Noblesville man charged with reckless homicide in teen's shooting
Police have charged a Noblesville man with reckless homicide and pointing a firearm in the shooting death of a 16-year-old Noblesville girl Sunday night.
Jacob Travis McDaniel, 20, was formally charged Monday for the death of Aubrey Peters, a Noblesville High School junior. Police found Peters with a gunshot wound at McDaniel's home on River Run Place shortly before 11:30 p.m. Sunday. She died at St. Vincent Hospital shortly after she arrived.
During McDaniel's initial court appearance, a bail bondsman rushed a family member from the courtroom. The woman told McDaniel during the hearing, "We're here to support you, no matter what."
According to court records, Aubrey and two young men were at McDaniel's home. He was showing off a shotgun and a handgun. When Aubrey refused to hold the pistol, McDaniel removed the magazine of bullets, aimed at the girl and pulled the trigger. A witness told police Aubrey grabbed her chest, asking, "What just happened?"
Police arrested McDaniel at the scene on preliminary charges of criminal recklessness, a C-felony, and pointing a firearm, a D-felony. The charge was upgraded to reckless homicide after prosecutors reviewed the case Monday.
McDaniel first claimed the gun fell from a table and went off, but later made a video confession to investigators.
Peters was a junior at Noblesville High School, who excelled in her class work. She was loved by her peers and teachers at the high school. Principal Jeff Bryant said it has been a difficult day for everyone.
"It is one of the most upsetting things we've had. We've had other tragedies, but this has hit a lot of people, both adults and students, at the school," Bryant said.
Students began the day with a moment of silence, which classmate Haley Elston said lasted all day.
"It was just, like, very silent and there was no one smiling and, like, it's always happy at our school and everybody gets along. But today it was silent," she said.
Peters was honored in 2011 for her role in the rescue of two young children who had fallen through the ice in Morse Reservoir the year before. She alerted her grandparents and called 911 to help save the two children.
"I was telling 911, 'You have to come quickly, you have to come quickly or they're going to die," Peters told Eyewitness News after the rescue. "At the time, I just thought, 'I have to save them. I don't want them to pass away. I'm not thinking, 'I am going to get an award.'"
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the NPD Criminal Investigation Division at (317) 776-6340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.