Prosecutors ruled a fatal shootout at State Game Lands.
No charges will be brought, but the circumstances of the incident remain a mystery.
Here’s a look at what led the prosecutor to make that decision.
The prosecutor has ruled that the December shooting was a sensible use of lethal force.
This is because the victim served as the original shooter in this case.
On December 22, 2020, a group of four friends headed to the Pennsylvania Game Lands in Greene Township to test out a recently purchased Beretta nine-millimeter pistol.
What is still unknown is why 26-year-old Robert Eppley Jr. pointed the gun at one of his friends, now identified as 28-year-old Jeremy Patterson.
Eppley shot Patterson five times.
“According to the statements of all parties, there was no argument, no hostility. These two people were long-time friends. There was nothing to suggest this was retaliation for anything else, ”said Jack Daneri, district attorney for Erie County.
Daneri explained that a 67-year-old man was to the left of the group and saw what happened and then shot Eppley.
“Obviously there was a lot of excitement and screaming. He opened fire on Mr. Eppley. I think five times as much as twice on the right side of Mr. Eppley’s chest and three times in the back, ”Daneri said.
Investigators said the shooter knew exactly what he was doing, but at the time he thought it was best to keep others safe.
“He obviously went through a traumatic event that not many people go through. Unfortunately he did, so he is doing the best he can after dealing with such a situation, ”said CPL. Chris Wingard of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Daneri said after seeing the police reports, the statement of suspicion and the coroner’s report, it was reasonable for the 67-year-old to use lethal force against Eppley.
Based on this finding, no criminal charges will be filed in this case.
During the press conference, the prosecutor announced that a toxicological report was being drawn up on Eppley.
This indicated that Eppley had a blood alcohol level that was point 21, well above the legal limit of point.
There were no other notable substances to report in Eppley’s system.