Alabama gas station owner arrested after reportedly shooting at customer he thought stole gas

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2020

An Alabama gas station owner was arrested Sunday after he reportedly chased and shot at a customer, who he thought was attempting to steal gas.

Phillip Wayne Stewart, 64, who owns S&Z Grocery in Athens, has been charged with attempted murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle. He has been released from the Limestone County Jail on a $60,000 bond.

Limestone County deputies responded to reports of two vehicles in a chase. The driver of one vehicle was reportedly ramming another vehicle while also firing a gun.

The chase continued into the city where Athens Police officers were able to contact the victim in a black truck, which had damage to the rear and a bullet hole through the tailgate, police said.

The victim told police that the driver of the other car had chased him from S&Z Grocery. When deputies contacted Stewart at the store,  they discovered visible front-end damage to his Chevrolet Malibu. Stewart told deputies he chased the victim because he had stolen gas from his business. Deputies also recovered a  handgun and a bullet from the victim’s tailgate. Stewart has confessed to ramming and shooting at the vehicle, authorities said.
Investigators are trying to determine whether the victim was stealing gas from S&Z.