Twenty-six years before he shot and killed his wife, Claud “Tex” McIver let loose a pair of dogs on three teens outside his DeKalb County home and fired several shots into their car, according to an investigative file reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Law enforcement records released on Thursday by the DeKalb County district attorney provide fresh details on the 1990 shooting incident. The file, released in response to an AJC open records request, also contained a psychological analysis of McIver.
In interviews with police, the teens described a frightening attack in which McIver shot twice into the air then fired at their red Ford Mustang, hitting the vehicle twice. McIver, however, says he chased their car away from the cul-de-sac without firing a shot, records show.
In an odd twist, McIver's attorney at the time, Stephen Maples, told the AJC this week that he recalled that McIver had fired shots back then. Maples said McIver had fired the shots in self defense because he thought the teens were trying to run him down with the car.
No one was injured, though McIver, an Atlanta lawyer, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm in connection with a crime, and criminal damage to property. A grand jury found probable cause to indict him, but the case was dropped after the parties settled it privately.
Still, the fact that authorities did not believe McIver’s story that he did not fire shots in 1990, could impact how police look at his story regarding the more recent shooting of his wife, said Kim Keheley Frye, a Marietta criminal defense attorney.
“It certainly gives you more pause to question his story today,” said Frye, a former prosecutor.
Atlanta police aware of prior shooting
Details of the Feb. 27, 1990 shooting emerged as Atlanta police investigate another incident last month, which also involved McIver, a gun and a vehicle. On Sept. 25, Tex McIver shot his wife, Diane, as they rode in their SUV near Piedmont Park. He maintains the shooting was an accident. Diane McIver died early the next morning after being taken to Emory University Hospital on Clifton Road.
The McIvers were a prominent and well-connected Atlanta couple who donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates. A top labor attorney, Tex McIver, 73, is the longtime vice chairman of the state's Board of Elections. Diane McIver, 64, was president of Corey Airport Services.
Atlanta police told the AJC said they knew about the prior shooting.
The teens maintain they were sitting in the Mustang near Cravey Trail when McIver arrived home and turned loose two German Shepherds.
McIver, they said, pointed a gun at them, fired two shots into the air and then fired two shots that struck the car at close range as they drove past him, hitting the gas tank and cracking the spoiler.
“As we approached the gunman he was standing in front of my car with the gun pointed at my face,” said one of the teens, Kevin Blase, in a written statement for the police. “He jumped to my side of the car and shot the back left side quarter panel of the car.”
In the file, McIver denies firing a gun. He said he went outside to investigate a suspicious car in the cul de sac because he was worried about burglaries and vandalism in the neighborhood.
The police report said, “He said he chased a red car from the area that had been racing up and down the street. He said he chased them on foot and did not shoot at them.”
A psychological evaluation determined that McIver was “an extremely non-violent type” who “would not be prone toward aggressing against others in any form.”
Last month’s shooting
Last month's shooting occurred as the McIvers were being driven by a family friend from their ranch in rural Putnam County to their home in Buckhead and pulled off I-85 onto Edgewood Avenue to avoid traffic. Tex McIver was sitting in the rear seat of the Ford Expedition and his wife in the front passenger seat, Maples said. Spotting some people milling about near the exit - an area where homeless people are known to congregate - the couple pulled their .38-caliber revolver from the SUV's center console, Maples said.
They moved on without incident and soon afterward, Maples said, Tex McIver fell back to sleep in the rear seat. McIver said the handgun was in his lap, still wrapped in a plastic Publix bag, when he said he suddenly awoke near Piedmont Park and the gun went off.
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