The District Attorney’s Office made a ruling on a fatal shooting that happened on State Game Lands.
No charges will be filed, but the circumstances surrounding the incident remain a mystery.
Here is a look at what led the district attorney to this decision.
The district attorney has decided that the December shooting was a reasonable use of deadly force.
This comes as the victim in this case served as the original shooter.
On December 22nd, 2020, a group of four friends made way to the Pennsylvania Game Lands in Greene Township to test out a recently purchased Beretta nine millimeter handgun.
What is still unknown is why 26-year-old Robert Eppley Jr. Turned the gun on one of his friends who is now identified as 28-year-old Jeremy Patterson.
Eppley hit Patterson five times with shots.
“From the statements given by all the parties, there were no arguments, there was no animosity. These two individuals were longtime friends. There was nothing to indicate that this was in retaliation of something else,” said Jack Daneri, Erie County District Attorney.
Daneri explained that a 67-year-old male was to the left of the group and had witnessed what happened and then shot Eppley.
“Obviously there was a lot of commotion and screaming. He opened fire on Mr. Eppley I believe five times what would be twice on the right side of Mr. Eppley’s rib cage and three times in the back,” said Daneri.
Investigators said that the shooter is well aware of what he had done, however at the time he thought it was best to protect others.
“He obviously went through a traumatic event that not a lot of human beings go through. Unfortunately he did, so he is doing as good as he can I guess after dealing with a situation like that,” said CPL. Chris Wingard from the Pennsylvania State Police.
Daneri explained that after seeing the police reports, the suspects statement, and the coroner report it was determined to be reasonable for the 67-year-old to use deadly force against Eppley.
Due to that finding, no criminal charges are being filed in this case.
During the press conference, the district attorney announced that a toxicology report was conducted on Eppley.
This showed that Eppley had a blood alcohol level that was point 21, well above the legal limit of point.
There were no other substances of note to report in Eppley’s system.