Monday, July 22, 2013 - 3:08 p.m.
Tate Moore works part time at Goolsby's Yard and Garden on South Lamar Boulevard. The day after Douglas Reed was killed, Mr. Moore contacted the sheriff's department about a handgun he found at the nursery. Detective Murphy interviewed him at Goolsby's. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- 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: How come you didn't 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 of Goolsby's 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 in to 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 knew the guys 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.