Iron Range man charged with shooting his brother

Robert James Cope
Robert James Cope(Northern News Now)
Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 12:52 PM CDT
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VIRGINIA, MN. (Northern News Now) - A Virginia man has been charged after shooting his own brother.

Robert James Cope, 30, was charged with several felonies including second-degree attempted murder.

Authorities say on July 8 at approximately 10:20 a.m. officers were dispatched to a shooting at a residence of 9th Street South in Virginia.

Law enforcement was informed that Cope had shot his brother in the head.

The person who called police said Cope was also still on scene trying to hug his brother.

When authorities arrived, the door to the residence swung open and they ordered Cope out of the house.

It was stated he had blood on numerous parts of his body.

Officers then went to the second floor of the residence to find Cope’s brother lying on the floor of a bedroom with blood near his head.

He was barely breathing and unresponsive.

Authorities say Cope’s parents were also in the room.

A Ruger 9MM was found in the hallway with what appeared to be blood on the back of the frame with hair stuck in it.

The magazine had six un-shot bullets as well.

According to officers, they heard Cope say, “After I went in the bathroom, I came back out, and then all of a sudden, I had a gun,” and “I came out of the bathroom when I came to, I had a gun coming back from the firing of what happened.”

Cope was transported to a local hospital and then transferred to the jail.

During transport, an officer heard him say, “I woke up from a dream and was told to shoot my brother.”

In a statement to officers, their mother stated she was downstairs at the time the shooting happened. When she heard the shot she said she ran upstairs and found Cope over his brother, who was bleeding.

Their father then came up the stairs and called 911.

In the last 10 years, Cope has had three felony convictions for threats of violence and a felony conviction for domestic assault.

If convicted, Cope faces over 70 years behind bars for his current charges.

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