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'Tragic situation': NKU student was fatally shot in self-defense, prosecutors say

Cierra Allen.jpg
Posted at 1:27 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 18:13:17-04

Prosecutors believe Northern Kentucky University law student Cierra Allen was the aggressor in the confrontation that led to her death, Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters wrote in a Tuesday news release.

His office will not file criminal charges against the woman who fatally shot Allen on Sept. 11.

“This, by all accounts, is a tragic situation,” Deters wrote. “I understand the Chase Law School community is grieving their classmate, and her family and her children are grieving their loved one. But, Ms. Allen came to this woman’s home, after physically harming her once already that night, and made this woman fear for her life. This is clearly self-defense."

According to Deters, 30-year-old Allen had been involved in a physical scuffle with the shooter at a youth football event earlier in the day.

Deters said the shooter went home after the confrontation and Allen followed her several hours later.

Allen was knocking on the door when the shooter opened it, holding a gun, Deters wrote. Prosecutors claimed Allen charged the shooter, who fired once in self-defense and called 911 to report the injury.

Allen was pronounced dead at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center soon after.

Police and prosecutors said the evidence suggested self-defense soon after the shooting but added they needed additional time to confirm. Tuesday’s findings represent that confirmation.

People who mourned Allen at a vigil shortly after her death said the confrontation was out of character for her. Faculty at NKU, where she was a second-year student, described her as a loving mother who was determined to help people around her.

"She really wanted to make a difference in the community where she grew up," said David Singleton, a professor at NKU Chase College of Law. "She lived for her two boys, but also lived for the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who haven't gotten a fair shot."