Chester man charged with shooting York County teen during ‘drug ripoff gone bad’

Austin Reed Pearson
Austin Reed Pearson York County Sheriff's Office

A Chester County man has been charged after a teen was told to “freeze,” then shot in the back over the weekend.

York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson called it “drug ripoff gone bad.”

Austin Reed Pearson, 22, of Great Falls, was charged Monday night in the Sunday shooting of the teen on Adelaide Court, near the Catawba River, according to police and jail records.

Pearson is charged with attempted murder, attempted armed robbery, criminal conspiracy and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. He is being held without bond at the York County jail.

The shooting happened with a small-caliber weapon, Tolson said. It could have been a death if a larger weapon was used, he said.

“We could have had another murder,” Tolson said. “This was a drug deal gone bad, but this one was a drug ripoff gone bad.”

The weapon used in the shooting likely was a reason the victim survived, Tolson said.

The incident report states that the victim had planned to deliver opioids, but that he was shot during a robbery of the drugs.

Tolson said that officers frequently see the effects of drug violence.

“We have so many people out there with drugs and with guns, and they end up with shootings and murders,” Tolson said. “It is vicious cycle of drugs and guns.”

The teen victim was found by deputies around 1 a.m. Sunday at Piedmont Medical Center, where a private person drove him to get medical help.

The victim was shot in the back of the shoulder after the “Freeze!’ command was yelled out, police said.

Sheriff’s office detectives are seeking a second suspect in the shooting, said Tolson and Capt. Carson Neely.

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald

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