VT Woman Uses an Assault Ri- … Sorry, Hunting Rifle to Kill Social Worker

Vermont crime scene (courtesy burlingtonfreepress.com)

Gun rights advocates like to point out that the hysteria over “assault rifles” is misplaced. AR-style modern sporting rifles are a lot less likely to be used in a crime than handguns, as statistics reveal. The New York Times (no less) reports that “In 2012, only 322 people were murdered with any kind of rifle, F.B.I. data shows.” The numbers don’t reveal the percentage of MSRs in that total, but you can bet it’s pretty low. Besides, what difference does it make? Traditional hunting rifles are just as deadly as “assault rifles”, as this story [via burlingtonfreepress.com] reveals . . .

A Vermont Department for Children and Families worker was shot and killed in Barre City on Friday afternoon by a mother unhappy with losing custody of her child, city and state officials said.

Lara Sobel died from two gunshot wounds as she left the DCF office at the Barre City Place, 219 North Main St., at about 4:45 p.m., Barre City Police Chief Tim Bombardier said.

The suspect, Jody Herring, was tackled by eyewitnesses and held until police arrived, the chief said.

A rifle with a scope lay under a window of City Place, which houses some state offices. The weapon was described by the chief as a “fairly high caliber hunting rifle.”

It’s fairly clear that gun control advocates’ constant demonization of modern sporting rifles is based entirely on the premise that they look scarier than other types of firearms. Not that any type of firearm should be demonized, but there you go. Over to you Bernie Sanders, the presidential candidate who supports an “assault weapons” ban. For civilians, not police.


  1. avatar Mark N. says:

    No no no, not MSR, it’s now “sport utility rifle.”

    1. avatar essjay says:

      I’m definitely going to refer to ARs as “utes” and/or “sport utes” for now on.

  2. avatar Danny Griffin says:

    When I posted on the Moms Demand Action facebook page after the Navy Yard shooting and asked them if they wanted to ban shotguns, they banned me.

    1. avatar JWM says:

      Ideas. Much deadlier than firearms.

      1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

        They can’t have any dissension on their pages. That might cause someone to think instead of follow.

    2. avatar Galtha58 says:

      @Danny: Lol, thanks for the laugh.

    3. avatar S.CROCK says:

      @Danny Griffin
      That means you are doing something right.

    4. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      OF COURSE -their goal is to ban all guns…

      1. avatar Question Authority says:

        Ban all guns, and apparently all free speech.

    5. avatar Wiregrass says:

      Yeah, any TTAG commenter, except for maybe Willy Headcheese, that hasn’t been banned from MDA’s FB page, hasn’t posted there yet.

  3. avatar JWM says:

    Wow. A scoped hunting rifle. AKA Sniper Rifle. Or that’s how mda and crowd will describe it.

    1. avatar Ray says:

      After JFK and MLK there WAS a huge push in small circles to redefine all scoped deer rifles as “sniper rifles” and make them NFA items. Fortunately in the Sixties we had smarter Democrats.


      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        Democrats tried that in the mid-90’s as well (1995 as I recall). Hot on the heels of the AWB they thought they could do anything. Fortunately it didn’t get far, but that’s how radical they are.

        1. avatar Cassandra (of Troy) says:

          Here’s a later example that you/others may have forgotten about.:

          Link: 9/11/01 attack & hunting

          And I also recall seeing (but cannot find video of) the (UIM) Marlin 336 .30-30 used in the 1997 Pearl/MS high school shooting being described as an “assault rifle” due to the press identifying the downward projecting lever (indicating an open & thus safe action) as wunna them eeeevillllll “large capacity magazines” as it was paraded before the cameras Oswald-style by (I believe) a cop. Also saw the same rifle in the same condition described the same way by 2 LEOs in an episode of COPS & the locale was (IIRC) rural, yet more proof disputing the assumption about LE being firearms ‘experts’. Perhaps RF/someone else can find that Pearl/MS & COPS video……

    2. avatar Cassandra (of Troy) says:

      Correctimundo, JWM, & where praytell would they get ‘authoritative’ support for that description?

      Link to Josh Sugarmann, of course!

  4. avatar Captain Obvious says:

    A hunting rifle? I thought there were only two types of rifles- assault rifles and sniper rifles. At least that seems to be how the media usually describes it. Whoever wrote that article must not have checked the AP stylebook. I’m pretty sure this should have been described as a sniper rifle.

  5. avatar davidx says:

    Barre is kind of a tough town; it’s seen better days, like maybe a hundred years ago, when the granite mines were still going full-tilt-boogie.

    It was probably a pretty common hunting rifle in this case, so it will be interesting to see how the media plays the nomenclature.

    In sorta related news, the governor here signed a bill that OKs suppressors recently. This state and Arizona are now the most gun-friendly states in the country, so far as I know.

    1. avatar Cameron b says:

      Two white chicks? No media story here.

  6. avatar gsnyder says:

    Fairly high caliber? What does that mean? Nice report there boys in blue. Geez! I tell people there is no such thing as an assault weapon or maybe everything can be one? It’s what you get assaulted with. Ban scopes. How many shots were fired?

    1. avatar actionphysicalman says:

      High caliber? Does that mean like a Krieghoff or all the way to like a Holland and Holland? I am always losing sleep thinking about those dangerous folks with the big doubles.

    2. avatar Galtha58 says:

      @gsnyder: Wondered about the “fairly high caliber” remark also. Must be somewhere in between a 22 and 50 I guess. Probably leaves out 223 and 556 as the bullets that come out of those are not much bigger than a 22. If I had to guess and it was a bolt action with a scope 30 caliber is a good bet. Should we start a pool on this ?

      1. avatar CTstooge says:

        I’m betting .243.

      2. avatar Question Authority says:

        I’ll bet it was a lever action 30-30.

      3. avatar lowell says:

        Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe it was a .270 or a .308. Something really, really hardhitting that only weightlifters and enraged mothers dare shoulder.

    3. avatar Art out West says:

      “Fairly high caliber” basically means it wasn’t a .22lr or other rimfire. I think the newsmedia would refer to any centerfire rifle cartridge that way (even wimpy stuff like .223 or 7.62×39). This was probably something like a 30-30 or 30-06.

    4. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

      Assault rifles are chambered in the super powerful NATO 5.56 round that is too powerful for civilians to use. Your typical hunting rfile is chambered in less lethal cartridges like 30-06, 270 or 300 win mag hence the term “fairly high powered” is appropriate.

      1. avatar Chrispy says:

        Jeez, my .30-06 has a pretty respectable amount of recoil… I’d hate to pull the trigger on one of those uber-deadly 5.56 ghost guns!

  7. avatar Allen says:

    If they need it to be an assault rifle, an assault rifle it shall be.

  8. avatar FedUp says:

    Well, Elmer, looks like they’re coming after your bolt-action and your double barrel next.

    Be vewwy vewwy qwiet. It’s hard to sneak up on wabbits with this slingshot.

  9. avatar anaxis says:

    While I haven’t been able to find any information about exactly what type of rifle was used, the thought crossed my mind that maybe it was a Mosin Nagant. There are certainly enough of them out there, and it’s surprising to me that one hasn’t been very publicly used for nefarious purposes by someone.
    If so, would the media & authorities announce that a military rifle instead of a hunting rifle was used as the murder weapon? Or if it was a Mosin Nagant that had been modified with a cheap Monte Carlo stock & scope, might they still refer to it as a hunting rifle?
    Maybe I’m just being cynical, but in either case I’d expect that military surplus bolt-action rifles could become the next target for the ATF’s ban-hammer.

    1. avatar Scrubula says:

      It’s interesting though because most military rifles are later adopted for hunting and target shooting, then a new ‘breakthrough’ in technology comes, and the new rifles are again used by civilians for legitimate purposes.
      The first bolt action rifles were top of the line rifleman technology, but now they’re the public eye’s hunting rifle. In 50 years will .308 battle rifles be the standard for hunting?

      Furthermore look at australia. When they banned all semi autos for common use they tried to make them seem like scary new technology (the same way gun control fanatics do here). Yet they are still in a different era with this banning of a lever action shotgun. Just something to think about.

      1. avatar anaxis says:

        Very true.
        I’ve been half-expecting the media/ATF to eventually come down on the Mosin Nagant as an OFWG saturday-night special rifle; all it takes is one high-profile case. In addition, if it had been an M44, they’d be screaming for a ban simply because that particular model has a folding bayonet.

  10. avatar Don says:

    Sounds to me like a defensive use of a firearm, or at least that’s what it would be if some bureaucrat tried to take my child away from me. I’m sorry the DCF lady was shot and died, but more often than not these agencies seem to go to endless lengths to separate healthy happy kids from good people and sometimes imprison good parents for nothing more than bucking the system, while allowing atrocities and murders to be committed on other innocent children that fall through the cracks.

    1. avatar Woodchuck says:

      First off defending yourself by hunting down someone who’s done you wrong is pretty hard to classify as as defensive. Secondly it seems unlikely that she was just getting even with an evil bureaucrat who was cackling in her dungeon after ripping a child from her loving mothers arms seeing as how the shooter also killed her aunt and two cousins beforehand. http://www.wptz.com/news/several-agencies-on-scene-of-death-investigation-in-berlin/34611510

    2. avatar Jjimmyjonga says:

      It more likely than not that when the dcf becomes involved, the actors are living off the government tit, as was/is the case here. The tax payers will continuentonraise her kids and take care of her now for the rest of her miserable existence. Much of the crime we have in this country involves actors who depend upon others, including mommy and daddy, for handouts.

  11. avatar pwrserge says:

    Heres’a a wacky idea. Don’t take kids away from their parents and you don’t get shot. Simple.

    As far as I am concerned, there are few lower forms of life on this planet than so-called “social workers”.

    1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      ^^^ Nailed it!

    2. avatar Vee says:

      So, in your mind, there is nothing a parent could ever do that would justify having the children taken away? I fear for yours.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Not if the parent is not in prison. If the parent is behind bars, there’s no removal to discuss is there?

        The problem is that these clowns violate people’s rights without due process every day. I find the idea that they are punished for such acts without the same due process rather fitting.

    3. avatar outwardhound says:

      You just might want to spend some volunteer time with your local CASA or GAL before spouting your wacky ideas. You might find yourself asking “why the hell weren’t these children removed sooner?” You know, often after they’ve been starved, beaten senseless, sexually abused, left abandoned for days on end . . . .

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        You do realize that criminal acts on the part of the parent make the point of removal moot? Right?

        Given that the mother was obviously out and about as opposed to in jail, no such acts took place.

        1. avatar What about Bob says:

          Obvious to the clueless maybe.

        2. avatar NoID says:

          She may have been out on the street thanks to the very system of due process that you’re complaining isn’t being utilized farther up the thread. Just saying.

      2. avatar DJ says:

        Because that never happens in foster homes, right?

        Most of us have lived long enough to see how great a job the state (and it’s various agents”) do at parenting.

        If children are going to be removed, it should be into a safe environment. The state has no ability to guarantee the environment these children are going into is not worse than the one they are being removed from.

        1. avatar NoID says:

          Nor could any private organization have that same guarantee. There are no guarantees in life.

    4. avatar Mad Max says:

      Or lower paid. Most “social workers” pay is down there with migrant farm workers (except the social workers usually get health care and pensions).

      But they frequently aren’t the brightest bulbs around and they seem to get satisfaction out of acting like the Gestapo.

    5. avatar NoID says:

      As a foster parent, I can’t comment on Vermont but I do know that I’m up to my ears in due process here in Michigan.

      I can say with 100% certainty that the kids in my house needed to be removed from the home they were in. The parents are working to regain custody, and that is great. Michigan is a reunification state, which means the goal of the system is to get the kids back into the home right up until the point where it is clearly (and judicially) impossible. But these kids were at risk for serious abuse and have a sibling that was most definitely abused, and the parents enabled the abuse by a clear act of negligence even after being made aware of the risk.

      Do bad apple parents get into the foster care system? Yes. Do over-zealous social workers get kids fed into the system unnecessarily? Yes. Is it worth throwing the babies out with the bath water? No, and I challenge opponents to find a workable alternative.

  12. avatar Dave L says:

    This woman killed 3 other people. She clearly has some significant mental issues.

  13. All types of firearms are dangerous when they’re in the wrong hands.

    Especially those who legally shouldn’t have them, But the jackboot brainwashed gun-slave cranks, their ministry of propaganda and their gun-lobby masters fight any attempts to prevent any reasonable restrictions that would have prevented this and any other tragedies.

    Meanwhile in reality, Aka the civilized world, Japan, Europe, Australia and Canada has still not suffered from any mass shootings or gun-rights sponsored terrorism.

    I have heard the saying that guns don’t kill people, people do. Well if the gun isn’t there to use, the person cannot kill with it. Common sense.

    It’s easier to run or defend from a knife or a baseball bat than a gun.

    1. avatar Vee says:

      And here comes the predictable torrent of vitriol. Wait for it…

    2. avatar JWM says:

      Panama must really be chapping your hide, troll boy.

    3. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      “I have heard the saying that guns don’t kill people, people do.”

      98% of the time.

    4. avatar PW in KY says:

      So you’re actually unaware of the fact that there HAVE been mass shootings in Europe recently? Or intentionally lying, which is it?

      1. avatar Nagurski says:

        You would probably be shocked at the amount of foreigners who know more about America and American history than they do about their own. I’d bet you there are more people in Japan that know who Obama is than their are people who know about Shinzo Abe.

        1. avatar Art out West says:

          Japan changes Prime Ministers fairly frequently.

    5. avatar Tater says:

      Ha ha ha because it’s so much more noble to die by knife well England has such great knife control now…

    6. avatar Galtha58 says:

      WARNING: Do not feed Willy the Troll. He will drive us all crazy with his rants if you do. Pretty much everything he says you can read on the MDA site, if you care to go there. He just regurgitates that stuff.

      1. avatar jsj says:

        Seems he’s also regurgitating things he’s reading on White Supremacist websites with a few “editorial changes”. See Ferguson article.

    7. avatar RetiredJarhead says:

      Norway 2011, Anders Breivik, 69 shot and killed, 110 injured, plus 8 dead from a bomb. Crazy kills. Guns are inanimate objects with no will of their own, incapable of autonomous action

      1. avatar Wiregrass says:

        Cumbria, England 2010. 12 killed, 11 wounded with a double barrel 12ga. shotgun and a CZ452 .22lr rifle.

    8. avatar Reed says:

      Willy thinks it’s easy to defend against a knife. Willy thinks he’s physically fit enough to outrun a determined criminal. Most people aren’t physically fit enough for… hardly anything. Someone that goes by “Lunchmeat” is unlikely to be a paragon of physical fitness.

      Willy wasn’t tracking the Charlie Hebdo shootings. Or that Hans Brevik mess. Or that shooting at the Canadian Parliament. Or that standoff at the café in Australia.

      Willy probably lives a fairly insulated, comfy life.

    9. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      Shut up neo-Nazi, we know about your connection to Stormfront now.

  14. avatar covermy6 says:

    I wouldn’t want to work with child services. No matter if it was justified or not to remove the child, most people get pretty pissed when you mess with their kids.

  15. avatar Sumyungguy says:

    Let me clue some of you guys in on something, (as far as arizona) if they take your kids…you deserved it. I had family working for the state prosecuting the cases, and some if them hard to hear or even think about. Forcing a dildo inside a an 18month? Leaving a child in it’s car seat, while you stayed inside getting high and plying video games..and the child ends up dying because if infection from sitting in a shit diaper? How about a child so malnourished it died. The parents excuse? I couldn’t pay BOTH the cable bill AND buy formula. Before so many of you side with the mom, remember the state usually has evidence of child endangerment before they remove the child.of course Some tweeker pimping her 12yr old daughter would get pissed if you take a huge income away from them…

    1. avatar DJ says:

      Again, if the state is going to remove the child, the state has the obligation to ensure the child is going into a safe environment. There are plenty of foster homes which are every bit as bad as the homes these kids are being pulled out of. We need to “nuke and reboot” the entire family law system in this country.

      I don’t know enough about mom to opine on her as a parent. I do know the state (and it’s agents) are lousy parents.

    2. avatar Mister Fleas says:

      “Let me clue some of you guys in on something, (as far as arizona) if they take your kids…you deserved it.”

      Uh, no.


      Google: “Justina Pelletier”

      http://hslda.org/Legal/state/ca/19950223Calabretta/default.asp -Warrantless search of home and strip search based solely on an anonymous complaint.




      CPS is out of control in this country. That being said, in the VT shooting, the mother was clearly in the wrong.

  16. avatar TruthTellers says:

    I’m waiting for the day when an ex con uses a Brown Bess they bought without one of them universal background checks from a catalog and the media gives it the headline Mail Order Massacre.

    God knows what nonsense DiFi would come up with to label muskets as murder weapons used by gangbangers and call for their banning.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      As I recall the standard for the Brit Infantry armed with a BrownBess musket was 4 rounds per minute. That thars an assault musket. 240rd/hour 5760/day! Everyone could die. And the carbon! Globalwarming!

      1. avatar TruthTellers says:

        I forgot about the CO2 emissions. Oh, and I guess because it’s black powder, the second hand smoke innocent passerby’s would get is also “super dangerous imminent death must be banned forever” material for anti’s.

  17. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    There are a lot of kids that get mistreated by their parents or aren’t well cared for. I have a good friend who along with his brother was taken from his mother. He was in foster care for a few years and the things he told me about what that was like make me seriously question the foster care system. The parents might be doing a poor job, but the foster system is frequently worse.

  18. avatar FedUp says:

    It appears that before killing the caseworker, she killed her cousin who reported her to DCF. I doubt the public will ever know if her kid was justly or unjustly taken from her, but the fact that she killed two other relatives who happened to be there gives me the idea her sense of personal justice wasn’t very finely tuned…

    Tiffany Herring, 23, found her mother and her sister, along with an aunt, shot to death in a farmhouse Saturday morning, according to local reports and Vermont State Police.

    The victims were identified as Jody Herring’s cousins, Rhonda (Tiffany’s mother) and Regina Herring (in their 40s) and aunt, Julie Ann Folzorano (in her 70s), the New York Daily News reports. Several shell casings were recovered from the bloody scene by investigators, police said at a Saturday night press conference.

    Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/2321566/jody-herring-woman-accused-of-social-worker-murder-after-losing-custody-also-killed-family/#umz8SqikIrrmlU62.99

  19. avatar Gman says:

    “It’s fairly clear that gun control advocates’ constant demonization of modern sporting rifles is based entirely on the premise that they look scarier than other types of firearms.”
    No, it’s because they are black. The left inadvertently shows just how prejudice and hateful they are.

    1. avatar Wiregrass says:

      So that’s why they were calling Bernie Sanders a white supremacist liberal in Seattle this weekend.

  20. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    That does it. I was torn between an AR and a mini 14 for a trail gun. I am going with rhe Mini 14 because it is neither an assault rifle nor a sniper rifle. It’s a ranch rifle and can only be used on a farm or ranch.

    (/sarc for the usual literalists)

    1. avatar tsbhoA.P.jr says:

      this only proves that the literalists have already won.

  21. avatar Jb says:

    Did it have a barrel shroud? Or maybe a flash suppressor. It had to have a pistol grip. Must have gotten it at a gun show.

  22. avatar Kap says:

    Having had run ins with the Social services People, the Case worker was being an A** most of these people get swelled head disease have no accountability and become abusive under color of Law! They think they can do anything they want because you asked them for help! Lady shooter has my sympathy she was facing losing her children, probably informed of this in a Degrading and rude manner, and the Social Worker got the final surprise!
    I feel sorry for Both families, in the End the Social Worker Got her way! the shooter kids are now part of the System and the Social workers family has lost a loved one a lose lose situation!

  23. avatar JWM says:

    Wow, nutjob woman kills 3 of her own family before the social worker. People still defending her and blaming the social workers.

    Apparently there’s a bunch of questionable parents commenting here that have had run ins with cps or the like.

    Being a decent parent isn’t difficult at all. Between willy lunchmeat and the bad parents this comment thread is full of fail.

  24. avatar Psyguy says:

    Somewhere I found some numbers to crunch and the *cough cough* “evil black rifles” were responsible for about 40 deaths/year (IIRC, it was in the mid 30s).

    I hope I can find those sources again.

  25. avatar Paul Gross says:

    The rifle in question was a 700 , in .270 , with a Leupold 3×9 and composite (black) stock. Since the perp had a prior domestic conviction , she was a prohibited person. She apparently killed her Aunt and 2 others at their residence (presumably in retribution for their cooperation with Child Services) , and had tried to locate her brother by phone immediately (an hour or so) prior to shooting the social worker twice (once in the torso, then a coup de grace). The brother didn’t answer the voice mail. For those who care about these things , our (VT) Child Services has been under fire in the last year for NOT removing children , at the cost of 2 toddlers’ lives. In this case, it can be reasonably inferred that an unstable individual was backed into a corner with nothing to lose. The only missing component here for agenda-driven vitriol is that it was a WOMAN shooter , so nobody is beating the “men are violent pigs” drums.

  26. avatar Yngvar says:

    She killed only women. Unless she turns out to be a secret lesbian the MSM will not be able to figure out who’s the victim here.

  27. avatar Cassandra (of Troy) says:

    Re: CPS & in loco parentis liability

    Link: Castle Rock v Gonzales

    This case is a 3fer as it clearly demonstrates,: 1) That govt/its agents can do pretty much what it/they wish w/ little if any legal risk, 2) Said govt/its agents have NO legal obligation to protect ANYONE from ANYTHING, & 3) Being a Sup Court decision, it’s VERY difficult for the anti-2A cult to dismiss as inconsequential/meaningless ‘legal mumbojumbo’. Keep it in mind when confronting female &/or LE anti-2A cultists/shills peddling the “You don’t need a gun because the govt/LE HAS to protect you” BS line. I’ve used that case as a refutation & it hasn’t as yet failed to cause the cult/its shills all manner of trouble & especially in a public venue & followed w/ “ask any lawyer/LEO for confirmation”.

  28. When a young woman approaches the group in Chili’s and expresses her dismay, a guy with an assault rifle strapped across his back offers her a flyer. Um actually, there’s children here, she replies, and you’re a dumbass.

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