FIRST ON 3: Poker raid leads to officer-involved shooting - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

FIRST ON 3

PHOTOS: Poker raid leads to officer-involved shooting

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- A high stakes poker game bust led to a police involved shooting Thursday night.

"We've heard $30,000 to $100,000 exchanges hands throughout a night," said Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd.

Police say 32-year-old Clifford Billups provided food for the high stakes poker game.

"Mr. Billups drove here in a catering truck, the assumption is that he actually catered the event," explained Police Chief Bobby Dodd.

Business owner, Kenny Higdon, provided the real estate for the operation.

Higdon owns four businesses housed in the same building on Gunbarrel Road. Police say he owns ATC Healthcare, 5 Star Homecare, Pro Drug Screening, and Expedia Solutions.

Police showed up to Higdon's building Thursday night with a search warrant in hand, after a two-month investigation.

"Approximately 15 to 20 people were inside the business playing poker," said Dodd, "four or five of the suspects fled out the rear of the building."

Among them, Clifford Billups, who police say was carrying two weapons.

"He had a handgun in his hand, he turned on the officer, threatened the officer, and was shot one time," explained Dodd.

Billups was hit in the torso, and taken to Erlanger before being booked.

"It's kind of odd for a suspect to pull a weapon and try to escape from something that would probably have been a citation situation," said Dodd.

One of the men cited to court didn't want to talk to Channel 3 after being released.

Chief Dodd says Kenny Higdon won't have that luxury. He could face felony charges for operating the game.

It will be some time before police release the names of all those involved, but Dodd says several medical professionals are among them.

The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an internal investigation. That is standard procedure anytime an officer is involved in a shooting.

Chattanooga Police Sgt. Wayne Jefferson said the tally of evidence seized included $26,393 in cash, 34 pills, 3.3 grams of marijuana, misc. gambling paraphernalia, an HP laptop computer and three vehicles.

Suspects and Charges:

1. Clifford Billups, 32, Charged with Att. Murder, Agg. Assualt, Unlawful poss. weapon, felony reckless endangerment, illegal gambling

2. William Evans, 44, Charged with Agg. Gambling Promotion, Possession of Controlled substance

3. Raymond Crawford, 68, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

4. James Tinker, 75, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

5. Donald Young, 58, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

6. Darrell Hibdon, 57,  Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

7. William Johnson, 66, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

8. John Cagle, 58, Charged with Agg. Gambling Promotion, Possession of Gambling Device

9. Alexis Tarumianz, 64, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

10. Neil Spitalny, 60,  Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

11. Kevin England, 40, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

12. Kenneth Burton, 35, Charged with Illegal Gambling

13. Terry Hartman, 50, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

14. Dale Roesel, 28, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

15. Ramon Grant, 31, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

16. Ralph Kennedy, 50, Charged with Illegal Gambling, Possession Gambling Device

17. Kenny Higdon, 44, Charged with Agg. Gambling Promotion, Possession of Gambling Device

 

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