Today in Newtown, Connecticut, and all over the nation, people are grieving as updates about the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting evolve. Adam Lanza is suspected to be the 20-year-old man who, armed with semiautomatic weapons and dressed in combat gear, entered the grade school and opened fire Friday morning. Twenty children are dead along with eight adults, which includes Adam's mother who was found shot at her home. It's the second-worst mass shooting since the 2007 massacre that killed 32 at Virginia Tech.
But among the bullets, the chaos, and the terror, there was bravery, selflessness, and heroism.
Reports are coming in about teachers and school staffers who risked their lives to protect the kids as the shooter took his aim. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Diane Day, a therapist who works at the school. She was in a routine meeting with principal Dawn Hochsprung, the school's psychologist, and a parent when they heard the pop, pop, pop.
She explains that the principal and the pyschologist weren't afraid to confront what was going on, and that the lead teacher, was also quick to help. Day revealed that this particular teacher couldn't lock the door to the classroom, so held the door shut by pressing her body up against it. Her arm and leg were shot through the door, and Day says, "she was our hero." Ms. Hochsprung and the psychologist were apparently two of the adults fatally shot.
One parent who has an 8-year-old at Sandy Hook says that her daugther's teacher locked the kids in the closet and wouldn't let the gunman in.
Third grade teacher Kaitlin Roig herded her kids into the bathroom and pushed a bookshelf she brought in with her in front of the door, barricading them inside. She reassured everyone that they would get to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah and told the kids to be absolutely silent. She said, "there are bad guys out there now, we need to wait for the good guys."
A custodian is also being lauded as a hero -- he ran through the halls alerting people there was a gunman, and telling everyone to get down and to hide. It's unclear if he survived.
And when I saw the photos of the classrooms being led out of the building in single file lines, holding hands, eyes shut, with a teacher or a school official leading the way, that too was evidence of courage under fire. They had to stay strong for the kids, and they did.
Where there's yin, there has to be yang.
Watch third grade teacher Kaitlin Roig explain her ordeal:
Have you heard other stories of heroism to come out of Sandy Hook?
Photo via fox.com