Four Dead After Shooting at NYC Private Poker Club
Details are still emerging in the shooting deaths of four people, including the alleged shooter, at a private New York City poker club. Chester Goode, 37, of New York, was killed after an exchange of gunfire at the Triple A Aces Private & Social Event Space.
The club occupied the location of what the New York Times described as a “battered frame townhouse” in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, and functioned as the home of one of hundreds of the underground poker games and/or illegal gambling rooms scattered across the Five Boroughs.
Three other people died as a result of Goode’s actions, including Terrence Bishop, 36, John Thomas, 32, and Dominick Wimbush, 47. Wimbush was an armed bouncer who exchanged gunfire with Goode, but who was also fatally wounded in the exchange. Three other gamblers suffered non life-threatening wounds.
The motive for the shooting remains unclear, though local reports indicate that Goode was a prior customer of the room. If those reports are true, it still remains unknown as to whether Goode tried to rob the room (and a gun battle thus ensued), or if Goode was part of a current or past argument with other gamblers that then escalated into a shooting.
The shooting take place at about 7 am on Saturday at the Bedford-Stuyvesant location. Goode was reported to have fired a single round into the ceiling while yelling at everyone present to lie down on the floor, but reports also indicate that Goode then shot at least two of the other gamblers before trading fire with the bouncer.
According to the Times, the brother of one of the slain gamblers told gathered reporters that Goode had believed he was being cheated at poker, and the shooting was at least partly done as revenge.
Mr. Bishop’s brother, Eddie Baldwin, told reporters gathered at Triple A Aces on Sunday that investigators think Mr. Goode believed he was losing the card game because his competitors were cheating. “The detectives told us a guy at the club was cheated and wanted his money back,” Baldwin told the reporters.
The club itself had received only one formal police complaint, and that was unrelated to alleged illegal gambling. However, in the wake of the shooting, numerous neighbors acknowledged to police that the facility drew plenty of patrons in “flashy cars”. NYPD Patrol Chief Rodney Harrison told local reporters he was bothered that the poker club was apparently a neighborhood nuisance but had not been reported as such to the police. Still, such underground rooms are historically underenforced by the NYPD, receiving attention only in the wake of a major crime such as this.