Blount County shooting suspect identified as 38-year-old Guntersville man


    Daniel Blackmon's father talks with ABC 33/40, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (abc3340.com)

    The gunman in Tuesday's shooting and chase in Blount County is also linked to a church fire. ABC 33/40 confirmed Daniel Blackmon is a person of interest in the April 10 fire at Cedar Grove Baptist. Word of that connection comes as ABC 33/40 is working to find out more about the man behind the shootings in Blount and Marshall counties. Blackmon's father talked with ABC 33/40.

    Randy Blackmon accepts his son pulled the trigger when three people were shot. He says he is slowly beginning to understand his son was capable of shooting someone. Blackmon has a criminal record, but nothing suggesting a shooting would happen. His father believes everything changed three weeks.

    "My son was sick. He had been diagnosed about three weeks ago with Bipolar One," said Randy Blackmon.

    Blackmon is not ashamed revealing details of his son's condition.

    "He was seeing demons. He was hearing demons. He was talking to God. Things had gotten bad," added Blackmon.

    Law enforcement shot Daniel Blackmon on Highway 278 in Blount County after he led them on a chase from Marshall County.

    "The demons were out to get him. There were good demons and bad demons. Good angels and bad angels," added Blackmon.

    Officers accused the younger Blackmon of shooting three people near a gas station.

    Blackmon knew his son did not see any demons or angels, but remembers weeks ago going to help him find them.

    "Anything he wanted. Whatever. That night, I said son, how about you and I go to Huntsville speedway, get a truck and go racing. He said that sounds good. Let's do that," added Blackmon.

    Weeks before pulling a trigger, Daniel Blackmon checked out of a hospital after getting mental help.

    "Some days he was perfect. Some days you did not know if you could talk to him or not," added Blackmon.

    A judge allowed Blackmon to get 150 days of outpatient care. Blackmon remembers, prior to the bipolar diagnosis, his son being very different.

    "You couldn't ask for a better friend. He would anything he could to help you," added Blackmon.

    Blackmon's criminal history shows several traffic violations and charges for DUI and attempting to elude police.

    Watch ABC 33/40's full interview with Randy Blackmon on YouTube:

    Part 1

    Part 2


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    Blount County Coroner Mark Vaughn says 38-year-old Daniel Blackmon lived in Guntersville. Vaughn says an autopsy will show whether the man died of gunshots, injuries in a wreck, or both.

    Police say Blackmon opened fire on a truck in Marshall County early Tuesday, and authorities soon received reports of a man firing on motorists at an intersection in neighboring Blount County.

    At least four people were hurt. Blackmon later wrecked and exchanged gunfire with officers who had been pursuing him, but it's unclear whether he was struck by police gunfire.

    Police say they don't know what prompted the shooting spree.




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