Not much is known about what happened before gunshots disrupted a Panama City Beach house party, leaving seven people wounded. Even less is known about the alleged shooter, 21-year-old David Jamichael Daniels, or of his motivations.
Daniels has been arrested at least six times over the last four years in Mobile County on a number of misdemeanor charges: gambling, drug possession, disorderly conduct and loitering. The seven counts of attempted murder would be the most serious charges he’s faced.
Daniels was never particularly violent, according to Sharon Daniels, his mother. “I’ve never known him to be violent towards anybody,” she said. He was one of her 14 children and grew up in the Alabama Village community in Prichard. But he did become more difficult over the years, she said.
He struggled as a student at C.F. Vigor High School, and became frustrated when he fell behind a grade. He felt like he was too old to be in school, she said, but “I told him ‘you’re never get too old for school.’ ” Daniels would eventually leave without graduating.
Many of his arrests occurred in patches. A gambling and a loitering charge in early 2012; another arrest for gambling and marijuana possession in April of the same year. September 2012: gambling again.
Sharon Daniels, 46, said the arrests do not seem to coincide with an particular life event that she could recall.
“He’d always been a person that had been off to himself, but over the years” the influence of friends grew, she said. “And I had to accept that because he had to go on with his life and I couldn’t always be there at all times.”
Another spate of arrests came in 2014. Daniels was charged with disorderly conduct on Feb. 22. And then on July 25, five days before his 21st birthday, he picked up another three drug charges and violated probation, according jail records.
Daniels had not been living with her in Prichard for the last two years, she said, except for sporadic visits for a few days at a time. He talked to her about getting a job as a welder, something, she said he was excited about.
Their last phone conversation between them was shortly before 12 p.m. Friday. He’d asked her to pick up something from the dry cleaner. Daniels didn’t have a car, she said, so he may have gone to Panama City Beach with someone else.
Police found a .40-caliber handgun on the scene that they believed was used in the shooting. Her son was the only named suspect. That’s all there was to read about when her daughter showed her the post on Facebook.