How to explain gun violence to children after the Texas church shooting

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 2:13 AM

Talking To Your Child About A Traumatic Event Like A School Shooting

Last month, Jane Ripperger-Suhler, a child psychiatrist at the Texas Child Study Center in Seton, had this advice for parents about how much they should say about a deadly mass shooting, such as the one in Las Vegas or the one in Sutherland Springs.

Be careful about who is watching with TV with you and how you explain it, she advises.

>> PHOTOS: Dozens dead, wounded in Texas church shooting

“It really depends on the developmental level of the kids,” she says. Consider how you think your children will take what they see on TV, she says. “I wouldn’t watch a lot with preschooler.”

For kids already in school, you can watch some with them, but be prepared to talk about it and answer their questions. You can ask things like: “What do you think about this?” “What questions do you have?” Gage if they want to talk about it, but, she says, “I wouldn’t force them to talk about this.”

>> Mass shooting at Texas church: Live updates

Explain things in the simplest yet factual way you can. You could say, “A man shot some people at a concert. I guess he was upset about something,” she says. Or in this case: “A man walked into a church and shot people.”

You can focus on how you are feeling, that you’re upset and that you also don’t understand why this happened, but be careful about how you are reacting. “If a parent swoons or becomes frantic, a child is going to do likewise.”

>> Devin Patrick Kelley: What we know about the alleged Sutherland Springs Baptist Church shooter

Most importantly, remind kids that they are safe; that you will keep them safe, and when they are at school, their teachers will keep them safe.

If your child seems to be fixated on what happened in these shootings, you could encourage them to draw, build something or act something out if they don’t want to talk about it.

>> On Statesman.com: Complete coverage of the Sutherland Springs church shooting

If they don’t seem to be able to move on after a few days, are afraid to go to school, are too scared to go to bed, are having physical symptoms of stress or behavior problems, get them help sooner rather than later, Ripperger-Suhler says.

Be especially aware if a child has experience a trauma before. Watching this scene on TV will not cause post-traumatic stress disorder, she says, but it can be more traumatic and disturbing to some kids.

>> Read more trending news 

Ripperger-Suhler says it’s important to go about normal life. And for many families, that normal life may mean going to church on a Sunday.

If your children express some fear about it, reassure them that you will keep them safe.

VIDEO: Mass Shooting at Texas Church

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Police: Teen mother arrested, accused of killing newborn baby

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 1:08 PM



tillsonburg/Getty Images
(tillsonburg/Getty Images)

A Texas teenage mother was arrested Friday, accused of killing her newborn child earlier this month, police said.

Erica Gomez, 17, is accused of stabbing her newborn child, wrapping the infant girl in a bathrobe and hiding the body in a storage shed at a home in the El Paso area, police said. The infant's body was found Feb. 9 by authorities, the El Paso Times reported. 

>> Read more trending news 

The infant had a stab wound and cuts to the neck and body, according to a news release from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

Gomez was charged with capital murder and is being held on $800,000 bond, according to records from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

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500 children may need revaccination; Orlando doctor arrested, officials say

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:50 PM

A doctor draws out a flu shot. Orlando, Florida, doctor Ishrat Sohail (not pictured) has been accused of giving vaccines intended for Medicaid patients and uninsured children to patients with private insurance.
Chris Hondros/Getty Images
A doctor draws out a flu shot. Orlando, Florida, doctor Ishrat Sohail (not pictured) has been accused of giving vaccines intended for Medicaid patients and uninsured children to patients with private insurance.(Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

An Orlando, Florida, doctor has been arrested for Medicaid fraud.

The Florida Department of Health and the Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit said Friday that Dr. Ishrat Sohail is accused of giving vaccines to patients with private insurance. The vaccines were intended for Medicaid patients and uninsured children as part of the Vaccines for Children Program, or VFC, officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

Officials said Sohail is accused of giving patients partial doses of vaccines while billing insurance for the full amount, officials said. The partial doses also may not provide sufficient protection from potentially dangerous diseases that can be prevented with a full dose of vaccine.

The health department is working with the Agency for Health Care Administration and health insurance companies to notify all potentially affected families. At this time, it is estimated that approximately 500 children may have been affected, officials said in a news release.

Read: Florida eye doctor gets 17 years for Medicare fraud

Sohail’s license to practice medicine in the state of Florida has been suspended by the state.

In 2016, the department determined that Sohail administered two vials of VFC vaccines to non-Medicaid patients and billed private insurance companies, officials said. She was suspended from the VFC program for two months. 

Read: Florida doctor facing long Medicare fraud sentence

Officials said Sohail was placed on a corrective action plan, which limited the number of doses of vaccines available to her and in January, she was found to be in noncompliance.

Any child who received a vaccine from Sohail between 2016 and 2018 should contact a new primary care provider and consider revaccination, officials said.

There is also the possibility that Sohail did not follow best practices in maintaining the sterility of the vaccines she administered.

Officials say that, if a child experienced a severe adverse reaction or infection at the injection site of any vaccine administered by Sohail or her staff, patients should contact the Epidemiology Department at the Department of Health in Orange at 407-858-1485.

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Police: Man hit woman with pickup after she refused his advances

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 9:45 AM

Texas Man Allegedly Hits Woman With Truck After She Refused His Advances

A man is accused of hitting a woman with his pickup in Texas after she refused his advances toward her, according to an arrest affidavit.

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Carlos Amozurrutia, 27, of Round Rock, was charged with accident involving personal injury, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The victim said Amozurrutia was giving her a ride home Sunday when he began making unwanted advances toward her, the affidavit said. It said she told him to stop so he stopped his pickup and pushed her out. She said that when he drove away, he struck her with the truck, the affidavit said. It said police were alerted at 2:26 a.m. Sunday about the incident in the 400 block of Blockhouse Drive.

The victim had an injury on the left side of her face, and also scratches and red marks on her hands and knees, according to the affidavit. The affidavit does not say how the victim and Amozurrutia knew each other.

A witness who also was in the pickup said she got out of the truck with the victim and saw it strike her, the affidavit said.

It also said two other witnesses who were driving by saw the victim struck and knocked to the ground by an open door on the passenger side when the truck pulled away.

It said the two witnesses told police the driver left without offering to help the victim.

Police stopped Amozurrutia at a nearby gas station for an unrelated offense and were able to identify his truck as the one that hit the victim, the affidavit said.

Amozurrutia was released from the Williamson County Jail on Sunday after posting bail set at $75,000.

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Father intentionally killed 5-year-old son, police say

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:54 AM

Police: 5-Year-Old Son Intentionally Killed By Father

father is in custody after police say he intentionally killed his 5-year-old son at a DeKalb County, Georgia, home Wednesday night.

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It was not immediately clear what led to the homicide or how the boy was killed.

According to police, the child lived at a home on Rocky Pine Drive in Lithonia with his grandmother. His parents drove from California for an unannounced visit Wednesday, authorities said.

The boy’s mother and grandmother left the home, returned and “learned that the child had been murdered,” police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell told WSBTV.

Three other children were inside the home at the time of the killing, but were not injured, the news station reported. 

Police have not released the names of the father and child.

"Right now, the father is in custody,” Campbell said. “He is a 25-year-old male.” 

Authorities continued to investigate the incident Thursday.

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