Sandy Hook hero: Victoria Soto
NEWTOWN, Conn. (WHDH) -- Interspersed between tears are amazing stories of heroism from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The family of Victoria Soto said in her final moments she did all she could to protect her first grade students. And now, she will always be remembered as a hero.
“How she was found, protecting her kids, doing instinctively what she knew to do, protecting her children, huddling them in the closet and trying to protect them from the spray of the bullets,” said Soto’s cousin, James Wiltsie.
The parents of one of Soto's students are forever touched. Their six-year-old child is alive because of her.
“Ms. Soto, who was Aden’s teacher, had the presence of mind to move the kids to a far distance from the door. They were on the side of the room the furthest from the door. That’s when the gunmen burst in, did not say a word, no facial expressions and proceeded to shoot their teacher,” said Robert Licata, father of two sandy hook students.
The classroom was the closest to the entrance of the school. Children just six and seven years old were frantic as they tried to escape.
“They basically ran right next to the guy and out the door,” said Robert Licata.
Soto’s younger sisters and brother say Victoria loved her students, loved her job, and loved Sandy Hook Elementary.
“She didn't call them her students she called them her kids.”
It’s an emotional farewell for the students of this beloved teacher.
He keeps asking about her and I think he’s reassuring himself that she’s going to be okay. He really, really, really cares about his teacher. He was very close with her and she really loved the class. And he keeps saying ‘I really hope she’s okay. I hope it’s not her.’ He knows that she’s been hurt but he doesn’t know the end result,” said Diane Licata, mother of two sandy hook students.