Hero Newtown Cops Reveal Staggering Details of Sandy Hook Tragedy

Heartbreaking 20

policeLong before the cops from Newtown, Connecticut decided to speak with The New York Times about the horrors they discovered inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School, they were heroes. These were the men who ran toward gunfire to rescue children from a madman. And today we are learning just what it was they ran into.

Of the seven police officers who opened up to the Times were several who had never before spoken to the press. Their stories are hard to read, but even harder to turn away from because they represent all at once true horror and true heroism in America.

These police officers, many of them parents, were faced with what many of us couldn't bear to watch from the safety of our own homes, cuddled up with our own kids. But unlike us, they had to face it. They had to act.

Not only did they, but as these details related by the Newtown officers show, it was with true grace:

1. As the surviving children were led out of the building, officers created a human curtain around the dead bodies of Principal Dawn Hochsprung and School Psychologist Mary Sherlach, while others blocked the doors of classrooms filled with dead bodies, so the survivors would be spared the sight.

2. Officers found a little girl with a faint pulse in one room. Rushed outside to an ambulance, the girl was told, "You’re safe now; your parents love you," by Officer William Chapman, who'd cradled her in his arms and ran her out of the school. The little girl did not survive.

3. When School Resource Officer Leonard Penna entered one room, he found that all the children inside were dead. All, that is, but one. Covered in blood, the girl was shocked but unhurt. As soon as he was sure the gunman was dead, he ran the little girl out of the building, straight to a triage area.

4. As more police arrived on the scene, early responders warned officers who had children to back down rather than making them live through the horrors.

5. As Detective Jason Frank collected evidence, he was faced with the same monster truck backpack his 6-year-old carries, and unfinished Christmas ornaments drying on a windowsill that will never be carried home to parents.

There is more, much more, from the officers who have spent the past six weeks struggling to make sense of a national tragedy. Each details is hard to bear, and even harder to imagine living through. But these officers did it, and every day since, they've been reliving it.

What would you say to these officers if you could?


Image via davidsonscott/Flickr

crime, death


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nonmember avatar Sirens

I want to cry every time I think about that shooting. I would say God Bless You and that I pray for them. They are heroes and we can't imagine the horrors they face every single day and night.

nonmember avatar cryin mama

I cried reading this. God bless every officer in Newtown, bless & protect these precious children's families. Help them learn how to heal, how to live again. Let them know the whole world has every single one of them in our thoughts, prayers & hearts.

jalaz77 jalaz77

I read an article today and got teary eyed thinking about what these first responders came across. This is still horribly sad. I would hug them cause there are no words. You know these guys see things, they know they will probably come across something hard to handle but this is hard for anyone to handle no matter what you have seen in the line of duty. I work with a few men who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and they even said they have seen some bad things and this is worse, nothing prepares you for 20 dead children and 6 adults trying to save them.

April... AprilJune

My husband is a police officer, and I can't help but think of him going through what these officers have experienced and continue to deal with...it makes my heart hurt for them. They are heroes. I would say thank you.

Kat Nassar

I have a ten month old child. I think of what I would do if anything happened to him and honestly I would not be able to face another day without. Thank you guys for your service. So sorry you went through what you went through.

Aslen Aslen

Nothing. Not one word. I just want to hold them and hug them while they cry.....

Mama_... Mama_Dolly

my heart breaks hearing about the shooting...  I have a 1yr old and I cant imagine my life without him. 

I am sooo sorry for the loss of the families affected by this tragedy  

Wydow... Wydowness

Oh damn, I was teary eyed while reading this

Seren... SerenityBerry

I don't know that there are words adequate to express my profound respect for their strength, honor, caring and professionalism. Nor are there words to describe how sorry I am that they had to handle such a horrific situation. They will be forever changed by what they saw, much like soilders who return home, it will haunt them. 

TaraLani TaraLani

My daughter is 6, my son is 5. This KILLS me. They are homeschooled now, but that doesn't stop the fear from consuming me at times. These officers are true heroes, even if they couldn't save all those kids. The little girl that didn't make it- she saw the face of an angel before she left this earth. Those poor babies, and their poor families.

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