- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania man jailed on a charge of criminal homicide tells reporters the shooting of his “best friend” was an accident.

Thirty-two-year-old Eric Fennell, of Hempfield Township, made those comments after his arraignment Tuesday on the charge filed in the death of 27-year-old Fidel Velez.

State police say Velez, of Southwest Greensburg, died less than two hours after he was shot in the chest at Fennell’s home about 12:45 a.m.

Police say Fennell first told investigators Velez shot himself, then said he accidentally shot Velez while the victim was manipulating the gun’s slide while Fennell held it.

A district judge ordered Fennell jailed without bond after arraigning him.

Fennell told reporters his sympathy goes out to Velez’s family and says, “If I could trade places with him, I would.”

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