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DCF worker shot and killed


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http://www.wcax.com/story/29737741/vt-d ... d-in-barre

Long after two fatal shots rang out outside Barre's City Place Friday afternoon, social worker Lara Sobel's shoe, and the rifle police say Jody Herring shot her with remained on scene.

Barre Police Chief Tim Bombardier says Herring fired the shots at close range and then witnesses stopped her from fleeing or firing more.

“She was apprehended by people outside and people inside the building that saw what was going on,†said Bombardier. “My understanding was that they tackled her.

The crime-scene in the heart of downtown Barre drew crowds of on-lookers as day turned to night, and the investigation continued.

Investigators say the alleged shooter is well-known to police and has had multiple child welfare issues.

A judge ordered the removal of her nine-year-old child in July and police believe that led her to shoot Sobel Friday.

“This is obviously a heart-breaking tragedy, I think that it is inconceivable that an event like this could happen here,†said Ken Schatz, Vt. Dept. for Children and Families Commissioner.

Schatz called Sobel an experienced worker. He says grief counselors are being made available to his staff.

“We'll do the best we can to support each other,†said Schatz.

The state will asses security at all its state offices following the shooting.

Police say they have plenty of evidence but will stay on-scene until the job is done. 

“We're still going to cross our Ts, dot our Is, detectives are going to work through the night doing interviews,†said Bombardier.

Herring will face charges in a Barre courtroom Monday. Police say there's no indication she acted with anyone else.

Friday night, Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont -- who's out of state on vacation -- issued this statement on the shooting:

"While we won't know all the details for some time, the initial reports are horrific and break my heart. I've asked the Department of Human Resources to immediately make available crisis and grief counseling services to state employees affected by this incident. I have also asked the Agency of Administration to work with Vermont State Police to support the investigation. While there is no indication of a broader threat, the Agency of Administration will review security procedures in state buildings in light of this tragic event and provide any additional measures immediately. Additionally, until we know more about this incident, DCF staff have been directed to only go out on emergency calls this weekend accompanied by law enforcement.

"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."

Acting Governor -- Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont -- coordinated with the Governor's office to respond to the shooting:

“This is an incredibly difficult day as we try to comprehend the loss of one of our state employees in what appears to be a senseless act of violence. Lara Sobel spent her life helping others. Today, her life was stolen – not only from her – but from her children, her spouse, her family, her friends, her coworkers, as well as the countless children and families she helped and had yet to help. While we mourn and wait patiently for answers, we should feel fortunate to have such dedicated public servants as Lara in Vermont, and we must continue to strive to protect those who give so much to protect others.â€

Sad situation. I also can't believe some of the comments that defend the mothers actions. The caseworker didn't deserve to die. She was doing her job.

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This is just heartbreaking. I wish more people know that the goal of DCFS (or CFS, or whatever it is called in whatever state) is always family reunification. Even worse, the idea that the government is "out to get people's kids." The government doesn't want to be responsible for people's children--that much is clear by how terrible the foster system and supports are, and how little is allocated for it. They step in when necessary and try to strengthen families to be able to care for their children appropriately.

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I was reading the comments section, and apparently, three people from this family were found murdered, in a home. It is believed to be the work of the shooter of the DCF employee. I did my own search, and it appears that she was arrested for DUI on 6/23.

*edited to add more info.

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Oh my- I feel awful for the family of the DCF worker. It's an amazingly tough job and this worker lost her life because she was dedicated to helping children. It's shocking how often family issues lead to a murder being committed.

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Gosh, those evil DFS workers sure got what they had coming to them. Stealing people's kids for phat loot. :roll:

It astounds me how many nutjobs out there are applauding with this woman's vile actions.

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This is up in my neck of the woods and it is just tragic. Vermont just isn't that big so the impact of something like this effects the entire state. I could not believe the comments after the articles. I bet 80% were not from Vermont and the one's who were, were either expressing sympathy for the families, trying to correct the ass holes who are convinced the DCF worker (Lara Sobel) deserved to be shot, or they were disgruntled piss poor parents wanting to whine about a mean DCF worker who took their children from them for no reason. Yup, right.

The response from some is especially astounding given that the state was raked over the coals last year (lots of investigations) for not removing children in two instances and those children were then killed by their parents. This is from the Burlington Free Press:

"The DCF worker, John Salter, reported he saw Peighton Geraw sleeping in a crib and he observed bruises to the child's neck," a police affidavit obtained Monday by the Burlington Free Press stated.

Salter left after viewing the baby and speaking with the child's mother, Nytosha LaForce, 28, and her boyfriend, Tyler Chicoine, 24, at the Winooski apartment at 1 p.m. April 4, the affidavit stated.

An ambulance was called at 1:41 p.m. after the baby was discovered not breathing. Peighton, who turned 1 year old in January, was declared dead at the hospital at 2:06 p.m., according to the affidavit. The four-page document was written by Detective Peter Chapman of the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations in support of a request to search the LaForce's apartment........The Department for Children and Families, which provides child protective services, was criticized in February following the death of a Poultney toddler, Dezirae Sheldon, 2. She died as the result of a skull fracture, according to the authorities. Stepfather Dennis Duby, 31, of Poultney has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

According to court records, Sheldon's mother, Sandra Eastman was convicted in 2013 of abusing the child, but the state later chose to allow Eastman to retain custody of Dezirae after Eastman received probation.

DCF's handling of the matter is the subject of four state investigations.

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2014/05/12/dcf-visited-home/9017739/ not breaking as it's a newspaper.

But now this was a mamma bear just protecting her cub. Of course I believe this is the THIRD cub she has had removed from her care. It is totally unbelievable. Now we find she allegedly killed three family members, two cousins and their mother, and the response from some is, "well Jody called one of them that morning and told them to stop reporting her to DCF." Apparently these internet posters have decided that the relatives were just stirring up trouble. Nothing to see here. Good grief.

My heart breaks for Lara Sobel's family including two children, the Herring family, and Jody Herring's daughter. So senseless and did exactly the opposite of what JH wanted 'cause she definitely won't be getting to keep her child now.

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DCF (or CPS here in NY state) definitely does NOT want to remove children from their families. In fact, they often force children to remain in unhealthy, dangerous situations far longer than they should and as some posters have already pointed out, kids DIE because of it.

I called them many, MANY times on stepdaughter's behalf. I was shocked to learn that it's completely legal to hit your children about the head and face, and to strike them with objects (as long as you don't leave a bruise). It wasn't considered neglect that SD wasn't provided proper clothing, enough food to eat (imagine being 12 and having to share an orange with your little sister for breakfast), an actual bed, or even enough heat.

Most people truly have no idea of how "the system" actually works.

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I don't see any comments on the article in the OP...where are y'all seeing them? I don't know why I'm asking; it's not like I need to subject myself to reading them, but I'm a glutton for punishment...

I'm a CPS worker. The really scary part of this incident for me is that it was very obviously premeditated. It wasn't a confrontation during a contentious home visit where mom pulled out a gun in the heat of the moment. She waited for Lara outside her office. Chilling.

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