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Prosecutors In Erie County To Review State Police Investigation Of Gun Range Shooting Death

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors in northwestern Pennsylvania are expected to begin a review this week of the state police investigation into a shooting death at a gun range three days before Christmas.

Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri said last week that police investigators were getting all of their reports and videotaped interviews of witnesses to his office, and a review was anticipated during the first week of January, the Erie Times-News reported.

State police said earlier that a man firing shots at the State Gamelands gun range in Greene Township on Dec. 22 began firing at another man and was then shot to death by a third man.

Investigators said their initial investigation indicated that Robert Eppley, 26, of North East, and a 28-year-old Erie man were taking turns firing a newly purchased pistol. Eppley had just fired five rounds when he turned and started firing at the other man, who was standing about 10 feet from him, police said.

A 67-year-old man in a neighboring stall, seeing what was happening, opened fire, shooting Eppely multiple times, police said. Eppley was pronounced dead at the scene. The 67-year-old man was questioned by troopers and later released. The 28-year-old victim was treated for multiple gunshot wounds at an Erie hospital and released.

State police said last week that investigators had been unable to identify any issues between Eppley and his friend. Police said the pair drove to the range in separate vehicles with their girlfriends and all four were taking turns firing the pistol that one of the men had just purchased.

Prosecutors will decide after their review whether any charges are warranted in the case. The gun range was still listed as closed on the Pennsylvania Game Commission's website late last week.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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