Texas veterinarian's life, career cut short by fatal shooting
Everyone whose life was touched by Deidra Blackmon, DVM, 33, was better for it. “That’s what we want to remember in our broken hearts,” says Bruce Nixon, DVM, chief of staff at Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas in Grapevine, Texas, where Blackmon practiced before she was fatally shot early March 3.
Nixon says Blackmon would usually have been working on a Saturday night, but her best friend from high school was getting married the following weekend, and the ladies went out for a bachelorette party. Blackmon was the designated driver so she could take care of her friends—a fact that didn’t surprise anyone who knew her, Nixon said.
“According to police, she was taking the bride home and stopped at a convenience store and went inside,” Nixon says. “Outside in the car, her friend opened the door and got sick outside the car. A woman from the car next to her was enraged when she came out of the store—I don’t know if it was because the car door was blocking hers or something had gotten on her car.”
Nixon says that from all reports, Blackmon came out of the store, apologized to the woman and both parties drove away separately.
“The woman’s boyfriend was in the car and they pulled up beside Deidra’s car and shot her in the head,” Nixon says.
Officer Damon Ing of the Saginaw Police Department says the shooting took place in the 200 block of East Bailey-Boswell Road in Saginaw, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
Blackmon was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where she died from her injuries. Two arrests have been made in the case. Jeffery Hansana was arrested on a murder charge and Heather Thompson was arrested for failing to report a felony. Hansana is being held on a $250,000 bond and Thompson is being held on a $10,000 bond.
After Blackmon graduated from Texas A&M in 2010, she started her veterinary career at Parkside Veterinary Clinic, a general practice in Keller, Texas, but she was more interested in being an emergency room doctor, Nixon says.
“We are a tough, hard-to-impress crowd at here at the Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas, but she immediately caught my eye,” Nixon says. “But I didn’t so much hire her as just step out of her way.”
He says she was a “brilliantly talented” ER doctor. No matter what came through the door, Blackmon would tackle it. “When someone would wheel in a gurney, she would jump up and say ‘I got it.’ It was a sight to behold,” Nixon says.
As young as she was, Nixon says, Blackmon wasn’t the kind of veterinarian who needed to wear a white coat into the exam room—everyone knew who the doctor was.
“And she did the best she could for the pets and family,” Nixon says. “It’s an emergency clinic, so you can’t fix every pet. But if there was nothing to do for the pet, she wasn’t the kind of doctor whose job was done. She started tending to the needs of the family immediately.”
The Animal Emergency Hospital of North Texas has started a memorial fund for Blackmon’s family. To learn more about the doctor or donate to the fund visit aehnt.com/memorial.html.