An 8-year-old Spartanburg county girl is dead after she was shot during a domestic dispute in Chesnee. Officals say Heather Brooke Center was shot by 49-year- old Ricky Blackwell. The young child was the daughter of the estranged wife’s new boyfriend. When deputies arrived, Blackwell ignored instructions to drop his weapon and shot himself in the stomach. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.
“It’s a real back scene, ” says Sheriff Chuck Wright. “The baby didn’t have nothing to do with it(the domestic dispute).”
Blackwell is charged with murder and kidnapping.
Family members of Blackwell say he had recently lost his job, and along with the loss of his wife, just ?snapped?.
Witnesses told investigators that Blackwell?s estranged wife brought the child to the location of the shooting where she was so she could play with other children already at the home. Reports indicate that shortly after their arrival Ricky Blackwell took the child from a vehicle and shot her, in the back and neck, at least 4 times.