WATERVILLE SHOOTING UPDATE—Two weeks ago on Friday, February 28th, a 7-year-old girl was shot in her home in Waterville, Maine. Authorities say it was a drive-by shooting.
Bangor News Daily and WABI both report that the child, 7-year-old Eemeliah Frost, was flown to Portland to receive emergency surgery. The bullet missed her spinal cord by inches. Luckily, she is expected to make a full recovery.
Frost has also recently met with the first responders who saved her life.
This incident comes just a few months after the fatal shooting of a mother on the same street in October.
Both crimes took place within a block of each other in the South End neighborhood; just three blocks from the South End Teen Center. Ryan Kneeland, owner, and manager of the South End Teen Center was working with children during the time of the shooting.
Kneeland recalls his thoughts and feelings at the time. “I knew that I, and we needed to exude calmness but also have a plan. [We] calmly informed the teens that there was a shooter in the area and that a child may have been shot. We typically let teens leave on their own accord but in this moment I asked them all to stay inside.”
Surprisingly, this isn’t Kneeland’s first run-in with an active shooter situation: “I’ve have had a potentially active shooter situation at a local alternative school; I think it was 2012. A man came to our classroom window and said: “let me in, somebody’s trying to shoot me.” He then proceeded to kick the window in. An officer was on-sight within minutes with his pistol drawn.”
Two shootings in just four months have put the town of Waterville on edge; especially the South End neighborhood. The Portland Press Herald reports that members of the South End Neighborhood Association assembled a meeting at Kneeland’s South End Teen Center. The meeting was set to discuss what the community can do for the Frost family.
Kneeland explains that he “had been in contact with Waterville PD to tighten up our emergency procedures”.