ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) – “The guys were just on their way home. They were driving down my road which is something that they’ve done hundreds of times,” says Bronwen Murray, referring to her boyfriend, 26-year old Brandon Hydrick and his brother, Ryan. The two men had been with a group of friends, including Murray, on her parent’s property in the Belle Mina area Friday night.
“We had a campfire and someone brought some hotdogs,” she added.
Hydrick and his brother left but stopped his Nissan pick-up truck on the side of the road less than a mile away. 52-year old Joel Moyers told investigators he heard the two, got up and got his gun, an AK-47 assault rifle. Sheriff Mike Blakely says Moyers admitted to firing a warning shot at the truck. The bullet apparently struck the tailgate before proceeding through the cab wall where it struck Hydrick in the back. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I think he should be charged with capital murder. He shot someone who was driving down the street, for no reason,” Murray said.
She described Hydrick as highly intelligent, caring, and fun to be around. “He loved outdoors, he loved camping, he belonged to a soccer league, he was very active. Last weekend I went with him and he did the Warrior Dash, in Tennessee. He just loved life and everyone he came into contact with he made them laugh and he made them smile.”
Moyers made his first court appearance this morning, a bond hearing before District Court Judge Jerry Batts. Bond was set at $250 thousand dollars on the murder charge, another $10 thousand dollars on a charge of shooting into an occupied vehicle. Further stipulations on his bond included surrendering all of his guns to authorities, he can not possess a gun while on bond, Moyers can not return to the Fennel Road community where the shooting occurred, and he must reside in Cullman County. Moyers met those conditions and was released on bond late Monday afternoon.
“We were aware to be cautious around him because he had threatened other people in the neighborhood and he was known to have a lot of weapons,” Murray said. She added that she and Hydrick had passed Moyers’ home several times in recent months, seen him outside and had waved to him. She said he waved back.
Murray says contrary to initial reports on the shooting, she says neither Brandon Hydrick nor his brother were doing anything wrong when the shooting occurred.