Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been republished in preparation of the Tex McIver trial.
ATLANTA -- A prominent Atlanta attorney called the shooting of his wife a "tragic accident" and said he's passed a polygraph test.
Diane McIver died after being shot while riding in a Ford Expedition near Piedmont Park on Sept. 25. She was the president of Corey Airport Services, while her husband is an attorney with the law firm Fisher and Phillips.
Claude “Tex” McIver told 11Alive's Valerie Hoff he fell asleep holding a gun and then woke up minutes later and realized he had accidentally fatally shot his wife.
In a tearful phone interview, Tex McIver described losing the love of his life in what he said was a tragedy, not a crime.
Tex McIver said he and his wife were on their way home from their Eatonton ranch. Their best friend, a woman known as Dani Jo, was driving. Diane McIver was in the passenger seat, while Tex was in the back seat.
McIver said he woke up as they exited the interstate near Edgewood Avenue and saw at least two people approach their vehicle. He said he asked Diane to hand him his revolver, which was in a plastic bag in the front console of the SUV.
At some point, Tex McIver said he dozed off. He said he was jarred awake by the flash of light and the sound of the gun firing. He said he didn't recall pulling the trigger and is still unsure as to what exactly happened.
PHOTOS: Diane McIver
Diane McIver was struck by a bullet in the back, McIver said. Tex said he asked Dani to drive them to Emory Hospital because they'd both been patients there. They arrived within 10 minutes of the shooting, Tex said, but Diane passed away in surgery early the next day.
Tex McIver adamantly denied ever mentioned Black Lives Matter protests as the reason that he had his revolver in his lap.
McIver said he passed a polygraph test with a 99-percent accuracy. That four-hour polygraph was administered by Dick Rackleff in Gainesville, who confirmed to Hoff that Tex had passed it.
11Alive has also learned that the McIvers were godparents to the son of Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall.
Schwall released this statement to 11Alive on Thursday:
My family and I have had the privilege and honor of being friends of Tex and Diane McIver for many years. We are all so deeply devastated by the tragic and sudden loss of Diane. To all whose lives she touched, and their is a multitude, she embodied the spirit of love, sacrifice, giving, sharing ,service and philanthropy . She gave of herself freely and often to better the lives of so many others and especially the less fortunate.
In addition, she will be remembered by all as a truly selfless person who lived by the golden rule, touching the lives of others in a real ,true and inspiring way. Her life was one simply of love. My son, Austin, is the godson of Tex and Diane McIver. Her relationship with Austin is legendary and she will never be forgotten. The memories of their love will inspire us all forever. She will be greatly missed.
Police have released few details into the fatal incident.