ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - A man involved in a shooting at an Etowah County business has been charged and will be extradited back to Alabama.
Brandon Chandler, 29, is charged with two counts of attempted murder in the shooting that he claimed was in self-defense. Chandler is currently in Hamilton Co., Tennessee.
A video purportedly from Chandler shows him claiming he shot in self defense.
In the video, Brandon Chandler of Fort Payne says he was returning a transmission he had previously bought from Hammett’s Towing and Recovery on Wesson Lake Road in Attalla. He says he and Donnie Hammett, the business owner, had some cross words before the incident, and that Stephen McElrath was a friend who rode along to help Chandler.
Chandler claims in the video Hammett punched him in the face, and when McElrath jumped out of the vehicle, McElrath was abruptly shot.
McElrath died later.
Chandler claims in the video he opened fire in self defense.
“He struck first,” Chandler claimed about Hammett. "I got a busted lip, I got a scar right there on my face.
“Stephen being Stephen, Stephen’s not going to let nobody jump me,” Chandler says in the video. “I’m not going to let nobody jump him. So as soon as he gets back out of the truck, boom! Gunshot fires. Shoots Stephen.”
Chandler says, despite being a convicted felon, grabbed a gun of his own out of his truck. “I’m not fixing to be dead beside this man.”
We spoke off camera Thursday night to a worker at the junkyard at Hammett’s. The worker told us the customers fired first and Hammett was the one who responded in self-defense.
Etowah County investigators say they are still investigating the incident.