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Chester County man found shot dead; acquaintance charged with murder

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A Chester County man has been charged with murder after killing an acquaintance Thursday, police said.

Stephen Andrew Collins, 25, shot Brandon Thomas Jones, according to court and police records. Collins also is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, arrest warrants show.

Jones, 23, died at the scene, said Robert Sprouse, Chester County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy. Collins was arrested at the shooting scene, Sprouse said.

Collins and Jones knew each other but the extent of their relationship is unclear, Sprouse said.

The incident happened around 1:10 a.m. on Richburg Road near Great Falls. Police found Jones deceased on the ground after he had been shot in the abdomen, an incident report from the sheriff’s office stated.

“Stephen Collins ran out of the house and started shooting into the vehicle,” a witness told police.

Collins told responding officers that Jones had been the aggressor, according to the incident report.

“Mr. Collins was stating that the subject on the ground had attacked him,” the incident report states.

Sprouse declined to go into further detail. But arrest warrants in the case state police have video recordings and other evidence from the crime scene that led to Collins being charged with the murder of Jones, the attempted murder of a second man, and the weapons charge.

Collins is being held at the Chester County jail without bond pending a first appearance in court.

The homicide is the first in Chester County in 2019, police records show.

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