A dispute over a winter hat led to a fistfight in a Milton alleyway just before a 24-year-old man was shot and critically injured Sunday afternoon, according to arrest papers filed in district court.
Milton police officers arrested three men accused in the shooting: Ricky Pearson, 22, of Sunbury, Antonio Carpenter, 24, of Highspire, and Delonte Sherrell, 23, of Erie. All three were denied bail this morning by District Judge Michael Diehl.
The victim identified Pearson as the shooter, according to arrest papers filed by officers Jason Engleman and Todd Ulrich.
“Police did speak with the victim briefly who indicated that a ‘Ricky’ was the individual who shot him,” officers wrote in arrest papers, adding that a witness on scene also identified "Ricky" as the shooter.
The victim was shot four times with a .40 caliber handgun as he watched his friend fight off two attackers in the first block of Elm Street, according to arrest papers. He suffered two gunshot wounds to a leg and two to his lower torso. Police applied pressure to the wounds as ambulance personnel arrived, according to arrest papers.
Investigating officers took the suspects into custody within 15 minutes of the shooting, which was reported about 3:40 p.m., according to emergency communications. They were apprehended along Route 405 near The Fence Drive-In, about five miles from the scene.
According to arrest papers, the victim suffered severed arteries in a leg, a broken femur, a hole in his intestine and has a bullet lodged in his spine.
Police have not identified the victim but stated in arrest papers that life-saving measures were ongoing at the time charges were filed this morning.
The cases against each of the three suspects are built around physical evidence including spent bullet casings, the victim’s statement and statements given by five witnesses as well as video surveillance footage that captured the vehicle’s movements, arrest papers show. However, it’s not stated if the video surveillance also captured the fight and subsequent shooting.
According to arrest papers, the victim’s friend, identified only as Witness 1, was hanging out with Carpenter the weekend prior to the shooting and took a black North Face winter hat. Carpenter messaged him stating he wanted it back and came Sunday to an apartment in the first block of Broadway to confront Witness 1, police said.
The witness returned the hat but Carpenter threw punches and argued with him, arrest papers state. The witness and victim forced Carpenter and another man, identified as Sherrell, from the apartment, arrest papers state.
“Carpenter told (Witness 1) this was not over and ‘he would get his,’” the officers wrote in arrest papers.
Witness 1 and the victim left the apartment on Broadway, walked on Long Alley and arrived on the first block of Elm Street when a black Audi pulled up, according to arrest papers.
Carpenter got out of the driver seat and started fighting with Witness 1, police said. The witness told police “he was getting the better of Carpenter” when Sherrell got out and put him in a headlock, according to arrest papers state.
Witness 1 told police he broke free and ran away when he heard gunshots, arrest papers state. The witness told police that he saw a third man, later identified as Pearson, climb back into the car along with Carpenter and Sherrell, arrest papers state.
The suspects fled the scene in a black Audi, first traveling from Milton to Route 15 before turning into Lewisburg, crossing the bridge over the Susquehanna River and turning south on Route 405. They were apprehended one mile south of the bridge by state police.
A second witness one block away on Elm Street heard the gunshots and provided a vehicle description — black Audi — and a license plate number plus a description of two occupants observed as the car drove from Elm to Front Street, according to arrest papers.
A third witness placed the suspected getaway vehicle on Route 15 traveling south toward Lewisburg, police said. A state trooper witnessed the vehicle at Water and Market streets before it turned onto the Susquehanna River bridge, speeding east in the wrong lane before turning south onto Route 405.
The trooper initiated a traffic stop and Pearson, Carpenter and Sherrell were taken into custody, arrest papers state.
“It was observed that a red substance, that appeared to be possible blood spatter, was observed on Carpenter’s white sneaker,” arrest papers state.
Investigating officers collected a bullet fragment and four spent .40-caliber shell casings from the scene of the shooting and interviewed two additional witnesses who each heard the gunshots and overheard the victim identify “Ricky” as the shooter, according to arrest papers.
One of the latter witnesses told police she first overheard arguing and what sounded like someone being struck before the shooting occurred, arrest papers state.
According to arrest papers, surveillance footage from a local business captured the Audi arriving on the scene, traveling east on Broadway and south on Elm just before the shooting.
Pearson, identified by the victim as the shooter, faces 10 criminal counts: attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, riot, possessing instruments of crime, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, simple assault with a deadly weapon and two conspiracy charges.
Police charged Carpenter with seven counts: accomplice to attempted criminal homicide, two conspiracy charged for aggravated assault, riot, accomplice to recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and fleeing police.
Sherrell is charged with six counts: accomplice to attempted criminal homicide, two conspiracy charged for aggravated assault, riot, accomplice to recklessly endangering another person and simple assault.