LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A spokesman for Lufkin's Harold's House described the situation in Florida where two sisters, ages 15 and 11, were arrested in connection to the shooting death of their 16-year-old brother as a “tragedy on so many different levels.”
"There's going to be 100,000 whys, and we might never know why this child acted out like this," said Mark Hunter, the sheriff of Columbia County, Florida.
The Columbia County Sheriff has the same question as most of us, after learning of a tragedy that ended a sixteen year old boy's life Monday in White Springs, Florida.
"I've never seen anything like this," Hunter said.
"Traumatic and very final in the death of another sibling," said Ashley Cook, the Community Education Director of Harold's House.
According to the Columbia County Sheriff's Department, the two sisters, planned the shooting of their older brother.
"The Florida situation is a tragedy on so many different levels," Cook said.
The girls were arrested and could possibly be charged with premeditated murder. As more is learned about the Florida family, the reasons behind these girls' behavior is becoming a little more clear.
"According to reports, there is a long history of sexual and physical abuse and possibly neglect in the family," Cook said.
The parents of the minors allegedly left them home in unacceptable conditions, and the oldest girl, endured sexual abuse from her uncle.
"The important thing is that we don't ignore something that we think might be a concern," Cook said.
Cook says that any kind of abuse can directly affect the mental state of a child, as she's seen in several cases right here in Lufkin. They could be avoided.
"Earlier intervention for these children is what was needed," Cook said.
As for the two girls, Cook says the abuse they experienced needs to be considered while their fate is determined in a court of law.
"I think we need to have sympathy and understand why people are hurting," Cook said.
They are still responsible, but Cook said law enforcement should "somehow find a way to balance that with accountability."