Crime & Courts

SC girl said she couldn’t ‘do this anymore.’ Now her suicide is under investigation

A screenshot of a GoFundMe account created to help the family of Toni Rivers.
A screenshot of a GoFundMe account created to help the family of Toni Rivers.

Authorities are investigating the death of an 11-year-old girl, who her family says was the constant victim of bullying.

Toni Rivers, of Hampton, died Oct. 27, after being rushed to the hospital with a gunshot wound, WTOC reported. The sixth grader had shot herself after she told her friends that she “just couldn’t do this anymore, and was going to home and she was killing herself,” the girl’s aunt, Maria Peterson, told WTOC.

“The mindset that you know, sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you… people who have that mindset, it’s got to stop,” said Peterson, according to WSAV.

The girl was told that “she was ugly, she was fat, she looked like a man,” the station reported.

Her mother, Amy Rivers Thomas, told WSAV that she had repeatedly told the school’s principal about her daughter being bullied at school and online. She said that all the principal would say was, “I’ll investigate it.”

Since Toni took her life, other classmates have come forward to say that the same little girl that bullied their friend bullies them, too, WSAV reported.

Toni used her own firearm to commit suicide, according to WTOC. But the family stored guns and bullets separately, and away from the children, the station reported.

State Law Enforcement Division agents are investigation the case, according to WTOC. SLED spokesman Thom Berry “couldn’t say” if the probe was being treated as a death or criminal investigation, the station reported.

“We go where the investigation takes us,” Berry said.

A GoFundME account has been created to cover the medical bills and funeral costs of Toni. A candle light vigil for Toni will be held at the football field of Wade Hampton High School on Sunday at 6:30 p.m., according to a social media post by Facebook user Shelley Cook.

Cynthia Roldán: @CynthiaRoldan