Westmoreland Co. Man Arrested After Fatally Shooting Friend

HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – One man has been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in Westmoreland County early Tuesday morning.

According to police, the shooting happened inside a home in the 1300-block of Swede Hill Road in Hempfield Township.

The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Fidel Omar Velez. He was taken to Westmoreland Hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was pronounced dead around 2:22 a.m.

Eric James Fennell, of Greensburg, has been arrested in connection with the shooting.

Fennell initially claimed Velez accidentally shot himself, but lateradmitted to pulling the trigger. However, he told police the shooting was an accident.

While being led into the police station, Fennell said Velez was one of his best friends. He also apologized for the pain Velez’s family is going through.

Fennell is being charged with criminal homicide.

Police returned to the home Tuesday afternoon after discovering a marijuana growing operation inside the house.

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