By Daniel Egitto, Oxygen.com
A Connecticut woman described by neighbors as “sweet” and “a great mom” has been arrested after allegedly murdering her teenage daughter and critically injuring her 7-year-old son.
Naomi Bell’s husband, Owen Bell, had just dropped off one of their three children at a basketball game last Friday evening when he called his wife, according to a probable cause affidavit acquired by the Connecticut Post. On the phone, he was greeted by “horrible screaming” coming from their 15-year-old daughter.
Owen called 911 and raced to their Plymouth home, where he allegedly found his wife with a gun in her hands. Their daughter had been fatally shot, and their 7-year-old son had to be rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
Owen told police he owned multiple guns he kept in a locked cabinet.
Naomi, 43, was arrested and charged with murder with special circumstances and attempted murder with special circumstances, the Associated Press reports.
In the days since, her neighbors have struggled to understand what could have happened.
“She was sweet. She was a dog walking soccer mom,” her next-door neighbor, Taylor Wells, told NBC Connecticut.
Victoria Nadolski, another neighbor, recalled Naomi baking cookies and braiding her daughter’s hair, according to WFSB.
“They were a great family and she was a great mom,” Nadolski told the TV station.
Naomi had previously worked as a substitute teacher for one and a half years and as a molecular biology researcher for seven years before that, her attorney, Jassette Henry, said in court.
The mom had no prior criminal background, but she’d recently had two “psychiatric episodes” that left her in the hospital for over two weeks, Henry said, the Connecticut Post reports. She had been prescribed anti-psychotic medication, but her husband was worried that she hadn’t been taking it, according to the affidavit.
“It’s very clear that my client is experiencing her first psychosis experience,” Henry said.
Friday’s incident has left the Bells’ community reeling with loss.
Candles and flowers have been laid outside the couple’s home, and a local church organized a virtual vigil on Sunday, local station WTNH reports. Grief counselors were also available over the weekend at the middle school the Bells’ uninjured child attends.
Naomi is being held on a $2.5 million bond and appeared in court yesterday for her arraignment, according to NBC Connecticut.
Her attorney declined a request to comment in a phone interview with Oxygen.com.