Driver recounts shooting, $10,000 reward offered

Posted: June 18, 2007

Chris Pearo grew up in South Philly, served a stint in the Pennsylvania National Guard, and began driving for The Inquirer and Daily News about 12 years ago.

But not until 3:40 this morning had someone pointed a loaded gun at him and pulled the trigger.

His only real action with the Guard was during the blizzard of 1993, when nearly three feet fell.

This morning, he stopped to drop off papers at a lock box, where they are stashed for merchants to pick up later.

"Two guys walked up on me and said, 'Give me the money,' and I said, 'Here you go,'" he recalled.

"Just the one kid had the gun, stuck it in my belly."

The only cash he had was change left from a $20 bill after buying coffee at a WaWa.

"That's it?" the robbers asked, Pearo recounted.

Pearo offered them his apron, too.

The gun went off, wounding Pearo in the neck.

Philadelphia Media Holdings, the parent company of The Inquirer and Daily News, is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of that triggerman.

After being treated at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and released, Pearo was interviewed by Southwest Detectives, who had him go through mugshots.

But all Pearo said he really remembers was the gun.

"Silver and oval ... that's all I really saw," he said, smiling, back at the papers' Conshohocken offices just after 11 a.m.

"Everybody's looking at me weird, because I'm laughing," he said. "It's my defense mechanism to not stress the hell out about it. You gotta joke about it, look at the funny side of things. Why be upset about things you can't control?"

"I'm living. You gotta go with the flow, you know."

Brian Tierney, publisher of The Inquirer, said he decried the senselessness of the shooting and robbery of Pearo.

"This is a complicated business. ... We rely on these drivers who work tough hours filling these boxes. ... It breaks my heart that someone who is working for us would be shot for $15.

Tierney said he talked to Pearo and was pleased that he was able to come home after the shooting.

"I said to him that I am delighted that he was not seriously injured," Tierney said. "I also expressed my thanks for all the hard work he does."

To be eligible for the reward, call to the Crime Commission Tipline, at 215-546-8477 (215-546-TIPS) and receive a code number from the operator. All callers will remain anonymous.


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

Staff writer Vernon Clark contributed to this article.

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