(New York Post) – The family of a South Carolina girl who committed suicide says she shot herself because she was bullied.
Toni Rivers, 11, confided to friends before her death, saying that “she just couldn’t do this anymore, and she was going home, and she was killing herself,” the family told news station WTOC.
The sixth-grader reportedly returned home Oct. 25 from her Hampton County School District elementary school and shot herself.
Her 14-year-old sister found her lying on her back with a gunshot wound and called 911.
Authorities were dispatched to the home and airlifted Toni to Charleston’s Medical University of South Carolina Health, where she received treatment for 72 hours before dying from her injuries.
Relatives said they initially thought the shooting was an accident since the gun was her own, WTOC reported.
“We go out to Toni’s home in the country thinking that there’d been an accident, you know?” her aunt Maria Petersen said. “And when we get there, we find out that it wasn’t an accident, and it was the result of Toni not being able to handle it anymore.”
Her mom, Amy Thomas, said that she had contacted the school for about two months before her death to report the bullying, according to WTOC.
Friends and family are now calling on the school district to confront bullying. A GoFundMe page was created to raise money for her funeral and to help other victims of bullying.