Vigil held for slain social worker - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Vigil held for slain social worker

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GREENFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Many held back tears as they remembered the life of 48-year-old Lara Sobel.

"It's very hard to lose someone that works so hard and sometimes thanklessly in this profession," said Rebecca Stamulis.

The woman accused of killing Sobel has been identified as Jody Herring. 

Herring was allegedly upset about losing custody of her 9-year-old daughter.

"It just, it rattles you. There's no other way to describe it. It's every social workers worst fear. It's not what we sign up for. We sign up to help kids," said Peter Mckinnon, DCF Chapter President. 

Police say Sobel was shot twice. Once, when she was already on the ground. The incident is a reminder of how dangerous of a job social workers have.

"Everyday we walk into people's homes. Everyday we meet with folks who have a variety of issues and we do it as compassionately and as thoughtful as we can. But, there are times where we are absolutely in danger," said Sobel.

Police also believe that before shooting Sobel, Herring shot and killed her two cousins and an aunt in the neighboring town of Berlin.

Brenda Mozdzierz, an investigator for DCF in Greenfield, says safety protocols are in place. But, this wasn't preventable.

"We all have been in scary situations before. We've all been threatened. We've all been in horrible situations where you can talk your way out of it," said Mozdzierz."I think the situation that happened...It was unpredictable."

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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