Brandon and Ryan had attended a bonfire and marshmallow roast on property owned by family friends in the early morning hours of Sept. 29, 2012. When the gathering ended, they dropped off a friend at his campsite and started home. Unfamiliar with the area, the brothers got turned around and ended up on Fennell Lane, a dead-end road in the Belle Mina area of southern Limestone County.
Their sister, Jessica, said Ryan told her they had tried to use their cellphones to call for assistance but could not get any service.
Nearby on Fennell Road, Joel Moyers, 52, who was living in a trailer owned by his mother of Cullman, saw the truck in the dark early morning and thought it looked suspicious, Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said the day of the shooting.
Worried about thefts in the area and thinking the men were up to no good, Moyers grabbed his high-powered rifle and went outside to follow the truck on foot, the sheriff said.
The truck, driven by Ryan, remained on Fennell Lane for about 10 minutes and then turned and came back in Moyers’ direction, the sheriff said. Moyers shined a flashlight and tried to get the occupants to stop so he could get a tag number, Blakely said.
Seeing the gun and feeling unsure of what Moyers wanted, Ryan sped away down the adjacent Fennell Road, Jessica said.
Moyers told investigators at the scene he then fired a “warning shot” into the air as the truck drove away. However, a round hit the tailgate, pierced the cab and the seat, and then struck Brandon in the back, the sheriff said.
The Hydrick brothers were trying to find their way home when the nightmare unfolded. They were not thieves.
What: Hike, picnic to celebrate Brandon Hydrick’s life
When: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, lasting about 2 hours
Where: Meet at the Land Trust parking lot
Who: Open to the public
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/events/572765099427431/