DUNCANNON, Pa. (WHTM) – There is nothing that could have prepared Alice Gehman for the words she heard this week.
“She said ‘Ciara is dead.’ I just lost it. I was just screaming, hysterical,” Gehman, the grandmother of Ciara Meyer said “She was just a wonderful little girl. She just loved life completely.”
The people who loved Ciara say the 12-year-old had a tough childhood.
“She should have gotten away from [her parents] a long time ago, but we could never get the child away from them,” Gehman said.
Ciara lived with her grandmother for a few months because of family issues, but she was sent back to live with her father at the Pfautz Apartments in Duncannon. The family says they were dreading something would happen to her.
“It was just a matter of time,” Gehman said.
That “something” happened Monday morning when Constable Clarke Steele was serving an eviction order at the Meyer’s home on Rebbeca Drive. Ciara’s father, Don Meyer, pointed a rifle at Steele and the constable fired one shot that went through her father’s shoulder and into Ciara’s chest, killing her.
The family has a message for Constable Steele.
“In order for the constable to save his own life, he had to shoot Don. Otherwise, he would be dead, too, right there on that doorstep, believe me,” Gehman said. “We do not hold any grudge against this constable and we will tell him that if we get a chance to see him.”
Don Meyer is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, and recklessly endangering another person. The family holds him responsible for Ciara’s death.
“If it was not for him provoking this, this never would have happened,” Gehman said.
“Ciara never should have been returned home. She should have been living here and she should have had a good life and she did not have that. Our hands were tied,” said Hope Rohde, Ciara’s aunt.
The family has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for Ciara’s funeral. They hope to use some of the money to start a scholarship fund to fight domestic violence and mental health issues.