The Walker County Sheriff’s Office asks for help to solve the murder of a man shot in the parking lot of his machine shop business.

Michael Eugene Mullens, 45, was shot once in the head Dec. 19, 2008, as he arrived at work at about 6 a.m. He was co-owner of Premier Pattern & Machine on Woodburn Road, formerly called Pipe Shop Road, in Flintstone.

Mullens was a popular community leader. A graduate of Rossville High School, he loved the great outdoors and hunting. According to his obituary, the Chickamauga resident derived the most pride and enjoyment from coaching his son with the North Georgia Bulldogs Baseball Select Team.

In the 11 years since his death, investigators said they have continued to interview anyone who might be able to shed light on the case.

They need more information to move forward with the case.

Investigators ask people who drove along Ga. 193 and Pipe Shop Road or who lived in the area at the time to consider the facts related to the case and to ask themselves some questions, hoping it might jog their memories.

♦ Was a motorist driving with the vehicle’s headlights turned off?

♦ Did a motorist pull out in front of another vehicle in a hurry?

♦ Was a pedestrian walking near the area?

♦ Did anyone see something that seemed unusual or suspicious in the area?

♦ Does someone know more details than were available through media reports?

♦ Has someone made a boast or threat related to the crime?

♦ Has anyone heard any rumors related to the murder?

A seemingly trivial bit of information may be the key to solving the crime, investigators said.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson, at the time of the murder, described the killer as lying in wait for Mullens, who was shot before he could exit his vehicle.

According to investigators:

The shooter approached the side of the parked Ford F-150 pickup truck and fired one shot into the victim’s head before shooting at a security light. While the second shot shattered the light’s glass, the bulb continued to illuminate.

The driver’s door to his truck was ajar. Investigators do not know whether Mullens or his killer opened the door, but suspect Mullens was either caught off-guard or knew the shooter.

When coworkers found Mullens slumped over his steering wheel about 7 a.m., his foot was still on the brake, the brake lights were on, and his vehicle keys had fallen from his grasp. He appeared to have been detaching his phone from its charger at the time he was shot.

Employees at work at the time heard some possible gunshots, and several neighbors reported hearing two gunshots between 6-6:15 a.m., the time Mullens usually arrived at work.

Catherine Edgemon is assistant editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and the Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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