KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Knoxville police have lost red-light cameras to traffic accidents but never to gun play.
"This is the first one that's been shot," Capt. Gordon Catlett said of the wounded camera at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Interstate 640 — one of 15 camera-equipped intersections in the city.
Clifford E. Clark, 47, was charged with felony vandalism and reckless endangerment for allegedly firing at least three rounds from a .30-06 hunting rifle at the camera, knocking it out of action.
He was arrested after patrol officers heard shots around 2 a.m. Sunday, spotted a minivan leaving the parking lot of a closed business and pulled it over. Inside they found Clark and the high-powered rifle.
Clark, now facing a $50 fine if convicted and loss of his rifle, refused to say anything about the incident to police, leaving the motive unclear.
Catlett, who oversees the red-light camera program, said 6,798 drivers have been photographed running the red light at Broadway and I-640 and ticketed since the camera was installed in 2006. Clark was not one of them, he said.