Police: Constable's shot fatally struck girl, 12, during apartment eviction

Police have identified a 12-year-old girl as the victim of a fatal shooting during an apartment eviction Monday morning.

Ciara Meyer was standing directly behind her father, 57-year-old Donald B. Meyer, when a constable shot Mr. Meyer in the arm, state police in Newport said Tuesday.

The bullet passed through Donald Meyer's left upper arm and struck his daughter. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pennsylvania State Constable Clarke Steele was at the Pfautz Apartments on Rebecca Drive in Penn Township with an eviction order for Meyer and his family. Police said Meyer opened the door and shut it. He then reopened the door and exchanged words with the constable before leveling a loaded .223 caliber rifle that had been slung and concealed along his body,  police said.

With the rifle pointed directly at his chest, police said Steele, who was in uniform, unholstered his .40 caliber duty handgun and fired the single and fatal shot.

Police said employees of the apartment complex were on scene for the eviction and witnessed the incident.

Donald Meyer was flown to Penn State Hershey Medical Center. Police said his gun had a round in the chamber and a magazine with 30 rounds. He has been charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, and reckless endangerment.

Meyer was arraigned before District Judge Daniel McGuire by video. He is expected to be released from the hospital later today and tomorrow. Once he's released, court papers show he'll be held in Perry County Prison without bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 15.

Ciara Meyer's uncle told ABC 27 News his niece was a student at Susquenita Middle School. He called her a "wonderful girl, full of life."

A neighbor told us her daughter and Ciara had played together.

"Very kind, sweet kid," she said. "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."

In a statement on the district's website, Susquenita administrators said they're working to address potential impacts of the incident on staff and students.

Perry County Coroner Mike Shalonis said an autopsy is scheduled Wednesday.


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