At vigil, friends remember Aubrey as "hero, artist, vibrant spir - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

At vigil, friends remember Aubrey as "hero, artist, vibrant spirit"

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Aubrey Peters (2011 photo) Aubrey Peters (2011 photo)
NOBLESVILLE -

Hundreds of people came together Monday night for a Noblesville teenager, called a hero three years ago for saving two young children who were drowning in Morse Reservoir.

The vigil for Aubrey Peters comes a day after her death at the hand of a friend showing off a gun.

With hugs and tears, they gathered in grief - more than a hundred teens, struggling to understand the sudden loss of a friend.

They describe Aubrey Peters as a talented artist, a good student, a dedicated friend and a vibrant spirit taken to soon.

"Dear heavenly Father, let us heal. Let us be strong," Aubrey's boyfriend, Joe Hodson, prayed with the crowd. "It's absolutely insane to think that someone who's meant to change the world and make the world a better place, isn't here anymore."

Hodson and Peters had been friends for years and started dating when he began classes at IU.

He learned of her death when his parents visited his dorm room Monday morning, with tears in their eyes saying, "It's Aubrey. She's gone."

"It hasn't really hit me yet. Doesn't feel like she's gone. Feels like she's going to be back," said Aubrey's best friend, Grace Branham. "She meant so much to me."

Aubrey was shot Sunday night by 20-year-old Jacob McDaniel, who now faces charges of reckless homicide.

Prosecutors say at his home, McDaniel was showing off a handgun and Aubrey said she didn't want to hold the pistol.

Investigators say McDaniel then removed the magazine of bullets, aimed at her and pulled the trigger.

One bullet was still in the cartridge.

A witness told police Aubrey grabbed her chest, asking "what just happened".

"I'm not gonna sit here and say guns are wrong and everything but if you don't know how to use a gun and you're being ignorant with firearms, this is what happens," Hodson said at the vigil. "100 percent negligence, and it's the worst thing that could have possibly happened."

But on the shore of Morse Reservoir Monday night, her friends weren't focused on Aubrey's death, but rather the way in which she lived.

"She was the greatest thing in the entire universe," Hodson said.

And to Stephanie Moore, she was a hero.

"If it wasn't for her, they would not be alive today. Maybe Aubrey's purpose was to help my children and to keep them alive," Moore said.

In March of 2010, Aubrey Peters called 911 when she saw Stephanie's girls, ages 4 and 7, fall through the ice in Morse Reservoir.

Aubrey's grandparents were able to perform CPR and revive the youngest sister while awaiting emergency crews.

Aubrey's role in that rescue earned her an award from the Red Cross for literally helping to save their lives.

"She saved me through the ice and I'm so thankful for that. She means so much to me and I'll miss her so much," said Jessica Moore, now 10 years old.

"Most of us don't get a chance to do that in our lifetime and Aubrey lived a short life, but she got a chance to save two people," Stephanie Moore added.

The girls now call Aubrey their angel. So too, do the many people she touched in just 16 years of life.

"Don't ever let her get out of your head. She's incredible," Hodson told her gathered friends.

When they released balloons in her honor - pink, her favorite color, - many got stuck in a tree.

Her friends, through tears, smiled and said, "Aubrey wasn't ready to go."

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