Caseworker Determined Children Should Be Removed From Texas Home Just Before 3 Were Killed: Officials

The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Shamaiya Hall

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A caseworker determined children should be removed from a home located south of Dallas on Friday, just before three of them were found dead and two injured, officials said Saturday.

The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Shamaiya Deyonshana Hall, who family members and neighbors said is the mother of the children killed.

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office has not confirmed Hall as the children’s mother.

On Saturday, a spokesperson said Texas Child Protective Services came to a home on the 300 block of Harris for a home visit Friday. During the visit, a CPS investigator made the decision to remove the children from the home.

“The caseworker then called the Ellis County Sheriff 911 dispatch at appropriately 4 p.m.,” according to Deputy Jerry Cozby.

Police arrived shortly after and found five children critically injured children inside the home. A six-year-old boy and a five-year-old twin boy and girl were dead. Two other children in the home, a 4-year-old boy and a 13-month-old girl were seriously hurt. Both were rushed to hospitals in Fort Worth and Dallas.

Police have not released specific details on the home visit or how the three children died.

Hall was transported to the Wayne McCollum Detention Center, where she has been charged with 3 counts of Capital Murder. She has been arraigned with a $2 million bond on each charge.

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigating agency on this case, with assistance from the Texas Rangers.

Counseling services were offered at a school located in Italy, Texas school Saturday morning in response to the tragedy.

“Words cannot express the overwhelming grief felt by the district and the community hearing of such a tragedy,” a statement from Italy ISD read in part. “We are a tight-knit, small community and as such many students will be impacted by this incident.”

Counselors were available Saturday morning at Stafford Elementary, near the home where police found three children dead Friday afternoon. Counseling services will also be available Monday morning beginning at 10 a.m. at Central Baptist Church’s main campus, according to Italy ISD.

Sandra Reyes is a licensed professional counselor and says the process to move through the stages of grief with young students may need to be initiated by counselors or teachers.

"It’s important for the teachers and the counselors to help the students process through the tasks of grief," Reyes said. "A really good exercise is to have the students draw a circle and inside the circle write any feeling or thought that comes up when they talk about the loss."

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigating agency on this case, with assistance from the Texas Rangers.

The outpouring of support for those children and for Italy ISD has been reflected in social media posts this weekend from area districts encouraging their students to wear black and gold Monday.

A small gesture that Reyes adds is a meaningful part of processing grief too.

"We'’re talking about a person who had a life and had feelings and so just acknowledging and saying the name is very healing," Reyes said. So, the other things they’re doing, like wearing the colors in support – it is very beneficial.

Reyes says after counselors or teachers close the discussion regarding the loss and grief, that it is important to remind anyone, especially young students, to come back to the present moment.

"After you close the topic of what's happened it's important to remind them that they are safe - that this is a very unfortunate situation, however they are safe," Reyes said.

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