A 12-year-old girl was accidentally shot to death in a central Pennsylvania town by a local constable who had come to evict her family from their apartment, Pennsylvania state police say.
Ciara Meyer died when Constable Clarke Steele fired a single shot at her father, Donald Meyer, 57, who had pointed a rifle at him after an exchange of words, according to Trooper Rob Hicks.
The bullet passed through Meyer's arm and struck the girl, who was standing behind her father. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident that took place on Tuesday (local time) in Duncannon, about 193km northwest of Philadelphia.
The landlord had filed papers on November 30 with the local magistrate to evict the Meyer family from their US$660 a month apartment because of unpaid rent of US$1453, according to online court records.
The family did not contest the eviction, which became final on December 30. They had been ordered to vacate the apartment by 10am on Monday, which is when Steele arrived to put them out, police said.
Meyer has been charged with aggravated assault and three other offences over the incident, police said.
The local district attorney is investigating whether the constable will face any charges.