By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — The attorney for the man accused in the March 28, 2019, shooting at the Trussville Cracker Barrel, spoke about the case.
Attorney Richard S. Jaffe, with Jaffe, Hanle, Whisonant & Knight, P.C., said his client, Bryan Hancock, had no intention of harming anyone and that race did not play a part in the shooting death of Randy Dewayne Young.
“As is often the case, once a full and fair hearing occurs, another side emerges as it did in this case,” Jaffe said. “As I said even before the release of the video, Bryan acted in self-defense. While sitting in the passenger seat of his friend’s truck, the deceased began to strike him in the face, and this is supported by eye witness testimony.”
Jaffe said Hancock was attacked in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel.
“Sadly, the driver of his truck had put on his brake lights and begun to exit the scene when Bryan was attacked,” Jaffe said. “We learned at the hearing that before that, the deceased had twice threatened him with bodily harm. His immediate reaction was to grab his friend’s weapon that was in the front seat to defend himself.”
Hancock bonded out of jail and is being monitored by GPS. According to Judge Clyde Jones, he is on complete lockdown. Jaffe said Hancock feels bad about the incident and said it was never racially motivated.
“Bryan knows that this has been devastating to the deceased’s family,” Jaffe said. “He is sickened by it. Bryan and his friend had no intention of harming anyone.
“No parking issue should ever result in violence. Road rage should never happen. This was initially portrayed as a racial case. Bryan was raised by two African-American fathers (his first died). The majority of his friends are African-American. Race had nothing to do with this tragic event.”
Hancock’s family said Hancock felt he had to protect himself after getting into an altercation with the victim. The family and Jaffe said it would be out of Hancock’s character to use deadly force if he did not feel his life was in danger.
“At the preliminary hearing we learned that Bryan is a teddy bear,” said Jaffe. “He is soft-spoken and quiet. He does not overreact, lose his temper or act aggressively. In fact, Bryan has been calm his entire life.
“Lately, he has suffered from depression and that has made him even more prone to loneliness. He has strong community and family support.”
The family of the victim, Randy Young, said Young was shot in cold blood after an argument over parking escalated. They said Young did not come towards Hancock with aggression or looking for trouble.
Young was hospitalized at UAB for treatment. He died two days later.
Hancock is charged with capital murder.