Public Safety

Published on October 4th, 2016 |


APD: death of Buckhead resident, business exec Diane McIver ‘more complicated’

More than a week after Buckhead resident and high-profile business executive Diane McIver was fatally shot in a SUV on the edge of Piedmont Park,  Atlanta police dismissed a family spokesman’s account of the incident, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the case is “more complicated” than has been portrayed.

Diane McIver

Diane McIver

The police weighed in as the McIver camp provided new details to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about how they say the events unfolded in the unusual shooting involving a prominent Atlanta couple, according to an AJC story Oct. 4.

Bill Crane, a McIver family friend, told The AJC last week that McIver was riding in the same vehicle with her husband — lawyer Claud “Tex” McIver — on Sept. 25 when their car hit a bump and a gun in his lap accidentally fired, killing her.

Diane McIver was taken to Emory University Hospital on Clifton Road where she died in surgery.

A veteran labor and employment lawyer, Claud McIver is the vice chairman of the Georgia State Election Board with deep ties in Republican politics. And his wife was a prominent businesswoman whose company won millions of dollars in a lawsuit against the city of Atlanta alleging favoritism in airport contracts.

McIver’s lawyer, Stephen Maples, told the AJC on Tuesday that he met Tex McIver in a family waiting area at the hospital soon after the 10 p.m. shooting. While he was there, an Emory doctor came to the waiting area and said that Diane McIver had told her twice that the shooting “was an accident,” Maples said. The AJC was not immediately able to reach the doctor.

Authorities have been tight lipped as they investigate. Crane’s account to the AJC last week had provided the only narrative of what happened that night.

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.

Dianne McIver

Dianne McIver

We are going to wait and see what all the witnesses have to say,” the AJC reported.

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,” the AJC story states.

Crane had told the AJC 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 had told the AJC.

A little over a mile later, the gun went off in Tex McIver’s lap as he was nodding off in the back seat, Crane had told the AJC.

But Maples downplayed the intensity of the initial encounter saying that while some individuals approached the SUV it was not an adrenalin-filled event. Maples said they pulled out the gun out of caution.

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. Maples said the only other person in the SUV was a longtime friend of Diane McIver who was driving. He would not provide her full name but said she was cooperating with authorities.

Pickard, the police spokesman, said police are declining to identify the driver so as to prevent news reporters from questioning that person and possibly complicating their investigation, according to the AJC report.

“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 denied to the AJC that the McIvers’ high profile is affecting how long authorities are taking in their investigation. “We are taking our time on this one,” Pickard said. “Our investigation is still ongoing.”

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