Home Pop Culture Kiana O’Neil dead. A victim of Colorado’s Make My Day law?

Kiana O’Neil dead. A victim of Colorado’s Make My Day law?

Kiana O'Neil
Kiana O’Neil. A victim of a contentious law?

A 14 year old Colorado girl, Kiana O’Neil has been shot dead by her stepfather after she attempted to sneak back into her home.

Believed to have mistaken for a burglar, the stepfather fired a series of shots, striking the girl, which led to her being critically injured. She would go on to die as she was rushed to hospital.

Police have since told the girl was shot just before 6am Monday in the 4300 block of Ascendant Drive in northeastern Colorado Springs.

Local media tell that the case is expected to be handed down to the district attorney’s office after the police complete their investigation. It is unclear at present if the father actually mistook the girl for a burglar or if he was in imminent danger.

The district attorneys office has told it will decide what charges to file against the girl’s stepfather.

According to a recording of a police dispatch, Kiana may have been trying to sneak into the house through a basement window after a night out when she was shot.

‘I heard three bangs,’ neighbor Jani Harvey told the station KTRK. ‘They weren’t all right together. It was like bang, bang, bang.’

Police say Kiana was struck in the stomach and chest, and taken to a local hospital in critical condition.

Colorado’s ‘Make My Day‘ law allows residents to defend themselves against intruders.

According to highcaliberdefense.com, the ‘Make My Day’ law permits homeowners to fire at intruders only if they are certain the intruder will commit a crime other than trespassing. They are permitted to fire if the intruder plans to use physical force, no matter how slight.

To date, the stepfather has not been arrested.

And then there were these comments on the web that made me wonder:

Hmmmm. Not hard to guess what his under age 14 year old delinquent daughter had been doing, sneaking back into the home at 6 am. If she lived, we might have proof nine months down the track.


I don’t understand why people would shoot a burglar anyway, it’s just stuff, who cares about stuff, is it worth it to kill someone over stuff? If you have a gun, why not try to hold the burglar, something, but why on earth just haul off and shoot another human being. This makes no sense, people need to stop, right now


I’d be more willing to call this something other than a tragedy if the gun owner was the victim and not his 14-year-old step-daughter


Please stop turning every tragedy involving guns into a political rant. In sure he will never forgive himself if it were truly an accident as well as living with the consequences the law places on him. Guns are only tools in the hands of those that wield them. Heart goes out to that family. This time of year only makes it worse.


Is “shoot first, ask questions later” our unofficial national motto at this point?



  1. Why are you assuming she was out doing something sketchy? She could have gotten up early and gone outside for any number of innocent reasons, locked herself out of the house, didn’t want to wake up the family and tried to get in through a window. And even if she was doing something she shouldn’t do, my goodness she was only 14. We all did stupid things at 14. If you didn’t, well congratulations, you’re the one perfect person on earth. The rest of us are not.

    There was only one adult in this situation and only one person holding a gun and the burden was on him for both reasons to think and act rationally.

    If it was truly an accident, and I personally believe it was, he’s going to have to live with this for the rest of his life. And yes he should lose his license to carry after this. He’s proven he can’t be trusted with firearms even after extensive training.

  2. I can’t even begin to imagine what the poor mother of this young girl is going through. Losing your daughter, at the hands of your husband who was just trying to protect his family.
    But I have to ask… What in the hell was this 14 YEAR OLD girl doing out at 6am? Whatever it was, I’m sure it wasn’t worth dying over! I can not fault this step-father for his actions, because I would have done the same thing. When you have children in the house, you will protect them at all costs. Yes I was a teenager once but my parents put the fear of God in me so that I never even THOUGHT about sneaking out. Especially at 14 years old.

  3. Sue – have you ever heard of a child sneaking out? Did you do it yourself? I am sure this child had one, hence the reason why she snuck out in the first place. Yes, 14 may seem young, but who are you to judge? This is family who has tragically lost their beautiful daughter. I am friends of the family and know for certain the extent of their loss, grief, and the enormous guilt felt over a tragic mistake. You should be ashamed of yourself for commenting.

  4. RobertoV05 – Your words are absolutely ludicrous. This is a beautiful, loving family and the stepfather who shot – the kindest man. I am friends with the family and have known them for years. To say there was conflict in the house, that he speaks like a drill sergeant, that they fought constantly – are all horrible assumptions. This is a man, who was quite simply – trying to protect his family. A family whom he loved and cherished. It was a horrific, and completely innocent mistake. This is a real family, real people, and a tragic loss. Do you have children? If so, I hope you will never have to endure the pain this family is currently going through. Not only did they lose their precious daughter, they did so and are under massive media speculation.

  5. Well, what the hell was she doing sneaking into the house through a basement window at 5 in the morning. I has curfews when I was a kid-14 is awful young to be doing that.

  6. There is more to the story than meets the eye. Alot of those guys who went to Iraq are crazy, with their post traumatic syndromes and his reaction to this event is a by product of his experience in Iraq. Plus, there was conflict in the house, since he was in the army, he talks like a drill sergeant and the daughter didn’t want that and they fought constantly and as a result, he killed her. Lucky for him, the old white male defense ie stand your ground/make my day and the fact that the justice system is skewed to seeing white males as innocent until proven innocent means that even though he wanted to kill her for constantly defying him, he will walk. Heck, maybe if his family has money, then his lawyers can make a mockery of the justice system by claiming “affluenza.” I live in America, but will never understand it.

  7. To the person that said she was a delinquent shame on you. I know the family very well and you have no idea what really she was doing. You are making those kind of comments when a family lost there little girl. Put your self in there shoes.

Comments are closed.