Tate Moore works at a local nursery

Monday, July 10, 2017 - 3:08 p.m.

Tate Moore works part time at Goolsby's Yard and Garden on South Lamar Boulevard. He contacted the sheriff's department about a handgun he found at the nursery.

Detective Murphy went to Goolsby's to talk to Mr. Moore about his discovery.


  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Tate Moore

Detective Murphy: Good afternoon, Mr. Moore. Thanks for contacting us.

Tate Moore: Hello, Detective. Fancy meeting you again.

Detective Murphy: You realize how this looks though, right?

Tate Moore: Yeah, can't say I'm too happy about this whole mess.

Detective Murphy: All right, you know the drill. Please state your name and address for the record.

Tate Moore: Tate Moore. I live at 603 Tyler.

Detective Murphy: OK, give me the rundown of how you found the gun today. What time did you find it? And where?

Tate Moore: At around 2:30 p.m., in a hanging plant at Goolsby's Yard and Garden.

Detective Murphy: Why are you at Goolsby's?

Tate Moore: I work here part-time, since about three months ago.

Detective Murphy: What time did you arrive at work?

Tate Moore: I got here at five to 9:00 a.m., unlocked the store, got everything open and ready to go.

Detective Murphy: Why didn't you find the gun until over five hours later?

Tate Moore: Well, it started like any normal day with my normal routine. I get back from lunch at 2:00 p.m. and go to make my rounds watering the plants. I start with the ones out back, where it's covered by the glass roof thing, work my way up to the plants on display out front. I take down a hanging plant from where it's strung up to a wooden beam, all set to water it, and that's when I find the gun.

Detective Murphy: Have you ever seen that gun before?

Tate Moore: No.

Detective Murphy: Do y'all keep a gun in the store?

Tate Moore: Not that I know of.

Detective Murphy: Had anyone else touched the plant from the time the store opened until the moment you discovered the gun?

Tate Moore: No, ma'am. If they'd taken down the plant, they would have seen the gun right away. It was pretty obvious.

Detective Murphy: Do you have any idea how long that gun might've been in the plant?

Tate Moore: Well, I watered that same plant yesterday, and it wasn't there then. That's all I can tell you.

Detective Murphy: Who else might have had access to the area where the hanging plant was?

Tate Moore: Well, pretty much anyone. The front of the store is open to the air, open to the public, open everything.

Detective Murphy: What about after-hours?

Tate Moore: When we close up shop, we move the expensive plants and things inside, but everything else just stays where it is. I guess people aren't too interested in stealing plants. With the gas station next door, there's always someone around, even when we're closed. That probably helps.

Detective Murphy: Who has access to Goolsby's after-hours?

Tate Moore: To get inside, our manager Eddie, but outside? Anyone, I guess. People drive through the lot on their way in and out of the gas station sometimes.

Detective Murphy: Does Goolsby's have a security system for after-hours?

Tate Moore: There's an alarm that goes off if somebody tries to break into the building.

Detective Murphy: No security cameras?

Tate Moore: No.

Detective Murphy: What about at the gas station?

Tate Moore: No idea. You'd have to ask them.

Detective Murphy: Would someone be able to get to that plant where you found the gun when the store is closed?

Tate Moore: Yeah, I guess.

Detective Murphy: All right, Mr. Moore. I just have to ask, where were you between the hours of 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 8:00 a.m. on Sunday?

Tate Moore: I was actually playing a gig at Rooster's Blues House. It started at 8:00 p.m. exactly.

Detective Murphy: I didn't have you pegged for a jazz and blues type of guy.

Tate Moore: I'm really not. Bluegrass and rock are more my thing, but I know the guys who were playing that night from high school, and they needed someone to sit in on guitar. So I figure, why not?

Detective Murphy: What time did the show end?

Tate Moore: Around midnight.

Detective Murphy: Where did you go afterward?

Tate Moore: Home. I was beat.

Detective Murphy: Can anyone vouch for that?

Tate Moore: Yeah, my roommate, Dustin. I hopped in the shower when I got back. Had to wash off the bar stink, and I guess the noise woke him up. He was pretty mad. After that, I slept, woke up around 8:30 a.m., and went to work.

Detective Murphy: I think that wraps up our discussion for today. Thank you for all your help, Mr. Moore.

Interview ended: 3:31 p.m.

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