Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Manhunt launched for Chester Co. man

Judge once said Matthew Rodgers acted like a gangster

- MediaNews Group

A manhunt has been launched for a man that a Chester County judge said acted like a gangster in connection with the shooting of Coatesvill­e man earlier this month.

Wanted is Matthew Rodgers, 25,whose last known address was in Birmingham Township, and also had lived in Downingtow­n. Police said he is armed and extremely dangerous and should not be confronted.

The City of Coatesvill­e Police Department responded on Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:02 p.m. to the area of the 500 block of East Harmony Street in the City of Coatesvill­e for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, Officers located the victim, Dwayne Miller, 22, who was shot once in the chest.

Throughout the investigat­ion it was determined that Rodgers shot Miller in the chest and drove off in his blue BMW which was last seen south on South Siuxth Ave. The victim received surgery and spent well over a week in the intensive care unit.

Police said Rodgers is aware that he is wanted for this incident and that he is also wanted for a state parole violation. Anyone with informatio­n on Rodgers’ whereabout­s should call the City of Coatesvill­e Police Department at 610-384-2300 or anonymousl­y contact the Pennsylvan­ia Crime Stoppers Toll Free at 1-800-4PA-TIPS (8477) or online at https://www.p3tips. com/tipform.aspx?ID=107 All callers to Pennsylvan­ia Crime Stoppers remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward for informatio­n that leads to an arrest, the solving of a crime/cold case or the location of a wanted person/fugitive or missing person.

Charges lodged against Rodgers include criminal attempt homicide, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm prohibited, recklessly endangerin­g another person, possession of an instrument of a crime, possession of marijuana and drug parapherna­lia and simple assault.

In 2015, Rodgers was sentenced to 40 to 80 months in state prison as part of a plea

agreement between his attorney and the prosecutio­n for a shooting at Beaver Creek Elementary School on the west side of Downingtow­n. He was allowed to remain in county prison until he completed his 11th grade program at the prison.

At his sentencing, Common Pleas Judge Patrick Carmody warned Rodgers that he still had a change to set his life straight. He said Rodgers’ “gangster”-like behavior he had earlier criticized urged the youth to continue working toward turning his life around, even as he ordered him to serve time in a state prison.

“You have all the time in the world to change your life,” Carmody told the then 17-yearold Rodgers, who pleaded guilty to charges of felony aggravated assault for shooting and seriously wounding a high school rival during a stand-off outside a Downingtow­n elementary school. “To make a positive thing out of a negative one.”

The incident that led to Rodgers’ arrest occurred around 10 p.m. on Oct. 4 on the grounds of Beaver Creek Elementary School on the west side of Downingtow­n. Two groups — one with Rodgers and his friends from Downingtow­n on a clique called “The Team,” and the other with the shooting victim and two of his friends — met along either side of the school’s driveway to fight over insults exchanged between Rodgers and a friend of the victim.

When the two sides faced off for what he thought would be a fist fight, the victim and his friends saw Rodgers, with whom they had formerly been friendly, pull a firearm out of his waistband. The victim later told police that he had heard two “pops” and saw two flashes from the gun’s barrel before he felt a burning sensation in his leg. He had been shot, the bullet going though his thigh.

The victim, bleeding profusely from his leg, was taken first to Chester County Hospital in West Chester and then to the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvan­ia for possible surgery. Although he was stabilized, doctors said that the gunshot came perilously close to hitting a major artery, according to Deputy District Attorney Thomas Ost-Prisco, who prosecuted the case.

“You are lucky you are not facing a homicide charge here,” Carmody told Rodgers, who nodded his agreement.

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Matthew Rodgers

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