From staff reports
A Limestone County man has been arrested on murder charges after a shooting incident Saturday morning near Belle Mina.
According to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, 52-year-old Joel Moyers of 793 County Road 226, Cullman, saw a suspicious vehicle south of his trailer on Fennel Road, near the corner of Fennel Lane.
The truck proceeded down Fennel Lane and Moyers followed the vehicle on foot in an attempt to get a tag number. A press release from the Sheriff’s Office states that Moyers was suspicious of the vehicle because of recent thefts in the area.
The truck remained on Fennel Lane for about 10 minutes, the release said, but then turned and came back in Moyers’ direction.
Moyers reportedly shined a light and tried to stop the vehicle to get a tag number. However, the release said the truck, occupied by two persons, sped past Moyers.
Moyers, who was also carrying an AK-47, told investigators he fired a shot in the air, but the release said the bullet struck the tailgate of the truck, entered the cab and went through the back seat, killing its passenger, 26-year-old Brandon Hydrick.
Sheriff Mike Blakely said after Moyers fired the shot, he got in his pickup truck and chased the other truck, driven by Hydrick’s brother, Ryan Hydrick. The truck ran off Fennel Road into a wooded area, and Ryan Hydrick called 911. By the time officers arrived at the scene, Brandon Hydrick was dead.
Moyers returned to his residence, the release said, and waited for officers to arrive.
Blakely said the two brothers were at a party held on property belonging to the parents of Brandon Hydrick’s girlfriend. After the party had broken up, he said, the two brothers went riding around and had stopped on Fennel Lane to relieve themselves.
Blakely said because Fennel Lane dead-ends, Moyers “might have thought they were stealing or burglarizing” a residence.
“When the kid saw the gun, he punched (the accelerator),” Blakely said. “(Moyers) hauls off and fires and chases them down the road, and the boy was confused.”
Moyers has also been charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle. A bond amount has not been set, though a bond hearing could be held Monday.
Blakely said even though Moyers provided a Cullman address, he had been staying in a trailer on Fennel Road.
Coroner Mike West said Brandon Hydrick’s body was taken to the state forensics lab in Huntsville for an autopsy.
“This is a good example of if you suspect something, call 911 or the direct number to the Sheriff’s Office. You can’t arbitrarily go and fire unless your life is being threatened,” Blakely said. “A lot of times people don’t realize that once you pull that trigger, you’d better know where (the bullet’s) going, and the circumstances better warrant that.”