It may appear strange to have a father charged with homicide after a constable fatally shoots his daughter, but that’s exactly what happened earlier this month in Perry County, Pennsylvania.
On January 11, police constable Clark Steele arrived at the apartment occupied by the Meyers in order to serve an eviction notice to the family.
Apparently, the residents had been warned on several occasions that eviction orders were being prepared against them, and had been informed that a constable would arrive at their home that morning.
However, when Steele knocked at around 10:00 a.m., 57-year old Donald Meyer opened the door just briefly, before slamming it shut in the constable’s face.
Shortly afterwards, Meyer did return, but when he opened the door again, Steele could see that the resident had armed himself with a rifle.
After a brief verbal dispute with the officer, Meyer pointed the weapon at him, and that’s when Steele took out his own .40 caliber handgun, shooting the man once.
Regrettably, the bullet, which initially struck Meyer in his left arm, continued to slice through the air, claiming the life of one innocent bystander: Meyer’s 12-year old daughter, Ciara, who had been right behind her father as the confrontation was unfolding.
The little girl was critically injured by that single round fired by the constable, and was declared dead at the scene, as the rest of the family witnessed the entire ordeal.
Surprisingly enough, the person who has been charged following her death is her own father, who has been accused of involuntary manslaughter and homicide on Thursday, January 28.
Ciara’s parent has also been charged with illegally owning a gun, given the fact that he was found to have mental problems in the past. In addition, the Pennsylvania State Police report specifies that Meyer is also being accused of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.
Apparently, an investigation conducted by local law enforcement has established that constable Steele isn’t at fault in the incident, since he simply reacted in self-defense, as Meyer threatened him with his weapon.
As a result, no charges will be brought against him, because his conduct is believed to have been completely by the book and entirely justified.
The blame for Ciara’s sudden demise is now being placed on her parent, who allegedly put her safety in danger by trying to attack the constable.
As District Attorney Andrew Bender explains, Meyer probably realized that his child was right behind him as he wielded his rifle, and it was actually this reckless behavior that ultimately caused Ciara’s accidental death, due to that single stray bullet.
Meanwhile, Meyer has rejected the accusations, declaring that everything is just a “big cover up”. In his opinion, given that it was the constable who fatally shot the girl, it’s ludicrous that someone else should be charged instead.
In addition, as he recounts, the only reason he ever brought out his rifle was in order to protect his home, and not to actually injure Steele in any way. Therefore, the officer’s decision to fire his handgun at him in the first place was totally uncalled for, Meyer now claims.
At the moment, the bereaved man is being held behind bars, and has been denied bail; his preliminary hearing is expected to begin on February 12.
Image Source: Local21News