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The most detailed account yet of the Sandy Hook massacre has been written by Edmund Mahony and Dave Altimari of the Hartford Courant.A link to their story follows.
The details are beyond horrific. The only positive note is that decisions by two teachers, Kaitlin Roig and Victoria Soto, may have saved the lives of nearly 20 children.
Soto was shot and killed in the massacre. Roig survived.
- 20-year old Adam Lanza was fond of playing super-violent, highly realistic video games. Before the shootings, he removed the hard drive in his home computer and broke it into pieces. Forensic experts are now analysing the pieces to try to learn what they can and determine who, if anyone, Lanza communicated with before the massacre.
- Sometime before 9am on Friday, Lanza killed his mother Nancy in her bed at the house they shared in Newtown. He shot her twice in the head. Lanza then took her car and guns and drove to the school.
- At about 9:30, Lanza blasted his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School, spraying bullets at the glass in one of the doors and then walking through the opening the bullets created.
- The school principal, Dawn Hochsprung, and school psychologist, Mary Scherlach, were in a conference room across from the classrooms. They heard the gunshots and burst into the hall. Lanza shot and killed them.
- Alarmed by the gunfire, the first-grade teacher in the classroom closest to the door, 29-year old Kaitlin Roig, hid all of her students in the classroom bathroom. This decision may well have saved all of their lives. Roig’s classroom was the first classroom that Lanza passed as he walked down the corridor. It would have appeared empty from the hall. (ABC interviewed Roig here).
- TwitpicVictoria SotoThe 14 children in the second classroom down the hall were huddled together in fear when Lanza entered. He sprayed them with bullets, killing all of them, along with substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau and a special education teacher.
- The next classroom down the hall was Victoria Soto’s. Soto hid all of her students in the closet and remained in the classroom to talk to Lanza. She told him that her students were in an auditorium at the other end of the school. At that moment, 6 children burst out of the closet and tried to run away. Lanza shot all of them, as well as Soto and another teacher. The 7 kids who stayed in the closet survived.
- The dedication and poise of all these teachers is remarkable. The first thoughts of all of them appears to have been to protect their students from a terrifying attack, and in two cases, they succeeded.
- Lanza burned through three 30-round magazines of bullets in the Bushmaster assault rifle he was carrying, a weapon that had been legally purchased by his mother. Lanza also carried two pistols, but all of the shots he fired came from the assault rifle.
- The shooting lasted about 10 minutes. As the police arrived, Lanza shot himself.