Gail Lynn Coontz is accused of shooting and killing her two children, ages 14 and 11, before holding a counselor hostage at the University of Louisville.
Coontz, a widow and student at U of L, was charged by Louisville police with two counts of murder, and by University police with terroristic threatening.
Neighbor Patty Schneider said she found the news hard to believe because Coontz was an excellent mother to her kids.
Both principals at the children's schools, also reacted by saying they were shocked and confused by what could drive a mother, to kill her own.
Prosecutors say there is a possibility this may be treated as a capital case, which means Coontz could face the death penalty.
Coontz bond was set at $500,000.