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Garden City Beach woman shot, killed; Husband charged with murder

A 53-year-old Garden City Beach woman who worked at a pet store and loved to play bingo was accidentally shot and killed by her husband during a dispute with another family member in their home early Sunday morning, police said.

Cheryl Gillespie died of a single gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene, said Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler.

The victim's husband, Gary Allan Gillespie, 59, was arrested shortly after the shooting, which occurred just after midnight at the couple's home on East Surfwind Drive, said Lt. Raul Denis of Horry County police. Gillespie has been charged with murder.

Denis said Gary Gillespie was using a firearm to assault another family member at the home when the gun when off, killing his wife.

Denis said the family member, who he did not name, then struck Gary Gillespie in the head and body after the shooting. The suspect has a bruised right eye and a swollen left cheek in his jail booking photo.

The Gillespies lived with their three sons - Anthony, Zack and Joshua - at their home.

"Bingo and cigarettes ... that was my mom," said Zack Gillespie, one of the couple's three sons. "She's always been there for me and us. She was nice to everyone."

Zack Gillespie said his mother "was holding our family together."

Gary Gillespie is being held without bond at J. Reuben Long Detention Center. His bond will be set by a circuit court judge at a later date.

"This is so tragic," said Thomas Hood, 24, a neighbor. "She would do anything for anybody ... give the shirt off her back."

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