Suspect in fatal shooting involved with car chop shop - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Suspect in fatal shooting involved with car chop shop

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ATHENS, McMINN COUNTY -

(WRCB) - The headline of the local newspaper in Athens, Tennessee reads: "Suspect killed after firing at deputies."

Sheriff Joe Guy says 37-year-old Allan Shepherd ran from his neighborhood on County Road 250 into the woods after deputies tried to serve a theft warrant.

At some point, deputies say Shepherd pulled a gun. That's when the deputy shot and killed him.

"Sometimes deputies do have to pull a gun," says Sheriff Guy. "It is something they don't want to do all the time."

That deputy is on paid leave, which is standard in a shooting like this.

Sheriff Guy says Shepherd and his wife, 34-year-old Leah, were running an illegal car chop shop operation, breaking apart stolen cars and selling their parts.

Gordon Swallows, owner of G&S Auto Sales and Service Center, says chop shops are a dirty business that hurt honest car shops.

"If that car gets impounded down the line and it comes back the engine is stolen, that's bad for everyone," says Swallows.

Swallows says in just seven years, he's seen some funny business he wants others to be aware of.

One piece of advice: if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

"If someone tries to sell you something and says 'I have to sell it today, I have to sell it right now', you're gut instinct will tell you to walk away," says Swallows.

Sheriff Guy wasn't able to give much information on Shepherd except his office has been investigating activity for months.

Swallows says it's not always easy to stop stolen parts from reaching the used parts pile, but he says businessmen should always try to know who they are buying from.

Two children were in the home when this all took place and they are now with family.

Leah Shepherd is being held on $50,000 bond and is due in court December 29th.

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