The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

September 28, 2013

Family, friends of shooting victim Brandon Hydrick to hold tribute

One year ago today, Brandon Hydrick and his brother Ryan were lost in Limestone County in the early morning hours when a man, fearful of thieves, shot into their truck with a high-powered rifle.

The bullet pierced the cab and struck Brandon. He died in Ryan’s arms.

Today, Brandon’s family and friends are holding a hike and picnic to celebrate his life and love of nature. It will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Land Trust’s Three Caves and held by the Huntsville Young Professionals. The public is invited.

“Brandon loved the outdoors and the Land Trust,” said Brandon’s girlfriend, Bronwen Murray. “In fact, their fundraiser, “Moon Over Three Caves,” was the last event he and I attended together before he was murdered.”

His life

Brandon, 26, of Athens, worked for Halo Monitoring in Huntsville, where he set up health-monitoring devices for the elderly and homebound. He had earned an associate degree, and planned to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama – Huntsville.

One of Brandon’s loves was soccer. His father Phillip, a soccer coach at Sparkman High School, taught all three of his children to play soccer at an early age.

“Brandon had been playing since he was four,” said his sister, Jessica Hydrick Nichols, following his death. “He was part of the Huntsville Men’s Soccer League.”

Another of Brandon’s loves was Bronwen, whom he knew for about a year. She learned to love the outdoors with him.

“Brandon was a true nature lover and was up for anything outdoors  — hiking, camping, soccer, running  — as long as it was in the great wide open,” Bronwen said. “While I had never camped before meeting Brandon, and didn't consider myself much of an outdoorsy person, after he introduced me to it, I found I really liked it. In particular, we loved camping and hiking on Piney Creek, which runs through my family's farm in Limestone County.”

She fell in love with his kindness and his sense of adventure.

“I first felt like I was in love with him fairly early on, when we were on a movie date to Monaco (in Huntsville),” she said. “When we left the theater, it was cold outside and had started to rain. I made a sour face, so he took off his coat, wrapped me in it and cartwheeled down the steps outside the building into the rain. That was the type of person he was. Incredibly giving, kind and warm, and also the first to dive into any adventure.”

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