.

The investigation determined that on Wednesday, Kelley attacked Nierman, and was assaulting and strangling her. During the assault, Kelley was yelling that he was going to cut Nierman’s throat and kill everyone in the house. Nierman’s 12-year-old son retrieved a firearm. The 15-year-old daughter took the gun from her brother and fired it twice, striking Kelley in the chest. One of the fired rounds fragmented, grazing the 16-year-old daughter in the leg. The 16 year old was taken to Spartanburg Regional Hospital and was released on Thursday. Nierman suffered significant bruises and contusions from the assault.

The investigation also revealed that Kelley had threatened Nierman several times previously. On Saturday, Aug. 4, he had assaulted Nierman and fired multiple rounds from a firearm inside the residence to threaten and terrorize her. The investigation further revealed that Kelley, who had multiple firearms in the house and frequently carried one on his person, was a convicted felon and had two active domestic violence protection orders against him from two different women in Indiana and Ohio, although no domestic violence or assaults had been reported to law enforcement locally prior to the fatal shooting.

On Friday, Lt. Jamie Keever presented the case to District Attorney Ted Bell, Assistant District Attorney David Norris and Assistant District Attorney Ken Sauve. Based on the facts and the evidence, it is the conclusion of the District Attorney’s Office that the shooting was justified and no charges will be filed.

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