Atlanta police: Diane McIver’s fatal shooting case 'more complicated'

Atlanta police on Tuesday pushed back against a family spokesman’s account of how Diane McIver — a high profile business executive — was fatally shot on the edge of Piedmont Park recently, saying the case is “more complicated” than has been portrayed.

Bill Crane, a McIver family friend, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week that McIver was riding in the same vehicle with her husband, Atlanta lawyer Claud "Tex" McIver, on Sept. 25 when their car hit a bump and a gun in his lap accidentally fired, killing her. The incident unfolded after their vehicle was approached by several individuals near the intersection of Peachtree and Pine streets in Midtown, Crane said. The McIvers retrieved their gun from the center console of the 2013 Ford Expedition, alarmed about recent unrest surrounding several Black Lives Matter protests in the area and fearing a carjacking, Crane said.

Without elaborating about why the case may be more complicated than Crane’s account, Atlanta Police Sgt. Warren Pickard said Crane “wasn’t in the car, so he is not a witness to what happened. We are going to wait and see what all the witnesses have to say.”

Pickard declined to comment on any specifics from Crane’s account and he would not identify who police have interviewed about the case. But he said: “Sometimes you have to question the person three or four times to get the answer you need. We are going to let those interview sessions lead us in the right direction.”

Police are saying little else about the case, including whether they will bring charges against anyone. They have also refused to identify who else was in the vehicle with the McIvers. Crane said a third individual was driving that evening. Police, Pickard said, are declining to identify the driver so as to prevent the news media from questioning that person and possibly complicating their investigation.

“As soon as I tell you that, the media would be all over it,” he said. “We are going to hold what we have until we come to a conclusion. I hate to be that way with you, but it is important for us to get this right.”

Pickard confirmed police have recovered a handgun, but he would not identify its make and model. Crane said it was a .38 snub-nose revolver.

The incident report Atlanta police have released to the public does not say why the driver took Diane McIver to Emory University Hospital when Piedmont Hospital is less than half the distance from the shooting scene.

“I couldn’t answer that,” Pickard said. “I would just say that people tend to do what they are familiar with. If that is a hospital they [have been to] frequently, that might be something they are familiar with.”

Pickard also denied that the McIvers’ high profile is affecting how long authorities are taking in their investigation. Claud McIver is the vice chairman of the Georgia State Election Board and his wife was president of Corey Airport Services, a marketing company based in Atlanta.

“We are taking our time on this one,” Pickard said. “Our investigation is still ongoing.”

Map: How the McIver shooting unfolded