Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chesnee, SC: Deputies: Man killed estranged wife, tried to take his own life

Late Friday afternoon, the tiny community of Fingerville made only the sounds of summer — a lawn mower whirred, a dog barked and an ice cream truck played its endless tune.

The sounds of the night before — gunshots followed by the emergency sirens — had faded.

There was no crime tape or indication of the tragic event that unfolded inside the brown, single-wide trailer at 120 Blackwell Street.

Spartanburg County Sheriff’s deputies responded there about 11 p.m. Thursday. Inside they found a husband and wife suffering from gunshot wounds.

Tammy Spivey Blackwell, 48, of Chesnee was pronounced dead, according to the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office.

Harold Dean Blackwell, 48, suffered what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to a written statement from the sheriff’s office.

Serious condition

Investigators think Harold Blackwell shot and killed his estranged wife, then tried to take his own life. He was in serious condition as of 9 p.m. Friday.

An autopsy on Tammy Blackwell was pending.

A long-time resident who asked not to be identified said Harold Blackwell was a “good-hearted man” who regularly checked on an older neighbor and had many good points. But Blackwell also had troubles, he said. Blackwell’s name was added to the prayer list of the church where the resident attends and “read” off every Sunday.

According to a SLED check, Blackwell had minor criminal charges as a young man; the most recent charge was criminal domestic violence for which he was convicted about 16 years ago.

A woman with a different address notified authorities of the shooting, according to an incident report.

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