|Eleanor "Ellie" Kelly, age 13|
During the investigation, the police found marijuana and marijuana plants in the home and arrested the father. The son was apparently a user of his father's marijuana.
The girl has now died. From a related article:
A bullet from the .38-caliber revolver used in the shooting lodged in Kelly’s brain, said Deputy Coroner Harriett Garrison.From the original article:
"He was showing it off," sheriff's Investigator Randall Chambers said of the .38-caliber revolver during the hearing.
The gun was found in the kitchen, where Kelly was shot.
"He said he did it," Chambers said. "That he was messing around with the gun. He thought it was cool showing it off. It accidentally discharged."
"He had the hammer back," Chamber said. "He explained that he was trying to release the hammer with his finger in front of it so he could ease it back down, when it slipped off his finger and discharged."
Kelly, of the 6200 block of Otis Way in Harlem, was airlifted to the Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center, where she is being treated, Morris said.
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office was called in to assist in the case, and inside the home investigators discovered "18.4 grams of marijuana, three marijuana plants, two partially smoked marijuana cigarettes and three bags of marijuana seeds," along with a Colt .45 pistol and marijuana-growing paraphernalia, according to a police report.
[The father] Provance then was arrested, Morris said. Authorities said Provance also had two other handguns and a rifle inside the home.
Juvenile Court Probation Officer Rodney Brown said at the hearing that the boy admitted he had smoked marijuana. But a drug test revealed no marijuana in his system, Brown said.
"This is what happens when parents have guns in the home and do not secure (them)," [Judge] Flanagan said at the hearing, before directing his attention to Provance. "I have strong concerns when I have a child using marijuana and dad is growing it. Dad, I don't know what they charged you with yesterday, but when you come back and see me, there will probably be a couple of more charges."
Every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult.
UPDATE (4/4/12): Ellie's organs were donated to save others.
“There are some spirits that just won’t go away, and hers is one of them,” Cynthia Lowe said Tuesday. The Harlem girl who had just turned 13 was shot in the face Thursday. On Sunday, her mother donated her organs to six other children.
“I know that’s what Ellè would want,” her mother said. “That’s what Ellè would demand.”
Ellè was a bright, outgoing girl who loved art and music and loved to play the drums, her mother said. She loved Japanese anime and Japanese culture and was learning to speak the language.
“She was bound and determined to move to Japan and become a graphic designer,” her mother said. “She just loved the culture.”
She was the youngest of triplets and was close with her brothers, Daniel and Jarrod, Lowe said. They could often be found playing video games or running around with friends, she said. She was girlish enough to have My Little Pony stuff in her bedroom but grown-up enough to decide to cut her own hair and dye it without mom’s permission.
“She’s just now starting to blossom and become a young lady,” her mother said.
She told the doctors her daughter wanted to be an organ donor, and they quickly found matches for her lungs, liver and pancreas. Her kidneys went to two different children, but it was a struggle to find a good match for the heart. A recipient was finally located over the weekend, and the surgery performed Sunday morning.
It is some comfort to Lowe to know those organs might be saving a child’s life and relieving the worst fears of another parent.
“I’m hoping and praying it does, especially them being children,” she said. “They still have a whole life ahead of them. And I feel like part of her is going to continue to live.”