A mom who lost the custody of her child killed a social worker assigned to the case.
Jody Herring, a single mother who lost the custody of a daughter, allegedly pulled a high-caliber hunting rifle to shoot the social worker who was designated by the state to handle her case. Incidentally, she shot the state employee as she was about to leave her office for the day.
Lara Sobel, who belongs to the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) office, was shot at by Jody Herring as she was leaving her office. Though witnesses tackled Herring at about 4:45 p.m. on Friday, she was able to take two shots at close range. Sobel collapsed and succumbed to her injuries on the spot, confirmed Barre police Chief Tim Bombardier.
Herring had lost the custody of her only child, a daughter, on July 10, reported NECN. Why the mom lost her child to the DCF isn’t clear, but it is believed Herring was living and raising her daughter alone.
Speaking about the appalling crime in which an innocent state employee lost her life, Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, a Democrat from Windsor, Vermont, said, “I am beside myself. These men and women put their lives on the line each day, and we don’t understand the serious nature of these cases. This could happen in any state office or court. “We do not pay them enough and respect them enough.”
Barre is a small city of just about 10,000 residents. While Herring has already been arrested, law enforcement officials are trying to check if the unstable mom and Sobel knew each other and if there was any ulterior motive besides the loss of custody of an only child, reported USA Today.
Social workers have bravely entered into the worst of homes, all in the interest of an abused child, often without protection from the local law enforcement, said Campbell. However, this is a new threat.
Following the attack, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin directed staff of the DFC who go out on emergency calls this weekend to have police accompaniment.
“The employees at DCF deal with the most challenging family situations that one can imagine. They do the work out of their dedication to the children and families of this great state. To lose one of our own in the course of that duty is shocking and heartbreaking.”
The attack proves that social workers are clearly in danger from moms and dads, who are upset about losing custody of their children. Should the administration now train them in handling guns and hand them one for their own safety?
[UPDATE] Multiple reports indicate Herring might have also killed three of her relatives, before coming to Barre to shoot the social worker, assigned to handle the case of her 9-years-old daughter. The authorities still believe, the public is out of danger and this was a highly motivated and targeted attack.
[Image Credit | Barry Williams / Getty Images]