The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office says the son of the victim in a fatal shooting is "the person of interest" in the case.

Investigators found David Thornton, 51, dead from a gunshot wound to the chest and head after they were notified about 3 a.m. Monday of the shooting in the 22000 block of New Garden Road in the Piney Chapel community, north of Athens. 

Thornton’s son, Daniel Thornton, 27, told investigators he was alone in the residence with his father and in the bathroom, about 10 feet away from his father, when he heard gunshots, the office said.

Daniel Thornton said that when he left the bathroom, he discovered that his father had been shot and called one of his father’s friends to request he come to the residence, according to authorities. When the father's friend arrived, the sheriff’s office was contacted.

Authorities said that the weapon used, which is believed to belong to the victim, had not been located Monday afternoon.

The office said the father and son had been involved in a physical altercation several hours before the shooting, and Daniel Thornton struck his father several times. According to the office, Daniel Thornton admitted using methamphetamine in the hours leading up to the shooting. Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Williamson said Monday afternoon that Daniel Thornton wasn’t in custody.

Limestone County Coroner Mike West said the body was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville for an autopsy.

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