published Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

‘The wrong bullet for the wrong person’

The bullet that shattered a 25-year-old man’s head was not intended for him, and he never saw it coming.

Ronald L. Blackmon Jr. did not see a gunman stop on Friday, pull out a gun from inside a black and gray vehicle, and fire several shots, planting a bullet in the back of his head.

“They didn’t even see his face. He walked out of his room to go visit a girlfriend and the next thing I hear, he’s at Erlanger,” said Sadie Underwood, Blackmon’s grandmother, who mourned Monday at her home on Hawthorne Street, with family members visiting throughout the day.

Blackmon died the next day, becoming Chattanooga’s fourth homicide victim of 2011.

Blackmon, who had a criminal history including convictions of burglary and robbery, was not in a gang, family members and friends insisted.

“He wasn’t in a gang. He had his troubles, but he wasn’t in a gang,” said Jamaal Ashley, a friend of Blackmon’s who witnessed the shooting.

Police say otherwise.

Chattanooga Crime Suppression Unit Sgt. Todd Royval said the two men in custody who are charged in Blackmon’s death as well as Blackmon all had ties to gangs. All three men are entered in the city’s gang database, he said.

Edward L. Ryals, 18, and Demetrius Bibbs, 18, were arrested just hours after the shooting. Ryals faces a charge of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. Bibbs faces two counts of accessory after the fact.

Blackmon died Saturday, the day after the shooting, so the charges are expected to be upgraded, police said.

Bibbs and Ryals are scheduled to go to court Thursday.

A 19-year-old was also questioned but not charged in connection with the shooting.

Ryals told detectives that he shot and killed Blackmon because he thought he was someone else — someone named Lil’ Rob — who shot at him Thursday night, according to an arrest report.

The gun used in Blackmon’s slaying has not been found.

Royval said the homicide was the result of a continuation from a dispute Thursday night when police received a call of shots fired.

Less than 24 hours later, the scene of the shooting unfolded in chaos just before 2 p.m. Friday. A stain from Blackmon’s pouring blood marred the sidewalk where he stood, planning to catch a ride. Police blocked off the corner of the street to collect evidence and conduct interviews.

Small children were greeted by the grim scene after school let out and they made their way home. Parents clutched their children close as they sat on their porches, watching police work.

Ashley shook his head in disbelief. He was standing next to Blackmon when the shots rang out.

“They just pulled up and started shooting for no reason,” he said Friday, a few minutes after the shooting. Pacing back and forth, Ashley said he was still in shock.

Blackmon leaves behind a 1-year-old son. The day he was shot, Blackmon was trying to get a ride to one of his father’s stores, River City Mart, where he worked, Underwood said.

“He was an easygoing guy that everyone liked,” she said. “He didn’t bother nobody. He was in no fight or no gang. He wasn’t a violent person at all.

“They got the wrong bullet for the wrong person. They shot him in the back of the head. ... The Lord works in mysterious ways. I don’t know why he had to go like that.”

A second shooting took place eight hours after Blackmon was gunned down.

In Woodlawn Apartments at 2300 Wilson St., a 3-year-old boy was shot in the leg and 20-year-old Prandell Haynes was shot in the left hand.

According to reports, a gunman approached the apartment on foot and fired about five rounds through a window. Both victims were treated for non-life threatening injuries, police said.

A third shooting took place Sunday when 22-year-old Darrell Paris was shot in the stomach with a 16-gauge sawed-off shotgun at 1329 Cypress Street Court. The injuries were not life-threatening, police said.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6406.

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osama said...

the taiban has come to chattanooga, that whole area is war-zone shots all times a day and night, drug sells homes being invaded, everybody knows that the lil gang call kima k blueflag are the leaders! wheres the police?????????krisby creme ?traffic stops?

March 8, 2011 at 7:19 a.m.
kids1128 said...

Where's the cop how about where's is the parents, if we want crime to go down then parents need to start raising their children and quit expecting the streets to do it.

March 8, 2011 at 8:03 a.m.
bluedagger said...

The cops are answering the stupid disorders and pointless barking dogs calls. Are you, Osama, down at city hall demanding more police for our streets or behind the computer anonymously slapping them by your stupid comments?

March 8, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.
discovery said...

The police are not the problem. The people in these neighborhoods are the problem. They need to take responsibility for their actions, and more specifically get an education, get jobs, and stop having children without the proper finances to raise them. These neighborhoods would make Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. hang his head in shame if he was still alive.

March 8, 2011 at 8:46 a.m.
ceeweed said...

"He never harmed nobody"... That says it all. The statement itself says he has harmed others. I do not think this was just incorrect grammar, I think too many people believe that burglary and robbery are no big deal... Yes, this is tragic. I am sure that young Mr. Blackmon had redeeming qualities and was loved by his family. I believe that he leaves behind a family to grieve his tragic death. That being said, it does not change the fact that he did victimize people, the people he robbed.

March 8, 2011 at 8:48 a.m.
KWVeteran said...

The bullet that shattered a 25-year-old man’s head was not intended for him, and he never saw it coming. I had thousands of bullets flying by me in Korea and never ever saw one coming either.

March 8, 2011 at 9:03 a.m.
osama said...

these are grown men gangs, not some tv show! until 1 of the gangs set up shop in your community all most of you can do is blog about it.my son was killed by 1 of these grown men gangs in chatt rob and shot in his own house, again crime spreads out,my son live in a nice area, so before long some of you will be on here asking (where,s the police and what are they doing about my son unsolved MURDER try dealing with the police from that end of it the police dont care!

March 8, 2011 at 9:54 a.m.
osama said...

PEOPLE, GET YOU A HOME SECURITY SYSTEM (WITH VIDEO) SO THEY CANT PEEP IN YOUR WINDOW!!

March 8, 2011 at 10:17 a.m.
osama said...

CAN YOU BELIEVE LIBERACHI IS STILL ALIVE I MEAN LIBERTARIANS4GAYS DUDE LOL HEY FOLKS LIKE YOU IS WHY FOLK LIKE ME MOVE OUT OF CHATTANOOGA, 20YRS AGO ME AND MY MOM WALK IN BURGER KING IN EAST RIDGE, THIS WHITE LADY IN LINE TURN TO US AND SAID WHAT YALL N DOING OUT HERE! I MOVE TO ATLANTA THAT NEXT WEEK,IT SAVE ME 20YR IN THE JOINT, YOU NO BLACK FOLKS COULD NOT GO TO RED BANK AND EAST RIDGE PS LIBERACHI SOUNDS LIKE YOU GOT A BIG MOUTH! GET A BULLHORN GO TO THESE BLACK COMMUNITYS WITH THAT MR BIG BAD KKK MAN TOO FUNNY!!!

March 8, 2011 at 10:57 a.m.

discovery said... "get an education, get jobs, and stop having children without the proper finances to raise them"

that gets harder to do every time these know-nothing hillbilly voters elect a republican

March 8, 2011 at 4:08 p.m.
bluedagger said...

Libertarian, I wonder why liberals take to name calling and red herring arguments when they have lost their argument. Nice try Osama.

March 8, 2011 at 7:44 p.m.

Libertarians4Freedom said...

Maybe if more law-abiding blacks embraced the second amendment they wouldn't have a gang problem.

are you advocating black on black violence? vigilante justice? what kind of glenn beckish point are you trying to make?

it's obvious now you aren't a doctor. i am leaning towards whopper flopper, or maybe wal mart stock boy.

March 8, 2011 at 9:26 p.m.
bpqd said...

I wish we could go a year without any murders. Our condolences to the families involved.

March 8, 2011 at 10:57 p.m.
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