Aaron Byers, 19, was arrested on Saturday for allegedly accidentally killing his girlfriend during an attempted robbery gone wrong in the small town of Shelby, North Carolina.
WSOC-TV reports that Byers originally told police that his girlfriend, 17-year-old Hannah Bickley, was shot when the two were held-up at gunpoint while dropping off money for a friend. Byers called police around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning to report an armed robbery and shooting.
Authorities later found out that Byers was the perpetrator of the robbery, accidentally firing the fatal shot while fighting over the gun with one of the men he was attempting to rob. He was arrested around 10:30 p.m. Saturday on charges of murder, attempted armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Bickley was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police do not believe Byers intentionally shot Bickley. WCNC reports that police say it will be difficult to prove it accidental if Byers does not admit to the shooting. They also report it will not be classified as “accidental” if it took place during the commission of a felony.
Byers, allegedly an affiliate of the Bloods Gang, was serving probation for a series of felony breaking and entering charges he was convicted of December of 2013. In July of last year both Byers and Bickley were arrested on marijuana and resistance charges. The court ordered Bickley to stay away from Byers after the arrest.
Brian Bickley, her uncle, told WSOC-TV that Hannah was a good kid who got mixed up with the wrong person. Bickley’s family did not want her involved with Byers due to his “violent criminal past.”
“We did everything we could to try to get some separation between those two,” her uncle said. Hannah Bickley was expected to graduate from Cherryville High School in the next few weeks, she had a dream of becoming a nurse.
"She loved helping people,” her uncle said. “I know where she is at. She is with the Lord and I know I’ll get to see her again,”
Byers’ mother spoke to a local news station and apologized to the Bickley family for the “terrible accident.” She told them Sunday would have been their one-year-anniversary.
His probable cause hearing is set for June 3.