Jody Herring shot Lara Sobel, an employee with the Department for Children and Families, on Friday outside a Barre, Vt., office building that houses the DCF. Herring was then detained by people in and around the building, according to police.
He added, "To lose one of our own in the course of that duty is shocking and heartbreaking."
DCF employees were told to report to homes this weekend only in emergency cases and with law-enforcement escorts.
The new child safety law emphasizes protecting children in state custody by securing their well being rather than returning them to their families.
Murder charges are pending against Dezirae's stepfather and Peighton's mother, who have pleaded not guilty.