Photo: AP Images
A teacher at the US school targeted by a rampaging gunman has given a harrowing account of how she barricaded her class behind a bathroom door to and ordered the children to be quiet to save them from being killed.Kaitlin Roig was looking after 14 pupils when gunfire erupted at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
She told US network ABC News: “Suddenly, I heard rapid fire, like an assault weapon. I knew something was wrong. It was horrific. I didn’t think we were going to live.”
Miss Roig, 29, said that she got up and closed her classroom door, ushering the children, aged six and seven, into the class bathroom.
She helped some climb onto the toilet so they could fit, before pushing a wheeled storage unit in front of the door.
“We all got in there. I locked us in. I don’t know if [the gunman] came in the room… I just told them we have to be absolutely quiet.
“If they started crying, I would take their face and tell them ‘It’s going to be OK’. I wanted that to be the last thing they heard, not the gunfire in the hall.
“I thought we were all going to die. I told the kids I love them and I was so happy they were my students… I said anyone who believed in the power of the prayer, we need to pray and those who don’t believe in prayer, think happy thoughts.
“They asked, ‘Can we go see if anyone is out there… I just want Christmas… I don’t want to die, I just want to have Christmas.”
In the interview, the teacher said that the gunfire did not last long but that even when it stopped she refused to take the children out, even later when there was knocking and voices saying they were police officers.
Fearing that it was the gunman trying to lure them out, she told the officers to slide their badges under the door.
“I didn’t believe them. I told them if they were cops, they should get the key… They did and then unlocked the bathroom.”
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