New Questions Raised in Oak Ridge Shooting

Oak Ridge, Anderson County (WVLT) - An 8-year-old Oak Ridge girl will be laid to rest next Tuesday, one week after suffering a gun-shot wound to her head.

What isn't still isn't clear is whether that shooting was an accident, or a case of negligence or criminal wrong-doing.

Volunteer TV’s Gordon Boyd takes a closer look at the questions that appear to be growing.

Wednesday, we told you a juvenile judge had issued a gag order. Why, the court won't say.

But between that, and medical privacy laws, it not only isn't clear who shot Taila Kneiser, but when she died.

“She was a very beautiful child, she is very sweet,” says Taila Kneiser’s neighbor “Kay”. “Very sociable, played a lot with her little brother.”

Kay, says she could have been looking at her own granddaughter, when she first saw 8-year-old Taila Kneiser, which made her glad to have the family as neighbors.

“The mom was always out watching them, they were in their swimming pool,” “Kay” says. “She's been a good mother.”

So when she heard, a day late, that Taila had been shot in the head, in her own bedroom, early Tuesday morning. “Heartsick, I don't have any idea how the accident happened. I'm not sure I want to know.”

“In terms of who may have shot her, we are uncertain, and we're still investigating,” Oak Ridge Police Chief David Beams told WVLT on Tuesday. “We have no reason to believe it was an outside person or intruder.”

Three days later, Oak Ridge Police still say they have “no further information”.

Tuesday, they confirmed they believe Taila's four-year-old brother was in the bedroom when she was shot, but haven't said whom they believe fired the gun, or whose gun it was. Or even when Taila died.

Her MySpace Memorial, and her obituary, says she died Wednesday, but UT Medical center was still listed her in critical condition until early Thursday night.

“I don’t know what I'm gonna tell my grand-daughter, cause she doesn't know,” says “Kay”.

“Kay” says Taila's Mom seemed happy to have found a neighborhood with new Christian friends. “I just want them to know that accidents happen, but they are loved. And above all, the good Lord above loves them. And they need to look to Him to get through this.”

The family of Taila Shantel Kneiser will receive friends, from noon until two o'clock Tuesday afternoon at the Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home. Services follow.

Her family has established a memorial fund at the ORNL Federal Credit Union.

Though police are saying nothing, other than they're awaiting results of an autopsy, it's clear the investigation is focusing on who was in the home when it happened.

Taila's obituary says she had two brothers, the four-year-old, and what neighbors say, is a teenager.

How does juvenile or family court figure into this? That still remains unclear.

It could be involved in a possible criminal investigation or custody and support issues.

Police have said Taila's parents are separated, sharing custody.


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