David Shawn Blanton Jr. or Shawn, as we all knew him, was born on January 19, 1984 in Cherokee, NC, and resided there all his life. As a child Shawn loved to hunt and fish and was involved in all sports. His passion for sports carried over to his High School days where he was All Conference in football, played baseball, wrestled and ran track at Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva, NC. His love for sports didn’t end with high school as he continued to play adult league basketball and his favorite, Fast Pitch Softball, another sport that he excelled in. He played in several National Tournaments from Iowa to Florida.
After High school Shawn was employed with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as a emergency dispatcher for the Public Safety Division until he was selected as a Cadet for the North Carolina Highway Patrol. He entered the 29 week academy on October 21, 2005 and graduated on May 11, 2006. Shawn became the first Enrolled Member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to serve as a North Carolina State Trooper. He was assigned to Troop G in Haywood County, NC.
It was in Haywood County that Shawn found his future wife, Miss Michaela Layman. Shawn and Michaela were married on August 23, 2007 and announced at Christmas that Michaela was expecting in late July. But, by what later became known in the family as “Tyes Law” (everything on Tye’s schedule) Little Tye arrived 7 weeks early on May 31, 2008. Tye had numerous medical issues but proved to be a real fighter a Little Trooper you might say.
Sadly, Shawn and Tye had only a short time together — 17 days. On June 17, 2008 at 10:20 pm, Shawn was shot during a routine traffic stop and was rushed to Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville NC — the same hospital where Tye was being cared for.
At the time of Shawn’s death he was the Head Coach for the JV Softball Team at Smoky Mountain High School, where they are now readying to build a new training facility in his honor.. He was also playing in a mens Fast Pitch league and a mens slow pitch league. Shawn’s love for the game has inspired the family to start a scholarship in his memory for a female athlete who is a member of their high school softball team.