Porter County police are calling the shooting that injured 67-year-old James Blum and killed his 32-year-old son, Aaron Blum, a murder.
Police, in court documents seeking a search warrant for the pickup truck in which the two men were found, labeled the incident a murder and said the gunshot that killed the son and injured the father came from within the truck. Police repeatedly have said the Blums were the only two people involved in the shooting. James Blum, however, has not been charged with murder and has not been named a suspect.
Police said the Blums were together in the father's pickup truck after leaving their Morgan Township home at 2 p.m. Sunday. The father and son were discovered in the truck by a passer-by at 10:15 a.m. Monday on County Road 575 East, north of U.S. 30, in Washington Township.
According to court documents, police and Porter County Coroner Vicki Deppe said it appeared Aaron Blum had been dead for a number of hours. James Blum -- who police say shot himself in the chest -- was taken to Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus for treatment. He is expected to survive.
Police said they spoke briefly to Blum at the hospital, who said he and his son were arguing when Aaron Blum threw coffee on his father. Blum told police he admitted firing the weapon he kept in the door of his truck, but he was taken away for treatment before officers could further question him, police said.
Police said the gun was found in the truck. Portage attorney John Vouga, who is representing the Blum family, questioned the decision by police to interview James Blum while he was under the influence of medication and being treated for a serious gunshot wound at the hospital.
"I'm concerned as the family attorney that any law enforcement personnel would question a seriously injured man, who is going in for surgery," he said.
Vouga said it is not clear whether police made Blum aware of his rights before questioning him.
The Blum family said James Blum is an outstanding and highly respected member of the community, Vouga said. The family plans to cooperate with police, through their attorney, once the funeral is over for Aaron Blum.
Vouga said the family still was investigating what happened and could not yet offer an explanation for the shooting. Police had been looking for the Blums when the passer-by spotted James Blum slumped over the wheel of his truck.
James Blum's wife told police she saw the truck leaving at 2 p.m. Sunday, and when her husband and son failed to return, she reported them missing at 11 p.m. Sunday.
VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) - A northwestern Indiana man has pleaded guilty to charges that he fatally shot his 32-year-old son while they argued inside a pickup truck.
Sixty-nine-year-old James Blum of rural Valparaiso had faced murder charges in the August 2009 death of Aaron Blum. He occasionally cried during a Porter County court hearing Tuesday as he pleaded guilty to a reckless homicide charge.
The Post-Tribune reports Aaron Blum had recently been arrested for drunken driving and that James Blum told police an argument broke out as they discussed the younger man's future. Blum told police his son lunged for the handgun in the driver's door and it went off during a scuffle. The Times reports a deputy prosecutor says Blum then drove to a hospital but left without seeking help for his son.
Aaron Pierce Blum, 32, of Valparaiso, passed away Monday, August 3, 2009. He was born November 2, 1976 in Valparaiso to A. James and Bette (Pierce) Blum. Aaron is survived by his parents of Valparaiso, his brother Matthew A. Blum, sister-in-law, Trisha Pozil-Blum of Valparaiso, IN, and also his nephews Tresten and Damian Pozil. Aaron's passion included his love for painting and the theatre. He will be remembered by his family and friends for his laughter and sense of humor that he infused into our lives. Aaron was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Valparaiso. Private family services will be held. The final resting place of Aaron will be in St. John's Cemetery in Wanatah. Memorial contributions can be made to the Immanuel Lutheran Church Food Pantry at 1700 Monticello Dr. in Valparaiso, IN 46383. Bartholomew Funeral Home will be in charge of arrangements.
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So they may not be forgotten...
News articles disappear after time, sometimes within weeks. This website won't disappear. It was brought about because of my absolute disgust with April Will's death in Indianapolis. After the shock wore off, I decided to make sure nobody would forget the victims. Feel free to contact me with victims to add if they have not been added yet. I am working at adding victims for the past several years, at least back to 2004. Beyond that, it is difficult to find information. I am adding any domestic violence death in Indiana (however I am not listing perpetrators that died as a result of murder-suicide).
I have done my best to try and find pictures of all the dear victims so they will not be forgotten. If not available, a burning candle or angel is placed instead. If you have a picture of one of the victims you'd like to share, please contact me at the email address below. Thank you.