• No charges filed in deadly shooting at Matthews apartment complex

    By: Tina Terry

    Updated:

    MATTHEWS, N.C. - Police said no charges will be filed in a deadly shooting at a Matthews apartment complex in July.

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    The shooting happened just after 1 a.m. on July 6 at the Paces Pointe Apartments on Paces Avenue, which is just off Matthews Township Parkway near East Independence Boulevard.

    When officers got there, they said they found 20-year-old Jonathan Troy Swierski with a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Matthews Police described the shooting as an "isolated incident" that started as an argument between two groups of people who knew each other and escalated into a physical fight.

    Officers said they will not be filing charges against the shooter because he accidentally fired the gun after he was hit in the arm with a table leg.

    “I will never see him again,” the victim’s mother, Dawn Swierski, said. "I will never see Jonathan again, and you can't tell me it was an accident."

    After the incident, the shooter made a panicked call to police.

    “Oh my God! I, I just shot someone…on, on accident,” the 911 caller said. “I just came to back up my friend. I brought my gun. I’m so sorry. Someone was trying to hit my friend, and I, I just had the gun out and he, he hit me and f— it pushed the gun down. And I guess I shot him.”

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    North Carolina Law states that a person who points a gun at another without justification may be guilty of involuntary manslaughter if the gun accidentally discharges and kills another person, but police said there was no evidence proving the shooter ever intentionally pointed the gun at anyone.

    Jonathan Swierski’s father, Scott Swierski, was hoping for a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

    "We want to see our son get justice," the father said.

    Detectives also said witnesses told them that the shooter came to the apartments to defend Swierski ​​​​​​.

    According to Matthews police, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office agrees with the decision to not file charges.

    "I believe the fact he took the gun out loaded, had it in proximity is, in itself, reckless,” Scott Swierski said. 

    A legal expert not associated with the case said it would be difficult to convince a jury to return a guilty verdict on an involuntary manslaughter charge.

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