Vermont woman uses high-powered rifle to kill social services worker after losing custody of her daughter
Police at crime scene where DCF employee Laura Sobel was killed - screenshot

A Vermont woman has been taken into custody after she allegedly used a high-powered rifle with a scope to shoot and kill a social services worker after losing custody of her 9-year-old daughter, reports the Burlington Free Press.


According to police, Jody Herring fired two shots at "close proximity" Friday night, killing Vermont Department for Children and Families employee Lara Sobel as she left her office.

Authorities say witnesses tackled Herring after the shooting, holding her until police arrived.

According to the DCF, Sobel had been involved in a case that ended with Herring's 9-year-old daughter being taken into state custody. Police are investigating whether Sobel had any other relationship with Herring outside of the custody case.

Police recovered the weapon, described as  a "fairly high caliber hunting rifle" by Barre City Police Chief Tim Bombardier.

Security will be upgraded at the facility for the next days, with DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz stating: "We're doing the best we can to support our staff. Any sort of death is a tragedy. In this situation we lost one of our own."

Sobel worked for the DCF for 14 years and is survived by her husband and two daughters.

Herring is being held and will be arraigned on Monday morning. Her daughter continues to stay in state custody.