No arrests made 1 month after man 'accidentally' shot, killed in Matthews

A month after Jonathan Swierski, 20, was shot and killed, his girlfriend of two years is still in disbelief. 

"Time's just kind of standing still," said Lacey Horne. "I just feel kind of like a zombie, you know?"

Horne says Jonathan was the type of person who would literally give the shirt off his back to a homeless person who was cold because "he cared about other people more than he cared about himself."

"I love him and I miss him," said Horne. "I just want to hear his voice."

Horne was with Jonathan the night he was killed. She says she ran to a friend's apartment to get help when she heard a gunshot. She says she did not hear what happened.

"I'm f-----g scared," said the 911 caller. "Oh my God. I can't believe I did this s---t. I shot him on accident."

Jonathan's death was ruled a homicide from a shotgun blast to the chest. The Swierski family told FOX 46 that police told them Jonathan wanted to help a friend who was being threatened. A fight was about to go down over a woman. Jonathan came to this playground inside the Paces Pointe apartment complex around 1 a.m. on July 6. 

One of the friends who came with Jonathan apparently had a shotgun and told police he fired the fatal round "on accident" when he was "hit" by another person.

"I don't know how I pulled the trigger," the caller says in the frantic 911 call. "He hit me. F-----g off. Oh my God!"

In North Carolina, pointing a gun at someone is a crime. Still, a month later, police have not made any arrests. 

"Those actions had consequences," said Horne. "And I think the shooter should be held accountable for his actions 'cause you can't just walk free after killing somebody."

"Even if it was an accident like he claims?," asked FOX 46 reporter Matt Grant.

"Even if it was an accident," said Horne. "Your actions still have consequences."

Horne traveled to the Paces Pointe apartments with the shooter, who she says was a friend. Since her boyfriend's death, she says she has cut off all contact.


"Friend or not someone died who didn't deserve to," she said, in an emotional interview. 

FOX 46 asked Charlotte criminal defense attorney Brad Smith, who has no connection to this case, to review the 911 call and weigh in on why he believes charges weren't filed.

"There's a large difference between what's a reckless act and what's an accidental act," said Smith "So, we don't prosecute people, we don't hold people criminally culpable, for acts and circumstances that are nearly accidental."

Matthews police turned the case over to the district attorney's office. Police will not say if they identified and questioned everyone who was present at the playground during the shooting. 

Smith says the DA's office will be asking if the gun was intentionally pointed at someone - which would be a crime - and the circumstances of how it went off. He says if the shooter's gun was not aimed at anyone, the person who "hit" him could be charged.

"Is it reckless, is it in conscious disregard for the safety of others, to go and push or assault...a person holding a gun in an area where there's a lot of other people?," Smith asked. "I think there's a case to be made that that is."

For Jonathan's family, their case is an urn, resting on their mantle. 

"He's dead and there's no accountability for his death," said Jonathan's father, Scott. "Like it's worthless. Like he's garbage. Like he means nothing."

The DA's office says it could take up to three months to review the case.