Eli Ballance: How a 12-year-old boy took his own life after being bullied

Eli Ballance from Okmulgee, Kalah Ballance
Eli Ballance from Okmulgee, Kalah Ballance

A 12 year old boy named Eli Ballance took his own life after being bullied.

Eli Ballance died Friday at Saint Francis hospital in Tulsa.

His mother, Kalah Ballance, says her son was so badly bullied that he made it into a locked bedroom, got into a locked gun case, and loaded a gun to take his own life.

“I don’t know what happened, something happened Wednesday that caused my child to shoot himself,” she said. “We had a locked bedroom door, a locked gun case, all our guns are unloaded.”

Ballance said Eli shot himself in the living room of their family home after school, where he was bullied.

She said his 10-year-old brother Jake found him.

“My 10-year-old saw something that most people will never see in their whole life and he was so brave, he ran and got help,” she said.

Eli was rushed to Saint Francis Hospital where he fought for his life for two days before he passed.

“It’s unreal, we did everything right, we followed all the rules, lock your guns up, keep them away from your kids, teach safety,” Ballance said.

“I’m in a nightmare,” Ballance said. “It is hell. I go to bed tormented, I wake up tormented, and it’s like a never ending nightmare, one that we wish we could wake up from but we can’t.”

She told FOX23 how amazing her son was, that he deserved better, and is now calling for more to be done to stop bullying.

She said her son always loved big.

“Eli was wonderful,” Ballance said. “He was smart, he was funny, his laugh was contagious, his smile was infectious, he was so kind, so giving.”

“My eyes constantly are burning because I can’t cry anymore,” she said. “Some days I wake up crying, I go to bed crying, and then I know the next few days my son’s going to be home. My son’s going to be in a box.”

Ballance said Eli’s 13th birthday is in one month.

“He was 12, he was one month away from becoming 13, so instead of a birthday party, we’re going to be planning a celebration of life on his birthday,” she said.

Ballance said Eli had been targeted at his school, Twin Hills in Okmulgee.

“It was going on for a couple of years and it’s been the same two boys, and then this year a new boy got added on and it just got progressively worse,” she said.

She said around Halloween, Eli’s hand was broken on the bus after a fight with a bully. On another occasion, she said she was told someone threatened to cut his hands off with a machete.

“I don’t know what happened and nobody knows and nobody’s speaking up about what happened Wednesday,” Ballance said. “My son was happy, my son was happy, and he was in a great mood but something happened that day that made him not want to live anymore.”

Ballance says she asked the school for help, but she says she didn’t get very far.

“Whenever I spoke to the school about the hand issue they played it off like it was no big deal,” she said.

“One of my questions to the superintendent was ‘What are we going to do to keep Eli safe?'” she said. “He said he’d try his best.”

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