11-year-old girl accidentally shot 12-year-old brother at range, documents say

HALFMOON TOWNSHIP – Eyewitnesses told state police an 11-year-old girl accidentally shot her 12-year-old brother at a shooting range in Centre County, according to court documents released Wednesday.

An affidavit of probable cause said the boy was shot in the head with a Hi-Point 9mm pistol after a bullet ricocheted off the ground.

Police said the boy has thus far survived life-threatening surgery and is recovering slowly, but he is said to be permanently blind.

Officials said that when they responded Sunday to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Scotia Shooting Range, they found two separate large pools of blood on one of the auxiliary ranges.

They said they also found a box of .380 pistol-caliber ammunition split open in the parking area.

Police said the firearm was reported to have been loaned to the victim’s uncle. The firearm allegedly was returned to the owner after the shooting, police said.

Police also learned that the father of the children, Anthony Lakeith Vankirk II, 32, of 145 West Clearview Avenue, Ave. in State College, was present at the range, along with his brother and his son.

Police said Tuesday that Vankirk faces multiple charges in connection with the shooting.

Charges against Vankirk include five felony counts of possession of firearms-prohibited and another five felony counts of firearms carried without a license.

Police said he's not allowed to own guns due to a 2005 drug conviction.