Jaylee Chillson fatally shot herself in front of a police officer on Saturday, September 16.
She was at an outdoor party in Aurora, Kansas, at the time. Earlier that day, she had run away from home. The Cloud County Sheriff’s office had received a call about the 14-year-old runaway and had managed to track her down.
While the officer was able to get a hold of the teen, she was unwilling to go back. Just when he was escorting her back to his car, she pulled out a gun and shot herself. Despite life-saving measures taken by an off-duty firefighter and the deputy, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, she was attending an outdoor field party with high school and college students near Lark Rd. and 210th R.
In addition to the police officer, several attendees of the party witnessed the incident. Chillson’s father, Jeb, was also nearby when she fatally shot herself.
After hearing nearby gunfire, he ran to where she was but was told not to go. It wasn’t until he told the officer that he used to work as an EMT that he was able to get closer – that’s when he realized it was his daughter who was lying on the ground.
He immediately began doing CPR on her daughter. After several minutes, he held the severely wounded teen in his arms.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has since been asked to conduct an investigation on her death as a deputy was present during the fatal shooting. It’s currently unclear where she attained the firearm.
Chillson, who was born in Kansas, enjoyed camping, hunting, softball, and fishing. She also enjoyed riding in her father’s semi-truck and aspired to be a diesel mechanic after graduating. She is survived by four siblings, her parents, and her grandparents.
A GoFundMe campaign was also created earlier this week to raise money for her funeral service.
Brett Nelson, the superintendent of the Cloud County School District described her death as a “tragic loss” and announced that they would be offering support for Jaylee’s family as well as other students during this difficult time. He also added that officials at school are reminding their students to seek help if they are struggling or know someone who is struggling.
According to Jaylee’s parents, the teen had been mercilessly bullied for years and would often come home covered in bruises. One girl even poured rubber cement in her hair as others watched, while “another girl threatened to kill [her].”
Her parents had immediately notified school officials about the bullying but nothing was done. They eventually placed the teen in a different school, but she was also physically assaulted there. They then pulled her out of school altogether.