NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A man was charged with reckless homicide Monday following the fatal shooting of an Indiana teenager hailed as a hero in 2010 when she helped save two children who fell into an icy reservoir.
Aubrey Peters, 16, was pronounced dead at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis late Sunday, hours after she was shot in the chest inside a Noblesville home, police said.
Jacob Travis McDaniel, 20, of Noblesville was charged with reckless homicide and pointing a firearm. No attorney was listed in court records for McDaniel as of Monday evening and no one answered a call to McDaniel's house, where the shooting occurred.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Peters was at the house with McDaniel and two others. One of the witnesses, Dajuan Williams, told police that McDaniel tried to get Peters to hold the gun, but she refused.
Williams said McDaniel dropped the magazine from the gun, took the safety off and pulled the trigger. A bullet struck Peters, who clutched her chest and said, "What just happened?" Williams said in the affidavit.
Williams told police McDaniel asked everyone to tell authorities the gun fell off the table and went off. The affidavit says McDaniel admitted pulling the trigger, thinking the gun was empty.
Peters was a seventh-grader when she saved two young girls who had fallen through the ice on Morse Reservoir in 2010.
Peters told investigators she heard the screams of 7-year-old and 4-year-old sisters and alerted her grandparents and called 911. One girl reached shore safely, but Peters' grandfather pulled the other out and resuscitated her.
Peters told WISH-TV at the time that seeing the girls struggle in the water was "terrifying."
"It was like watching someone die, and I hated it," she said.
Red Cross spokeswoman Ann Gregson on Monday recalled honoring Peters and lamented her death.
"She stood out — they always do when they're younger," Gregson told WRTV. "Any time there is a senseless death, it just breaks your heart."
Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com