One co-owner dead, one detained following Monday shooting at South Pittsburg coffee shop

Apr. 4—This story was updated with additional information and to clarify that the suspect is being held at the Marion County Justice Center on Monday, April 4, 2022, at 5:30 p.m.

One of the owners of a downtown South Pittsburg, Tennessee, coffee shop is dead and another faces homicide charges after a deadly shooting at their business Monday morning.

Kevin Hudson, 46, was found dead at the scene when officers got to the Dragging Canoe Coffee Traders building at 409 Elm Ave., Marion County Sheriff Ronnie «Bo» Burnett said Monday in a telephone interview.

Co-owner of the coffee shop, Robert H. Bateh, 49, of 605 Fifth St., is now charged in the slaying with criminal homicide, Burnett said. He is being held without bond at the Marion County Justice Center.

The shooting happened about 8:30 a.m. CDT at the Elm Avenue business, a drive-thru coffee house, Burnett said.

The two men got into an argument that escalated into an altercation and at least one gunshot was fired, the sheriff said.

Officers from the South Pittsburg Police Department, the sheriff’s department and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation initially responded, according to authorities.

Josh DeVine, spokesperson for the TBI, confirmed the state agency is assisting in the investigation but because it is ongoing, he was unable to offer any additional details.

Hudson and his family «are well-known in this area,» Burnett said. Hudson’s body has been taken to Nashville for an autopsy, he said.

Burnett said three or four detectives from the sheriff’s office, officers from the police department and three TBI agents are gathering evidence from the scene and statements from any witnesses.

Bateh, who was taken to a local hospital to be checked out before he was booked at the jail, does not have a lawyer yet, officials said. A bond hearing could be held as soon as Wednesday, according to Burnett.

Staff writer Stephen Hargis contributed to this story.

Contact Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.

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