A teenager hailed by her community as a hero and a 3-year-old child were killed in accidental shootings in the Indianapolis, Indiana area within a two-day period.
According to WISH-TV, 20-year-old Jacob Travis McDaniel was charged with reckless homicide and pointing a firearm in connection with the death of 16-year-old Aubrey Peters Sunday night.
Court documents state that the two were in his house in nearby Noblesville along with two other men when McDaniel asked Peters if she wanted to shoot a semiautomatic handgun he was holding. When she refused McDaniel “dropped the magazine from the gun, pointed it at Aubrey, took the safety off, and pulled the trigger,” allegedly believing the weapon was not loaded. Peters died at a local hospital from a gunshot to the chest.
The Indianapolis Star reported that one of the men in the house, Dajuan Williams, told authorities that McDaniel tried to get the rest of the group to say the gun went off after falling from a table. The suspect is in jail with a $25,000 bond, and is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing. If convicted on the reckless homicide charge, he could spend between two and eight years in prison.
Peters was honored in 2011 by the local chapter of the American Red Cross for alerting both authorities and a relative when two younger girls, 7-year-old Jessica Moore and her 4-year-old sister Sydney, fell through an ice patch into a local reservoir. Peters’s call to emergency dispatchers was later featured on the television show Panic 911.
Her death came a day after an unidentified Indianapolis boy reportedly shot himself by mistake after pulling a gun off a kitchen counter in his father’s home. WTHR-TV identified the father as Nicholas Gulling. Police say Gulling, the boy’s mother and his 4-year-old sister were all in the home when the shooting was reported around 6 p.m. Saturday night. The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital from a gunshot to the head.
According to the Star, police have interviewed the boy’s family and do not consider them to be suspects.
Watch WISH’s report on Peters’ death, aired on Monday, below.
Jessica Moore, then 7, and her sister Sydney, then 4