A Columbia police officer has been placed on administrative leave after a 4-year-old girl was hit and killed by a Police Department vehicle Friday afternoon at Battle High School.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol identified the girl as Gabriella Curry.

The officer involved in the incident, Andria Heese, has worked for the Police Department for five years and was assigned to the Community Outreach Unit, according to a release from department spokesman Jeff Pitts.

She was placed on administrative leave after the incident, per department protocol, according to the release.

The incident happened just before 4 p.m., according to a report by the Highway Patrol. Officer Andria Heese, 27, was trying to park on the sidewalk outside the high school to watch students loading onto school buses.

The girl was walking on the sidewalk and was hit by the police car, a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe.

Heese had entered a roundabout at the west entrance to the high school before she left the roadway to park on the sidewalk, according to the Highway Patrol.

Heese, another officer and Battle High School staff provided medical help to the girl immediately, according to a Columbia Police Department news release.

Further medical aid was requested by radio, and the Columbia Fire Department and University Hospital EMTs arrived to assist. The girl was taken to University Hospital, where she died from her injuries, according to the release.

“I would ask everyone to please pray for the family and for the officer that was involved in this incident. It is extremely tragic and there’s just a lot of people that need prayers,” Acting Police Chief Jill Schlude said.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is now in charge of the accident investigation at the Police Department’s request.

A vigil was held Saturday afternoon outside Battle High School for Gabriella Curry. The following video was taken by KOMU 8 reporter Montana Kelley.

  • I am a senior studying Arts and Culture journalism. Any questions, comments or tips can be emailed to bmr6k5@mail.missouri.edu

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