Stepdad who mistakenly shot teen is a soldier

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The man who apparently mistook his stepdaughter for a burglar when he shot and killed her at their Colorado Springs home was identified Monday as a decorated Fort Carson soldier who served in Iraq.

Daniel Meade, 29, fatally shot his stepdaughter Kiana O’Neil, 14, on Dec. 23, police said.

A burglary was reported at the home that morning and officers arrived to find a wounded O’Neil, police said. She later died at the hospital.

Details of the shooting haven’t been released. Meade hasn’t been arrested. It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether to file charges, but it wasn’t clear when they would begin reviewing the police reports.

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

Meade’s phone number isn’t listed, and it’s not clear whether he has a lawyer.

According to a biography from Fort Carson, Meade has been in the Army for 10 years and received awards including the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal. He is a health services officer assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team’s 4th Infantry Division and trained with the Army Rangers and Special Forces.

On Saturday, more than 100 people gathered at a candlelight vigil for O’Neil in Colorado Springs following her funeral in Alamosa, the largest community in the agricultural San Luis Valley in southern Colorado, The Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1eRg3dA). The girl was a freshman at Vista Ridge High School who loved to baby-sit and attended CrossFit workouts five days a week with her mother, Monica Meade, who spoke to the group, the newspaper reported.

“The day after this tragic accident, I decided I was going to live her life. I was going to love like she loved and I was going to forgive first,” she said.

The girl’s father, Gary O’Neil, who lives in Arizona, also spoke at the vigil.

“To know that my daughter was loved this much, it helps,” he said, fighting back tears.

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