New details have emerged about the death of Suffolk, Virginia, real estate agent Soren Arn-Oelschlegel, who was killed Friday during a visit to a client’s home.
Arn-Oelschlegel was visiting Albert A. Baglione, 84, who’d just closed on a new home in Portsmouth a few days before the shooting, according to local reports and a previous Inman article. A next-door neighbor told local news outlet WTKR 3 Baglione “didn’t look right” in the days leading up to his meeting with Arn-Oelschlegel, and would drive up and down the street all day. “[Albert] just looked like maybe he had a mental breakdown or something,” the neighbor said.
Although Baglione admitted to killing Arn-Oelschlegel before turning the gun on himself, Portsmouth police were still baffled about Baglione’s motives and asked community members to provide tips through an anonymous hotline. However, Monday night, another neighbor came forward with heartbreaking details about the moments after the Realtor’s death.
“He bought the house sight unseen from Alabama, moved in here Thursday, and called a real estate agent Friday to return the house,” the neighbor told WTKR 3 in a follow-up report. “He called his son after he shot the real estate agent.”
Since the news of Arn-Oelschlegel’s death, colleagues, friends and former clients have gone to his Facebook page to offer condolences and share memories. “You are so loved and missed Soren,” one commenter wrote. “May God’s grace, love and comfort be with your family and friends during this devastating time of loss and grief.”
“[Your] final post,” another added. “[Real estate] made you happy. Tragic loss. Too young. So sad!”
In his almost six years as a real estate agent for Long & Foster Smithfield, Arn-Oelschlegel had become well known in Suffolk and Hampton, thanks to his work with the Hampton Roads Realtors Association and Hampton Roads Pride.
“We are heartbroken to announce to our Hampton Roads Pride family that yesterday, Friday, October 8, 2021, Søren Arn-Oelschlegel, our brother, friend, member and volunteer was fatally shot,” Hampton Roads Pride posted on Facebook. “Our love and support goes out to Soren’s family and friends as we struggle to wrap our heads around this devastating loss. Soren’s kind and generous spirit left us too soon.”
Arn-Oelschlegel’s death has become another reminder of the dangers associated with real estate sales, especially when meeting a client alone.
“Realtor colleagues and friends. Be careful out there even with your own clients,” a post read in the Facebook group Real Estate Mastermind. “Yet, another real estate industry tragedy.”
“Soren Arn-Oelschlegel, a local Virginia Realtor [was] shot and killed by his own client,” it continued. “Personally, I try not to take for granted how stressful a real estate transaction can be for clients. We also never know what mental state our clients are really in since we are not doctors.”
Local real estate organizations REIN MLS and Hampton Roads Realtors Association released statements about Arn-Oelschlegel’s passing and reminded real estate agents of the steps they can take to be safer while serving clients.
“It is with a heavy heart that HRRA shares the tragic passing of member Søren Arn-Oelschlegel, a Realtor with Long & Foster Real Estate in Suffolk,” HRRA shared in a public announcement. “Soren was shot Friday evening in Portsmouth. He was 41 and had been a member of HRRA since 2016.”
“The association will release memorial details for Soren once available,” they added. “As the Realtor community unites in mourning and support at this difficult time, we are reminded that safety is first and foremost; please visit https://www.nar.realtor/safety. HRRA expresses its sincere condolences to Soren’s family, friends and colleagues.”
The date for Arn-Oelschlegel’s memorial service has yet to be announced. However, Hampton Roads Pride has organized a candlelight vigil on Thursday.