BATH COUNTY, Va. -- A mother has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of her six-year-old daughter.
Sheriff's deputies responded to Darla Hise's Bath County home Saturday night when the 27-year-old woman called 911.
"I think my daughter has been shot," Sheriff Robert Plecker told WDBJ the caller stated without providing a name nor address.
Deputies drove to the area of where the call was made and found Hise. Inside the home, deputies discovered six-year-old Abby Hise.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
A three-year-old boy, Abby's brother, was also inside the home. He was handed over to family while deputies took Darla Hise to the hospital for observation. She was later arrested and charged with Abby's murder.
Investigators, including the Virginia State Police, are working to determine what happened in the time leading up to the shooting.
"We're waiting on some reports back from the hospital, from the medical examiner. We still have some people we want to talk to so its an ongoing investigation," Sheriff Plecker said.
Hise, investigators said, had no criminal history and could legally own a gun.
Some in the Bath County community are struggling to cope with what happened.
"It's something that you don't expect to happen in a small community at all, so it makes everybody realize they need to hug and love everybody and go to bat for all these families and children and lift them up," Bath County Supervisor Claire Collins told WDBJ.
"I've seen a lot of crime scenes and this one here is going to rank up in the top one or two, the crime scene that we're dealing with as the severity of the crime scene," Sheriff Plecker added.
Abby was in kindergarten at Valley Elementary School and a regular at church, Lifeline Ministry's Children's pastor Melissa Ailstock said.
"She was one of my Kids for Christ children, who would come once a month to church, precious, precious little girl," Ailstock told WDBJ. "She was always very happy, had lots of little friends, loved to hug. She was a good little girl."
She will be laid to rest during a service on Thursday.
Her mother is due in court on Wednesday.