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Store employee charged in shooting of suspect

Shooting of suspect at Beasley Power Equipment, April 23, 2015.
Listen to the 911 Call in the shooting case | Play


Updated May 15, 4:30 p.m.

A Taylorsville store employee is facing two felony charges after he shot a larceny suspect last month as the car carrying the three suspects left his store's parking lot.

The charges followed an attempted robbery at Beasley Power Equipment on Hwy. 16 South in Taylorsville. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon, April 23, 2015. (To listen to the 911 call from the incident, click on the link above the photos. If you are on a mobile device, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and tap "Switch to Desktop Version" to find the audio link.)

The incident occurred about 4:15 pm on April 23, said Chief Dennis James of the Taylorsville Police Department. James said Bobby Dean Pearson entered the store and stayed a few minutes. Pearson then grabbed a chainsaw and ran out of the store and entered a waiting car. The police chief said two other men were waiting in the car: Marshell Scott Evans and Jonathan Andrew Akers. All are from Morganton.

Christopher Beasley, age 27, son of Beasley Power Equipment's owners, came out of the store and fired two shots at the suspects' car as it traveled through the Beasley parking lot. Det. Sgt. Lisa Johnson said the other round struck the car's steering wheel. One round struck Evans in the head, said James.

The vehicle, described as a 2009 VW Jetta in the police report, traveled out of the parking lot and down a short way on Commercial Park Ave., stopping between the Alexander County Sheriff's Office and CVCC-Alexander Center for Education. Chief James said Pearson exited the car and then got into the driver's seat, moving the injured Evans over into another seat. The three suspects then drove out Commerical Park Ave. and turned onto Industrial Blvd. They then turned onto Fifth Ave. SW and then right onto NC 16 South. Officers stopped the suspects' car on NC 16 South, immediately past the US 64 overpass. 

The injured suspect (Evans, who is 33 years of age) was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the head.

Pearson, 50, and Akers, 34, were charged with felony larceny and placed in custody under a $30,000 secured bond. 

Evans was still in hospitalized on Friday, May 15, at Carolinas Medical Center, according to Det. Sgt. Lisa Johnson of the Taylorsville Police.

The Alexander County Sheriff's Office and N.C. State Highway Patrol assisted in the investigation.

UPDATE: Taylorsville Police Department officers, after referring with the District Attorney's Office, charged Christopher Beasley on Friday, May 15, with two felony charges: assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and shooting into an occupied vehicle. He turned himself in on the morning of May 15 at the Alexander County Detention Center.

Captain Douglas Bowman of the Taylorsville Police Dept. told The Times that Beasley was charged because he was the aggressor, as evidence shows the suspects were fleeing the scene. (Store exterior security camera video of the shooting was released May 15 and is shown above.)

Bowman noted that Beasley had a valid concealed carry weapon permit, but those with a concealed permit are held to a higher standard regarding use of firearms. 

"He didn't consider the backdrop," said Det. Sgt. Johnson. She explained that the time of day, about 3:45 p.m., was a busy time, with the Walmart shopping center in the direction of one shot Beasley fired, and the Advance Auto Parts parking lot in the direction of the other shot.

Johnson added that Beasley comes from a good family and the situation is unfortunate, but there are consequences for such actions.

Christopher Beasley was placed under a $15,000 secured bond (total for the two charges) on May 15.


Visitor Comments

Submitted By: ShawnSubmitted: 5/20/2015
Our legal system is really sad!!! They should've been working jobs like the rest of us decent citizens! I believe a lot of us would've done the same thing! If you want to steal from hard working people or break into home then be prepared for the repercussions.

Submitted By: Daniel LittleSubmitted: 5/18/2015
We have a justice system ... and now, the shooter will face much heavier charges than the shoplifters, as well he should. Until Alexander County can rise above the mindset evidenced by some of the comments on this story, it will continue it's failure to progress.

Submitted By: charleySubmitted: 5/16/2015
I don't feel he should've been charged at all a person has a right to defend their property. The way the system works the crooks and thugs have more rights than honest hard working people ,if a person knows they will get shot they probably want break the law

Submitted By: Sammy JoSubmitted: 5/16/2015
Yep. . sounds about right for this messed up world we live in. let's praise the wrong doer. and punish the one who is trying to protect what is his.. punishment needs to go back to medival. times. u steal. u get your hands cut off. . bet that would stop a lot of this junk. People. get those blinders off your eyes. you are punishing the wrong one here. DUH!!!!! heres ya sign.

Submitted By: Don HendersonSubmitted: 5/15/2015
If they brought back Public hanging on the town square, people would stop being so Stupid and breaking the Law.

Submitted By: AnonimousSubmitted: 5/15/2015
Wow. $30,000 bond for theft and only $15,000 bond for assault with a deadly weapon? I'm not saying that stealing was wrong but I think the bond should fit the crime.

Submitted By: Sherri McIntoshSubmitted: 5/15/2015
I understand why it was dangerous to shoot in the direction of Walmart or Advance Auto Parts but with that being said it's a darn shame that a person now days can't defend themselves or their property against thugs, robbers or ect ... without being charged themselves... Maybe if possible he should have aimed for the tires..

Submitted By: scrappinincognito Submitted: 5/15/2015
A business owner should be allowed to protect his property, just as a home owner should also be allowed to protect him or herself. I strongly disagree with these charges for Mr. Beasley. Charge the criminals, not the citizen protecting his property.

Submitted By: Submitted: 5/15/2015
I agree that once the thief had the chainsaw, he was armed. And there were three of them. Yes, I know people with concealed weapons permits are held to a higher standard, but shouldn't all of us, including thieves, also be?

Submitted By: T ClarkSubmitted: 5/15/2015
I don't think Beasley should get charged!!! He was protecting his property his family are great citizens of the community.I think it sucks that a person gets charged for trying to protect their property & family if it was the other way around the criminal would get a slap on the wrist.I hope & PRAY that Mr.Beasley can get justice & receive no charges or just probation. And for the thief s I don't care what happens to u all except get locked up. Wishing Mr.Beasley the BEST OF LUCK & SENDING U PRAYERS.yours truly Tammy Clark

Submitted By: Brenda HuntSubmitted: 5/15/2015
I hate there was a theft here but the owner should have never have shot at the man really there was no armed robbery here and the owner could have hit an innocent by stander I hope they throw the book at him he was way to trigger happy , people like him is what gives gun owners a bad rap.

Submitted By: candySubmitted: 5/15/2015
Beyond pissed with the charges. ...where is the justice here? This will give every criminal a right to come and steal and runaway!!!!

Submitted By: Floyd FoxSubmitted: 4/27/2015
I hate that the thief got shot in the head, but the fact of the matter is if he hadn't been involved in stealing someone else's property it wouldn't have happened to begin with! I hate a thief and people who steal other people's property need more severe punishments than they currently get because they just go out and do it again after the punishment the courts give to them! That's just like violent crimes like rape! If the law gave a mandatory life sentence for that you can rest assured that incidents of rape would drop like a rock! Same with stealing! If punishments were severe with a mandatory 10 year sentence for larceny or breaking & entering you would see those crimes drop substantially also! Like I said, I hate the thief got shot in the head, but if the entire bunch of thieves hadn't been stealing nobody would have gotten shot at all! I'm not sorry for feeling that way because they could be making a honest living like most people instead of being a thieves!

Submitted By: tedSubmitted: 4/27/2015
If you want to lead a life of crime, be willing to suffer the consequences. Too bad he didn't get the other two. Criminals will learn, one way or another. I'm sorry, but really can't feel any sympathy for the criminal in this case.

Submitted By: yankeeb4Submitted: 4/27/2015
Maybe if more of these thugs got shot we wouldn't have all these crimes. I think he was right to shot that thug.

Submitted By: AnitaSubmitted: 4/27/2015
Can't say he wasn't armed he had a chain saw.

Submitted By: Sarah MingusSubmitted: 4/25/2015
Thanks to theses officers for keeping us safe. Thank God for keeping you safe.

Submitted By: omarSubmitted: 4/25/2015
I feel the shooter over reacted and unlawfully over stepped his rights and never considered any by standers such as kids. a wife. mother father all of which could have been his very own for a saw. Was that saw worth all of what he did not stop to consider. I feel he should pay according to the law. We are not living in the wild west and no one should be allowed to act as such.

Submitted By: Vickey CornelisonSubmitted: 4/24/2015
An employee shot someone in the head over the theft of a chainsaw??? Really? I imagine the taxpayers will now be paying the cost of the treatment and recovery (if the suspect survives) of a VERY minor theft. Not a great cost vs benefit ratio IMHO.

Submitted By: Rose JonesSubmitted: 4/23/2015
I commend the officers who had a part in taking action so quickly to make sure of the safety of the citizens of Alexander County, my home county.

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