Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

12-year old girl and mother shot and killed in Mississippi

Pieper Niolon, age 12
A 12-year old girl, Pieper Niolon, and her mother, Jan Niolon, were found shot to death in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  The girl's father, Thomas Niolon, is suspected in the shooting, but has since been found dead after an apparent self-induced overdose on pills.  The handgun used in the shooting has been recovered and is being tested.

From an article:
Jan Niolon was treasurer of the Ocean Springs Education Foundation and an advocate for statewide education issues, particularly those concerning dyslexia.
Pieper was a seventh-grader at Ocean Springs Middle School who left behind classmates who adored her individualism and often asked her advice in tough situations.
Pieper was on the school's varsity swim team and a member of Biloxi's elite swim team. She was thought of as an exceptional athlete. Jan Niolon was known as an adoring and devoted mother.
Neighbors reported that Thomas Niolon had peripheral neuropathy -- damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system -- and had mainly kept to himself over the past 5 years.
From a related article:

"She was a model student," Fletcher said. "She had the grades, positive outlook, drive and determination. I'm sure her mother helped her learn those qualities. They both wanted to make the community a better place as a whole."
Fletcher said she collapsed when she was informed Pieper and Jan Niolon were gone.
"I just broke down," Fletcher said. "I tried to remember what was the last thing I said to her and I couldn't. I thought it would be tough to never see her smile again. Her smile was infectious."
Pieper's classmates Shae Pisarich, 12, and Sara Thomas, 12, agreed that Pieper has a smile that would light up the darkest of times.
"She just always knew what to do and how to handle any situation," Sara said. "She was the one we went to when we had a problem and she always knew how to fix it."
"And she never cared what other people thought," Shae said. "If someone didn't like something about her, she didn't let it get her down."

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