huntsville, alabama, city

Gas station owner tried to kill customer, Limestone County authorities say

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. — The owner of an Athens gas station is charged with attempted murder after authorities said he chased and shot at someone he though was trying to steal gas.

Phillip Wayne Stewart, 64, is also charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle for the incident that happened Sunday.

The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded around 8:30 a.m. Sunday to a vehicle pursuit where one driver was ramming and firing shots at another as they drove east on Highway 72 near West Washington Street.

Athens police found the victim at the intersection of Highway 72 and Hine Street, where he told police the other driver had chased him from S&Z Grocery on Highway 72. The victim’s truck had rear-end damage and a bullet hole in the tailgate, authorities said.

Deputies went to S&Z Grocery and said they found Stewart’s car with front-end damage. Deputies also said they found a 9 mm handgun and matched the bullets with the one in the victim’s tailgate.

Stewart said he chased and shot at the man because he had stolen gas, deputies said. The sheriff’s office is still investigating to determine whether any gas was taken.

Stewart was released from the Limestone County Jail Sunday morning on $60,000 bond.

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