HARRISBURG - Describing her as a social butterfly and the life of the party, the family of 12-year-old Ciara Meyer thanked the public for their ongoing support and said that the constable whose bullet killed her “did the right thing” in trying to subdue her father.
“She was an angel,” Alice Gehman, Ciara’s maternal grandmother, told Fox 43 Wednesday night. “I thought I'd be able to spend a lot more time with her and watch her grow up and graduate, get married and everything, but that's all gone now.”
It all changed Monday, when State Constable Clarke Steele came to enforce an eviction order at Ciara's home on Rebecca drive in Penn Township, Perry County.
Police say Ciara's dad, Donald Meyer, pointed a rifle at the constable, who shot once.
The bullet went through Donald Meyer’s arm and killed Ciara.
Gehman got the phone call from Ciara’s mother, Sherry, who had told her Donald Meyer had been shot. After Gehman arrived at the apartment complex, a woman on the scene told her what happened.
“She said, ‘She's gone, she's dead,’” Gehman said. “Well then, that's when I lost it. I lost it. I just said, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, this can't be, oh my God.’ It was like a nightmare.”
Many people have reached out to support Ciara's family.
Dozens of them attended a private vigil Wednesday night at a local church in Duncannon, and many more are supporting a GoFundMe account to cover funeral costs and to establish a scholarship in Ciara's honor.
“I appreciate everything they've done,” Gehman said. “Under the circumstances, people have been very, very nice.”
Gehman says no one on her side of the family has had any contact with Donald Meyer, who is still recovering from the gunshot wound at an area hospital, since the incident. She says they were worried that something like this could happen with Ciara's father.
“You've got to be careful who you open your doors for, for one thing,” Gehman said. “It was my son-in-law who was the scary person. He was the scary character in this whole scenario.”
As for Constable Steele, who has voluntarily suspended his services as a constable in Perry and Dauphin counties in the wake of this incident, “there's no animosity toward this man,” Gehman said. “The constable did the right thing. Even though my granddaughter got killed, he did the right thing.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.