Communities across the South Plains are in shock after a third grader at Lubbock Christian School was shot and killed by her grandfather during a hunting accident Friday night.
Hockley County investigators say Peter Dahlstrom, Lubbock Christian School superintendent, accidentally shot and killed his granddaughter, nine-year-old Soren Dahlstrom during the hunting trip.
The accident happened in between Anton and Roundup Friday night around 8:30. Hockley County Sheriff Kevin Davis says Dahlstrom raised his rifle to shoot an animal. Seconds before firing, Soren moved into the line of fire and was shot in the head.
Her grandfather rushed her to University Medical Center in Lubbock where she died a few hours later. "I was stunned, I received a phone call around 12:30 last night and any time your phone rings late at night you always think something bad could have happened" School Board Chairman, and close family friend of the Dahlstrom's, Brian Pitaniello says.
It was a tragedy even the Hockley County Sheriff's Office couldn't believe. "I cannot begin to fathom the pain they are feeling," said Davis. "My heart aches for them, and our hearts at the sheriff's office goes out to them as they try to cope with this tragedy."
As students return to school on Monday, Pitaniello says counselors will be on hand to visit with classmates and friends of Soren. "On a campus our size all the kids know each other, and so it has touched many of the kids here," he said. "My kids knew Soren, and she's a beautiful girl, just the sweetest girl."
While the family is mourning the loss of their precious daughter, the school community has come together with students leading a prayer group Saturday morning. "Nobody loves our children more than Mr. Dahlstrom does, and the kids love him," said Pitaniello. "They turned to the only thing, the only person they know to turn to and that was to God. They got on their knees and just pouring their hearts out and praying for the entire Dahlstrom family."
Investigators say this was nothing more than a very tragic accident and that there absolutely no indication of any criminal intent. Sheriff Davis also says three of Dahlstrom's grandchildren were in the back seat of the pick-up during the accident but no one else was hurt.
If you would like to send your prayers to the Dahlstrom family a Facebook group has been set up to remember Soren. (Click here) to leave a comment.