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Father Of Kzoo Cop Killer Faces Gun Charges

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(credit: ThinkStock)

(credit: ThinkStock)

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KALAMAZOO (WWJ/AP) – A Kalamazoo man who was in Florida when his son killed a police officer last year has been charged with leaving guns behind for use in the shootout.

Kim Statler is not accused of a direct role in the death of the 35-year-old Officer Eric Zapata, a 10-year veteran of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. But federal prosecutors said Wednesday that he left his home in the hands of two sons, who were ex-convicts and ineligible to have access to guns.

Authorities said the Statler brothers were drinking alcohol and playing video games when they went outdoors and fired their guns.

Zapata was killed during a shootout with Leonard Statler after officers responded to reports of trouble at the house. Statler then killed himself.

His brother pleaded guilty to felony possession of a firearm.

Besides filing charges, the government is seeking to keep 13 firearms that were at Kim Statler’s home. There’s no phone listing for him, and a lawyer isn’t listed yet in court records.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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