HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (TCD) -- The man accused of shooting his 18-year-old girlfriend in October will not face charges after the District Attorney called the incident "ill-fated."
According to WSPA-TV, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a shooting call on Conservative Lane in Valley Hill. The victim, Rachel Buchanan, was transported to a local hospital where she died.
District Attorney Andrew Murray released new information last week about Buchanan’s death and the night it occurred. WSPA reports Buchanan and her boyfriend, Chris Shields Jr., went to another couple’s home down the road and Buchanan realized she left her phone charger at her house.
She reportedly walked back to her house with the other woman. When they left, the men grabbed their guns because they were concerned about a black panther thought to be roaming the area.
According WLOS-TV, which cites Murray’s statement, Buchanan and the other woman "spontaneously devised an ill-fated plan to play a prank on their respective boyfriend and fiancé," which involved throwing rotten eggs at the men. The two women were quietly laughing as they hid outside the house, and the men reportedly heard "what they perceived as a growl and stick breaking down the hill from where they were standing."
The men "also saw a dark figure and perceived the figure to be a threat."
WLOS reports Murray wrote the two men discharged "multiple rapid-fire rounds" in the women’s direction, and then heard the fiancée "screaming for help." Buchanan died en route to the hospital.
Murray wrote, "I am convinced that the shooting and killing of Rachel Olivia Buchanan was a tragic and heart wrenching accident. No criminal laws were violated in this shooting."
Murray said the men "had the lawful right to possess a weapon and to discharge their weapons outside the city limits."
He added, “Regrettably, everyone involved in the loss of Ms. Buchanan’s life must forever live with their personal decision-making and actions on this ill-fated night. The vibrant life of a loved one and friend was senselessly cut far too short.”
According to her obituary, Buchanan was raised by her aunt and uncle in Brevard, N.C., and and "always had a smile on her face."