BRATTLEBORO — A game of cards gone wrong appears to have led to Saturday night’s shooting that left a man injured in a Canal Street parking lot, according to court documents.
Emanuel R. Tenner III, 22, of Natchez, Miss., was arrested and charged in connection with the incident. He was arraigned via video in Windsor Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in White River Junction Monday afternoon on one count each of attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and reckless endangerment of another person. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to the Brattleboro Reformer.
He is being held without bail at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vt.
In an affidavit written by Brattleboro police Detective Colby Kerylow, Tenner is accused of shooting Charlie Clark III, 25, in the abdomen. Clark was taken to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and later transferred to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.
An update on his condition wasn’t available from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Tuesday. In a news release Sunday morning, Brattleboro police said they didn’t have information on the condition of the person who was shot.
According to the affidavit, three Brattleboro police officers were in the parking lot of a grocery store on Canal Street for an unrelated matter Saturday when they heard gunshots nearby at about 7:50 p.m.
The officers went to the area, behind the Econo Lodge, and found a man, later identified as Clark, with a gunshot wound, the affidavit says. One of the officers put Clark in his cruiser and took him to the hospital.
Police arrested Tenner, who was shown on video surveillance running into the woods after the shooting, and recovered a silver Smith & Wesson .38 revolver, according to the affidavit.
Kerylow wrote that he was contacted at home at about 8 p.m. Saturday and asked to respond to the incident. Kerylow interviewed Clark at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and Clark said Tenner had shot him, according to the affidavit. Clark said there had been a disagreement over money while a group of people were playing cards, and a physical altercation had ensued between two of the men, Kerylow wrote. Clark said “both of them” ran for a gun and he tried to break them up, the affidavit states.
The other man, identified as Sededrick T. Flowers, 29, said Tenner is “kin” to him, and that he and Tenner, along with Clark and two other men who were there, work on the bridge on Interstate 91 in Rockingham, Vt., the affidavit states.
Tenner told Kerylow he and Clark — who he said is his cousin — had driven to the Econo Lodge from their motel in Putney, Vt., where they had joined others in playing cards and placing bets, the affidavit states.
Although the affidavit doesn’t specify where Clark and Flowers live, Kerylow wrote that two vehicles with Mississippi registrations were damaged by the gunfire — one registered to Clark and the other to Flowers, according to the affidavit.
Flowers said the group was playing cards and placing bets when another man put down a $20 bill, and Flowers put down a $5 bill, Kerylow wrote. One of the game’s participants, Leroy Myles Jr., 23, said they’d been playing poker, the affidavit states.
Flowers said Tenner claimed the $5 was his, and he and Tenner got into an altercation over it, according to the affidavit. Flowers said he then heard Tenner tell Clark to go unlock the car, and, assuming Tenner was going to get a gun, went to his room and closed the door, Kerylow wrote. Flowers said he grabbed his own gun, but didn’t have a clip in it, and after Tenner stopped knocking on the door and window to the room, Flowers decided to go outside, according to the affidavit.
Outside, Flowers said, he and Tenner got into a “little tussle,” and when he started to walk away, Tenner began shooting at him, Kerylow wrote.
Tenner confirmed there was a disagreement between him and Flowers over money — and that Flowers had gone to his room — but offered a different version of the events that followed, the affidavit states.
Needing to retrieve his cellphone from Flowers’ room, Tenner said he knocked on the door, and Flowers was holding a handgun, according to Kerylow. Tenner said Flowers attempted to “pistol-whip” him, but he blocked the strike, the detective wrote.
Tenner told Kerylow that Flowers then grabbed him by the front of the shirt and pointed the gun at his face, according to the affidavit. Tenner said he had his gun in his left pocket, and shot at Flowers five times in self-defense, did not mean to shoot Clark, and ran from the scene because he was scared, Kerylow wrote.
But according to the affidavit, Tenner’s statement is inconsistent with self-defense based on video surveillance from the scene showing both him and the group walking away from each other before Tenner turns and fires a gun approximately five times.