Girl (12) shot dead by policeman during eviction in Pennsylvania

Ciara Meyer was hit after a bullet fired by an officer at her father went through his arm

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File photo: Keith Srakocic / AP/Press Association Images

A 12-year-old girl has been shot dead by a policeman who had been aiming his gun at her father as he tried to evict the family from their home.

Ciara Meyer from Penn Township was pronounced dead after a bullet fired by Constable Clarke Steele at her father, Donald, went through his arm and hit her, Pennsylvania State Police said.

The 46-year-old policeman arrived at the apartment on Rebecca Drive at around 10am on Monday to serve an eviction notice and there was a "brief verbal exchange" between Donald Meyer and the policeman.

Following the argument, Meyer took out a loaded rifle that he had hidden on his body and aimed it at the policeman.

The uniformed Constable Steele in turn took out his own gun from its holster and fired a single shot, which travelled through Ciara's father's arm and hit the young girl who was standing directly behind her father.

Meyer, 57, who was taken to hospital for treatment, has been charged with aggravated and simple assault, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment.

Constable Steele has not been charged with any offence and Perry County district attorney Andrew Bender said investigations are ongoing.

Mr Bender said: "I think it's premature to speak about anything with regard to what actions would have been appropriate.

"We are still looking into the matter, still investigating it."

The rifle and 30 rounds of ammunition were removed from the premises.

According to the eviction notice, Meyer and his wife Sherry owed $1,780.85 (around €1640) in rent and court costs.