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Saltsburg man accused of New Year's Eve slaying of Indiana County gun shop owner

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By Joe Napsha and Nicole Chynoweth

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, 3:33 p.m.

An Indiana County man is accused of the New Year's Eve slaying of a gun shop owner near Tunnelton, according to a report from state police.

Jack O. Edmundson Jr., 43, of Saltsburg, is charged with criminal homicide, criminal attempt — arson and aggravated assault.

Edmundson is implicated in the death of Frank Petro, 62, according to a police report. Authorities have not confirmed if Edmundson is the person who was found wounded at the scene and taken to a Pittsburgh hospital.

As of Wednesday morning, Edmundson was not being held in the Indiana County Jail, and a court docket listing the charges was not available on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania Web Portal.

The victim, Frank Petro, 62, was shot and killed in his store — Frank's Gun & Taxidermy Shop — Tuesday afternoon, according to the Indiana County district attorney.

Petro was shot multiple times, said Jerry L. Overman, Indiana County's deputy coroner. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

He declined to release further details, saying it's “early in an ongoing investigation.”

Police said a news conference will be held on Thursday to provide additional details of the incident.

In November, the Tribune-Review reported that Edmundson was charged with unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, simple assault, disorderly conduct and harassment for allegedly posing as a police officer and handcuffing a teenager who allegedly threw corn at his car.

According to a court docket, the case was bound over for trial. and Edmundson's formal arraignment in the Court of Common Pleas of Indiana County is scheduled for Jan. 28.

According to United States Bankruptcy Court documents, Edmundson filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with wife Amy Edmundson on Feb. 28, 2005. They were granted a discharge June 28, 2005.

Petro had been in business for more than 30 years.

Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on hand Tuesday to investigate the death inside the licensed gun shop in Conemaugh Township.

State police towed a GMC Yukon from the property, about a quarter mile from the Tunnelton Bridge, just across the Conemaugh River from Westmoreland County.

Capt. David Bruzda of the Tunnelton Volunteer Fire Department said another fireman had to kick in a door to gain entry to the shop because all the doors were locked.

Bruzda said he helped paramedics get a wounded man out of the home, which includes the business.

Bruzda said the wounded man had to be driven by ambulance to a Pittsburgh hospital because snowy conditions precluded a helicopter landing in the field behind the firehouse.

Those who knew him said Petro was a good friend.

“He would help you out any way he could,” said Kevin Nagg, whose Tunnelton Inn tavern is about one-quarter mile from Petro's shop.

Nagg's brother, Jeff Nagg, said that Petro gave his customers “a fair deal and fair price.”

Bruzda said Petro was a supporter of the fire department.

“He'd help you out anyway he could,” Bruzda said.

 

 
 


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