On the evening of October 27, several rockets hit a crowded outdoor market in central Grozny. About an hour after the attack, Ependiyev went to the scene to cover the carnage for his paper. As Ependiyev was leaving the site, a new round of rockets fell about 200 meters (60 feet) from the bazaar. He suffered severe shrapnel wounds and died in a Grozny hospital the next morning, according to CPJ sources.
In previous weeks, heavy Russian artillery fire had forced Groznensky Rabochy to move its editorial operations to Nazran, in neighboring Ingushetia. Ependiyev was one of two correspondents who remained in Grozny to cover the Russian military campaign against Islamist militants in Chechnya. Until his death, the reporter had been making the dangerous trek between Grozny and Nazran weekly to file stories.