Ciara was standing behind her father when he pointed a .223 caliber rifle at Constable Clarke Steele. The official then fired his weapon, striking Meyer in the arm. However, the bullet passed through him and hit his daughter.
Meyer never pulled the trigger, but Perry County District Attorney Andrew Bender said Ciara was put in danger by her father’s behavior.
“Mr. Meyer’s reckless conduct, knowing his daughter was standing behind him, triggered a chain of events that tragically lead to the death of Ciara Meyer,” Bender said.
Meyer was charged with homicide and involuntary manslaughter. According to police, Meyer was committed in 2011 for mental health issues and should not have owned a gun. The 46-year-old was frustrated with the decision.
“They’re responsible for the murder and shooting of my daughter and me, and now it’s a big cover-up.They’re charging me with a felony for protecting my family?” Meyer said. “Heck no. Now they’re charging me withmurderof my own daughter. My God they stole everything from me. Everybody knows I love kids. I wouldn’t have killed her,” Meyer said.
In Pennsylvania, constables are not considered police officers, but elected officials selected through the Commission on Crime and Delinquency. They are normally given up to 80 hours of basic training and 40 hours of firearms training.
Bender said Constable Steele was so shaken by Ciara’s death, he hasn’t returned to work since the incident. Investigators believe he was justified in firing his weapon.
Meyer is also reportedly facing charges of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.