Tuesday, February 25, 2014

PA: Former Police Officer Ordered to Stand Trial for Murder of Gun Shop Owner

Entrance to Frank's Gun Shop by Ashley Hardway

In this highly unusual case in Tunnelton, PA, the action was all caught on video.  The gun shop owner, Frank Petro, knew the former officer, Jack O. Edmundson.  Family members said that Edmundson had been extorting Petro by impersonating a state lottery officer.  The scam was that Edmundson claimed that Petro's winnings were fraudulent, and that he would jail Petro unless Petro paid him the winnings.   Petro, as a highly regulated gun shop owner, was particularly vulnerable.  Even an accusation might have resulted in the BATFE pulling his license and livelihood.   When Petro's brother read a newspaper article where Edmundson was prosecuted for impersonating an officer, Petro contacted a lawyer to see about recovering the $130,000 that he had already paid Petro.

It was at this point that the attack occurred.  From triblive.com:
The video footage shows that Edmundson entered the shop, reached behind the counter and grabbed a small-caliber gun that he used to shoot Petro following a brief argument.
The attack seems to have been premeditated.  Edmundson was wearing what appeared to be blue latex gloves under his winter gloves.  After shooting Petro, Edmundson is seen to be spreading black powder and an accelerant that he brought with him, around the shop and  over Petro's body.   But Petro still had fight left in him.  From indianagazette.com:

“He lays there three minutes and appears to be unresponsive,” before he tried to rise, “and the video clearly shows Mr. Edmundson kicks him in the face and knocks his glasses off,” Valyo said.

The men went to a hand-to-hand scuffle and Edmundson seemed to try to shoot again, but the gun apparently malfunctioned before “he cleared it,” Valyo said.

The fight went on several minutes “until Mr. Petro started to lose his strength. They fell behind the display case,” Valyo said. “And although you can’t see the muzzle flash, it appears this is the time Mr. Edmundson was shot.”
Edmundson manges to prevail over the gun shop owner, who had been shot twice and was 62 years old. He then shoots Petro twice more to finish him off.
From triblive.com:
State police believe Edmundson's plan was to set fire to the store, but he was shot in his right thigh during the second scuffle with Petro and telephoned 911 for help, according to the criminal complaint.
Edmundson might have got away with the crime, but after he was shot, he could no longer set fire to the gun shop. He claimed that he had to shoot Petro in self defense, but the video showed a different story. The story did not say if the video was uploaded to an off site storage facility, but the story would be a good advertisement for such a capability.

The shooting occurred on 31 December of last year. At the preliminary hearing,  on Friday, Edmundson was in a wheelchair.
After listening to about an hour of testimony, Indiana District Judge Guy Haberl ordered Edmundson to stand trial on counts of first-degree murder, arson and aggravated assault.
Incredibly, an anti-rights blogger at newtrajectory.blogspot.com is claiming that if only Frank Petro, the gun shop owner, had not had any guns, he would have been better off. They spout the usual false talking points:
Every life is precious, but multiple studies show that a gun is far, far more likely to cost you your life than to protect you, as Mr. Petro and others have found out.
Frank Petro did not survive the attack, but by fighting back, he started the chain of events that resulted in the arrest of Edmundson, and will likely remove a very dangerous predator from society.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

The police tell you NOT to get out of the car when pulled-over!
So why is this reporter asking him why he didn't get out of the car?

Dash-Cam Video Clears NJ Man in Violent Traffic Stop

Feb. 25, 2014

The two officers pulled out guns.

Jeter didn't get out of the car. He was afraid.

"There was a cop on my left with a gun pointed at me, a cop on the other side with a shotgun," he said.

The video that was not initially turned over -- from the dashboard of a second police cruiser -- shows a third officer coming from the opposite direction, crossing the median and striking Jeter's car. That incident was not mentioned in any police reports related to the arrest.

As soon as prosecutors saw the second video, they dismissed all of the charges against Jeter.

A grand jury has since indicted two Bloomfield police officers -- Orlando Trinidad and Sean Courter -- on various charges, including conspiracy and official misconduct.

Trinidad was also charged with aggravated assault. Both officers have pleaded not guilty.

The third officer pleaded guilty to tampering.