12-Year-Old Girl Shot and Killed by Pennsylvania Law Enforcement in Her Home

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By Carey Wedler at theantimedia.org

 

A Pennsylvania state constable fatally shot a 12-year-old girl while serving an eviction notice to her father in Duncannon, Pennsylvania, on Monday. The constable, who was delivering the notice from a district court, shot the father in the arm, but the bullet passed through him, striking and killing the young girl.

According to police, Donald B. Meyer, 57, was behind on rent, and District Judge Daniel McGuire had issued an eviction order that Meyer reportedly failed to appeal. Pennsylvania State Constable Clarke Steele, a law enforcement officer tasked with carrying out orders from the judicial system, came to enforce the eviction order. Police allege Meyer first opened the front door, then shut it. He then reportedly re-opened the door armed with a rifle, pointing it at Steele.

In response, Steele fired his gun at Meyer, but the bullet exited through Meyer’s left arm, travelling to Ciara, Meyer’s 12-year-old daughter, who was standing behind him. Ciara was home sick from school on Monday. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Very kind, sweet kid,” a neighbor told local ABC27. “Here’s a little girl that doesn’t even have a chance to grow up and live her life, and all because of this senseless act. It’s horrible, absolutely heartbreaking.”

According to state police spokesperson, Trooper Rob Hicks, Meyer had been previously notified he had to leave the apartment by 10:00 am Monday, January 11. Hicks said, “It was absolutely no surprise he was coming at this date and time.” Hicks said Steele had been to Meyer’s residence “numerous times” to warn of the impending eviction. Police said that after the incident, they discovered Meyer’s gun had a round in the chamber, along with a magazine of 30 rounds.

Bil Stoeffler, a Dauphin County constable and spokesperson for the capital area constables’ association, stressed both that Steele is respected by fellow law enforcement and that Ciara’s death was accidental. “It was absolutely not intentional that the girl was shot,” he said. “The constable fired one round when he faced an immediate threat from which he could not retreat safely – he had no other force options.” While it’s possible this statement is true for Meyer’s situation, Stoeffler’s explanation is an oft-repeated justification for law enforcement shootings.

Nevertheless, Steele is reportedly devastated by the incident and has suspended work activities until an investigation into Monday’s incident is complete. A source close to him reportedly told ABC27 that Steele is very distraught over the situation.”

Donald Meyer was taken to Penn State Hershey Medical Center on Monday morning due to injuries sustained from the bullet that passed through him to kill his daughter.

By Tuesday, he had been charged with a litany of offenses: aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, and reckless endangerment. Meyer will be held in prison without bail once he is released from the hospital.

He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on January 15. Ciara’s body is scheduled for autopsy on Wednesday.


This article (12-Year-Old Girl Shot and Killed by Pennsylvania Law Enforcement in Her Home) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Carey Wedler andtheAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. 

30 COMMENTS

  1. Fuck!this is incredible! policeman hurts the man, kills the daughter, and still, he has no shame and says he is devastated by the incident? of course he is inforced by the law…how else?! All policemen are in fact very low self esteemed persons inside and they are looking forward to work in such places in order to use the force and to impose the respect that they could not have in naturally social environment. because they are lame. people working for the system with no respect for humans, animals and nature, are very poor quality. forever!

    • It was the father’s fault. If you aim a loaded weapon with malice intent at a cop or ANYBODY, for that matter, they have the legal right to draw their own weapon and shoot you in self defense.

    • You an asshole. This is 100% the father’s fault. WTF do you think would happen pointing a loaded gun at someone who also has a gun?

      • The thing I don’t get is. If the officer “could not retreat safely – he had no other force options”. And the father was really going to let loose on him with his 30 shot clip, why didn’t he before or after being shot in the arm?

  2. The Policeman is not at fault. He shot the man (in the arm) in self defense apparently. The father made the tragic and negligent error of bringing a rifle to what could/should have been a simple delivery of a document. An awful incident that could have been avoided and where nobody wins.

    • He was in such imminent danger that he had time to reach down, draw his weapon, point it and fire before the man he claims was pointing a rifle at him could squeeze a trigger?

      Sounds like horseshit to me.

      More than likely, the cop already had his weapon out(or drew it during the initial confrontation), and so the man retrieved his own weapon.

      In the first case, the cop overstated the threat to justify his killing a little girl. In the other, the cop instigated the incident, resulting in the death of the girl.

      • So you’re saying the man saw the cop draw his gun, so he got freaked out for himself and his little girl, slammed the door, ran to go get his rifle, then reopened the door pointing it in the cops face… and you’re saying it’s the cop’s fault ish went crazy?

        …sounds like horseshit to me.

        More than likely, this was a douche, who didn’t pay his rent on time, didn’t show up for an appeal to get an extension so he wasn’t on the streets, ignored numerous warnings of eviction, and then decided to draw a cussing gun when it was finally time for him to gtfo?

        “Yeah, no” you are contributing to stupid, and it offends me.

    • My question is if the father had a gun pointed at the officer when he reopened the door….then how did the father get shot first? The report stated that the rifle had a round in the chamber. Your telling me the officer was able to draw his gun, fire a shot, and hit the father before the father pulled the trigger? Either some details have been left out or the cop should go make more money at shooting competitions.

    • The cop could of tackled the man if he had time to draw his weapon and fire I’m sure he didn’t walk up to.the door with it drawn

      • Yea, I would totally tackle someone pointing a gun at me. I may also give ’em a cute little flick on the nose, because you know, stupid.

  3. As a former property manager, ive had the misfortune of having to evict tennants both legally and illegaly, so in this particular situation i can’t wholeheartedly say who was at fault but im sure that plenty of steps could have been taken both by the property manager and the officer’s whos sole responsibility is to ensure everyones safety during the surendering of property. My prayers go out to all thos close to that brave little girl and the unfortunate officer who has to live with it.

  4. The headline does no justice to the incident. The words “accidentally” and “self-defense” need to be in there. Otherwise you are in my opinion misleading people, who do not bother to read the entire piece.

  5. The Policeman is not at fault … she was the victim of her fathers stupidity…..what he was expecting by opening the door with a rifle?…stupidity kills and in this circumstance a beautiful child paid the price ..SHAME on her father.

  6. If the father wouldn’t have been allowed to carry a rifle the policeman wouldn’t have felt threatened and wouldn’t have shot him and his girl would still be alive. Yay for the second amendment!

  7. The cop could of tackled the man if he had the.time to draw his weapon and fire I’m sure he didn’t walk up to the door with it drawn he had no reason for that

  8. This is the fault of the Idiot Father, You do not point a gun or Rifle at a cop with your 12 year old behind you.. What a moron. In fact I would not point a firearm at any law official in the USA..Come on You know whats gonna happen.. STUPID FATHER.

  9. It’s scary that not one person has asked the question: Why did the police officer shoot at someone WHILE CHILDREN WERE IN THE LINE OF FIRE? Maybe he was backed onto a corner, maybe he needed to defend himself, but surely he should have the composure to assess the situation properly? He is a trained police officer after all

  10. I am so tired of this “I couldn’t get away safely. I had no choice but to discharge my weapon excuse.” Use your fucking brain. If I walked up to someones home and they answered the door holding a rifle is that not the Universal signal for “GET THE FUCK OFF MY PROPERTY”? Whether or not the man had a right to be there due to the eviction the police officer could have done a better job interpreting the the situation. I know that had to be scary for the officer, but if you take an oath to protect and serve then you need to be able to use good judgement quickly in all manner of situations and not just indiscriminately shoot at everyone you see as a threat within 3 secs which seems to be law enforcement’s current MO. GTFO

  11. Who in their right mind, is going to physically attack a man with a rifle
    Our police are paid to enforce the law. NOT to do stupid things that will get them killed.
    It is simple. Raise or point a gun at a policeman and he will fire on you.. Stupid man .. Of course he isn’t alone.. Many dead people have pointed guns at law officers. It is a no brainer.

  12. The US Police Officers should get trained in Germany , as example , there were only 42 cases of shooting a person by the police in 2013 , 8 Civillians were killed by the Police and 1 Police officer got killed by someone in 2013

  13. Of course people want to ask why the cop didn’t get shot first, and why the cop didn’t use physical force. How did he have time to draw his weapon before being shot. The first problem is your all stupid and have never been in a gun fight or war. It’s more simple than anything. First a rifle is a longer weapon, lets say he comes back to the door and opens it, while maneuvering around the door he flags “shows” his weapon to the officer. The officer’s natural and trained reaction is to draw his weapon. You don’t know the look the man had on his face. I bet it was one that said I’m locked and loaded and ready to use force. If you ave been in this situation you know what I’m talking about. The only mistakes make were that a man who’s responsibility is the care of his child bring a weapon out in front of an officer. No matter what way it went he wan’t going to be taking care of her anymore.

  14. Bethel I agree with you and everyone else who has said it that was a very dumb thing (for dad) to do, especially given how many instances of police shooting civilians have been reported in the news in recent years. As a father he should’ve put the well being of his child ahead of, what is just my personally interpretation of his intention, an act of civil disobedience. Maybe that wasn’t his intention. Maybe he’s just an idiot. Maybe it’s both. Regardless, this story points to a bigger issue. Police are becoming more and more prone to discharge their firearms as a first line of defense instead of a last resort. More specialized training programs need to be put in place, and SOON, so that police are mentally and emotionally equipped to handle a variety of complex situations. As we move into an era where people are becoming increasingly more dissatisfied with the political and social systems that are in place it is imperative that law enforcement be properly trained and be able to engage with and relate to people on a human level. We are seeing more and more instances of public outrage and non compliance with government agencies and institutions(and understandably so) you have to expect there to be a some what chaotic transition period as these old dysfunctional paradigms fall away and make way for new and better ways of structuring society. That is why I feel it is so important not to feed the notion of there being a war on cops or vice versa. The worst thing we could do right now is alienate or villainize anyone, cops or regular people. This is a problem that we all need to agree to work on together so that cops don’t keep shooting people every fucking day. Especially children. Good grief.

  15. To say that the officer just let off one shot at some one who raised a gun to him is laughable. The common trend with american police is to shoot till the threat in front of them, (whether its just a human shouting or a human with a stick) is no longer a threat and is lying o the floor riddled with bullets….

  16. If the officer was presented as described his best option was possibly to push the rifle to the side and rush in. I would even go this is a likely scenario. A rifle is best used from some distance, get right up to the perp and he cant get a bead on you. So lets say that happened, next the officer while attempting to stay close enough to keep the rifle all but useless, unclips his side arm and the perp drops the rifle and makes a grab for the officers side arm. It goes off in this struggle. The picture I just painted should give enough probability to point out that all this armchair banter is worthless. WE DONT HAVE ALL THE FACTS FROM WHERE WE ARE SITTING. So please just stop prejudging this tragedy.

  17. Let me see…. What would have happened if your Bills would be payed by State When you are ill and or have no work. Nobody would have been shot… Bam! Social care system. Idiots

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