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Indiana County man charged in slaying

| Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 11:33 p.m.
Jack Edmundson is facing several charges, including homicide and arson. The incident occurred about 2 p.m. Tuesday inside Frank's Gun and Taxidermy Shop at 59 Hogue Drive, near Tunnelton.

Charges have been filed in the New Year's Eve slaying of a gun shop owner in the Indiana County village of Tunnelton.

Jack O. Edmundson Jr., 43, of Saltsburg is charged with criminal homicide, attempted arson and aggravated assault in the death of Frank S. Petro, according to Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty.

Petro, 62, was shot and killed in his store — Frank's Gun & Taxidermy Shop — on Tuesday afternoon. An autopsy showed Petro suffered multiple gunshot wounds, said Indiana Deputy Coroner Jerry L. Overman Jr.

According to state police, surveillance video showed Edmundson enter the gun shop and remove a gun from a case. Seconds later, Petro emerged from a back room, and a confrontation ensued. Petro swiped at the gun and Edmundson, while backing up, fired two shots into the store owner's upper body.

The affidavit says Edmundson then poured black powder around the store and sprayed something out of a plastic bottle onto the floor. At one point, Petro got up and again confronted Edmundson. The shop owner was shot again, this time in the head or face.

Edmundson was wounded during the scuffle and is being treated in a Pittsburgh hospital, according to the district attorney.

Police said a news conference will be held on Thursday afternoon in the district attorney's office in Indiana.

In November, 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 he accused of throwing corn at his car.

On Wednesday, at the Tunnelton Inn, about 1,000 feet from the gun shop, owner Kevin Nagg said Petro was a good friend “who would help you out any way he could.”

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@tribweb.com.

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