The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

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December 30, 2012

The Top 12 of 2012

(Continued)

U.S. 72 shooting

One of the most bizarre crimes in Athens' history occurred in September when an angry young motorist shot a passing motorcyclist then turned himself in and confessed to authorities.

After arguing with his father at their Whiteville, Tenn., home the afternoon of Sept. 10, 20-year-old Noah Andrew McGlawn got into his green SUV for a drive and eventually wound up on U.S. 72 East in Athens. At the same time, 23-year-old Brandon Matlock of Athens was westbound on 72 East, when he drove past a green SUV traveling in the lane next to him.

Matlock told Athens Police that as he glanced at the SUV he was passing, he saw the driver point a handgun at him. McGlawn fired his .22-caliber pistol at Matlock, striking him in the right shoulder and right, lower back. Matlock managed to stop his black and white sport bike in the median and walk across two eastbound lanes of traffic to seek help at Eagle Up Driving Range.

McGlawn, who committed the drive-by shooting and fled, later stopped at a convenience store-gas station and telephoned central dispatch, telling the dispatcher he had shot a motorcyclist. Officers arrested him without incident. During questioning, McGlawn told investigators he was angry with his father, who wanted him to go to trade school, and he "just felt like shooting someone."

Initially charged with attempted murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle, McGlawn was denied bail after he told authorities if released he would do it again. McGlawn’s father told The News Courier his son suffers from a mental disability. Matlock was formally charged with attempted murder Oct. 31 following indictment by a Limestone County grand jury.

Although most shooting are senseless, Police Chief Floyd Johnson described the incident as totally bizarre and out of character for Athens. “I’ve been doing this (police work) 30 years and this was a cold act," Johnson said.  "It was just a matter of who he was going to shoot.”

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