Alyssa Musselman was a 7 year old girl with a bubbly personality who enjoyed going to the neighbors to see his horses. The school principal has described her as a good kid and a great student. The neighbor describes her as nice and polite. Alyssa Musselman lived with her parents Frank and Amy Musselman and her little 3 year old brother.
Yesterday about 11:20 am, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the home to investigate a report of a shooting on the request of Frank Musselman. What they found was little Alyssa Musselman dead of a gunshot wound, Amy Musselman with a gunshot wound to the chest. The little three year old boy was not physically injured.
Amy Sue Musselman was transported to one hospital then transferred to another hospital where she is reported to be in stable condition. Reportedly police interviewed her at the hospital and they say this appears to be a murder/suicide attempt with Amy Musselman using a small caliber rifle to shoot her daughter before turning the weapon on herself. Law enforcement believe the shooting may have happened several hours before the 911 call was made.
The sheriff has said that they don’t believe there are any outside suspects and that the focus of their investigation now is to find out how and why.
She was 7 years old. Likely her thoughts and speech were mainly concerned with the immediate events in her life, thoughts of starting back to school, maybe things like what her Halloween costume would be, her Christmas, when would she be able to go pet the horses again. Probably sprinkled in her conversation would have been phrases like ‘my friend says’ and ‘my teacher says’. Though children are born with their own personalities, it is about this age that they start developing their own individualty and separatness from their family.
Now she is silent. She was not given a chance to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up, did she want to be a wife and a mother. Did she want to have a career or a vocation. Replacing her sweet conversation will be ugly words, like coroner, autopsy, loss, funeral, prosecution, and courts.
Alyssa was supposed to be in school yesterday. Likely her absence received no special notice as children are absent from school from time to time. But today that empty chair will be the focus, as her teachers and schoolmates try to absorb what has happened. Many of those children would have had little experience with death. Some of those that had some experience probably thought that was what happened to ‘old’ people. At their young age, they’ve been slapped with a reality that no one ever wanted them to know. And they are receiving that reality through the loss of one of their own.
I wish I could offer words of comfort to the family. Yet I know there are no words that can be offered that will bring comfort right now. They have spent the last 24 hours trying to find the answers to big questions, like what happened, how it happened, what led up to it, and the biggest two- why it happened and why her? They will analyse every word and action connected to the family. They will cling to every scrap of information on what happened, read every report. But there are some things that just should not have happened and cannot be understood.
As usual, my thoughts are with the littlest. He is thought to have been in the home at the time of the shooting and to have been there for several hours before they were found. At 3 he would have been old enough to know that something was wrong, yet too young to know how to reach out to get assistance.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family, even knowing as I do that at times like this they bring little comfort.
Alyssa is remembered as the child with the bright smile and the long brown hair. She loved her cat and she enjoyed talking about fun or interesting things that happened at home. With an easy carefree attitude, she had a lot of friends at school.
The autopsy report concludes that Alyssa Musselman died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Amy Musselman has been charged with one count of homicide-open murder and felony firearms in the death of her daughter. She remains in intensive care with non-life threatening injuries, under 24 hour guard.
The investigation is continuing.
Amy Musselman has been determined incompetent to stand trial. She has been transferred to a facility for treatment and criminal proceedings are on hold.