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November 19, 2012

‘I Shot Him’: Suspect facing homicide charges in death of Wampum man

NEW CASTLE — An Ellwood City man is facing homicide charges following a shooting in the borough early Saturday.

Ian Christopher Frey, 25, of 205 McKim Way is charged with criminal homicide and first-degree murder in connection with the death of Keith Knox II, 38, of Wampum.

Ellwood City police charged Frey with shooting Knox in a parking lot in the 200 block of North Street shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday.

An autopsy conducted on Knox showed he had been shot four times, police said.

According to a criminal complaint filed with District Judge Jerry Cartwright, police were called and when the first officer arrived, he found Knox’s body on the ground and a vehicle parked next to it.

The officer said the man in the driver’s seat yelled, “I shot him,” several times. The man also told the officer the gun was on the floor of the vehicle.

About this time, two other officers arrived and the man, identified as Frey, was arrested.

Officers who checked Knox found no signs of life. Emergency medical personnel also found no breathing or pulse, police said. It was noted there were three gunshot wounds to Knox’s chest.

Police found a 9 mm Ruger handgun in Frey’s vehicle.

A man approached police, they said, and told officers he was a friend of Knox. He described an altercation between Knox and Frey that had begun in the Hazel Manor Bar at 215 North St., police said. The bar’s owner had broken up the fight, he continued, and the men left the bar.

But outside, the witness told officers, he saw Knox approach Frey’s vehicle, then he heard gunshots and saw Knox fall.

Police said at the station, Frey told them he and the victim had gotten into a fight in the bar and it was broken up. Afterward, Frey said, he went to his car, got in and was about to leave when Knox opened the vehicle’s door and began punching him.

Frey told police he had felt trapped and pulled his gun from his waistband and fired several shots.

The defendant was arraigned later that morning by District Judge Melissa Amodie, who scheduled a preliminary hearing for Nov. 27.

Frey will remain in jail as there is no bond for homicide charges in Pennsylvania.

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