Cold-blooded snake deal ends in gunfire

ball python

Drug-deal shootings are so passé. Let's introduce some cold-blooded reptiles into the equation, shall we?

Here goes: Delaware County authorities are searching for a man from New York City who apparently pulled a gun and shot a guy from Doylestown this afternoon during a botched snake deal in a Ridley Township parking lot.

Details are still sketchy, but Ridley Police Detective Lt. Scott Willoughby says the Doylestown man is in stable condition at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. He apparently brought 20 ball pythons to the Woodlyn Shopping Center parking lot, where he was going to sell the snakes to the New York man for $12,000.

"It ends up the guy that was supposed to buy the snakes shoots him," Willoughby said. "I don't know if he was going to shoot him and take the snakes. Who knows what happened."

The men's names have not been released. The shooter – described as a black male, dressed in black, probably in his early 20s – threw a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver and a Beretta 9mm in the woods, then ditched a car at 2nd and Edgewood.

The snakes are currently in two boxes in Willoughby's office. Or so he believes.

"Supposedly, there are 20 ball pythons in there," he said. Asked if he has peeked inside, Willoughby instantly replied with two words. The first isn't printable, the second is, "No." 

"I don't like snakes," he added. "They're going to stay sealed until we figure out what to do with them."

Anyone with info about the shooting can call 610-532-4000.

UPDATE: Police say the gunman stole the snake dealer's Toyota Rav 4 with the snakes in it and crashed it into a pole. That's why he had to flee on foot. Cops are fairly certain that he is the guy who was supposed to buy the snakes, but they cannot be sure. Apparently, the shooter didn't identify himself to the Doylestown man, so there is a slim possibility that this was just a random carjacking that happened before the prearranged snake deal.

So if you were supposed to buy 20 pythons in a parking lot today but the guy wasn't there, call Ridley police and help them solve this shooting.