School principal lunged at gunman

Emily O'Keefe, ninemsn
7:49am December 16, 2012
December 16, 2012: Authorities say evidence is mounting about the motive of the US gunman who killed 28 people, including 20 children.

The principal of the Connecticut school where 26 people died, including 20 children, has emerged as one the heroes of the tragedy.

Witnesses say Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47, ran towards the gunfire when it broke out and lunged at the gunman.

Ms Hochsprung was coming out of a meeting when she confronted the shooter, Board of Education chairwoman Debbie Liedlien told ABC News.

Ms Hochsprung's actions were nothing short of heroic, Jeff Capeci, chairman of Newtown's Legislative Council, said.

"From what we know, it's hard to classify her as anything else," he said.

One of Ms Hochsprung's last actions was to activate the school's public address system undoubtedly preventing more bloodshed, the Stamford Advocate reports.

Principal Dawn Hochsprung and teacher Victoria Soto both died in the massacre.
Principal Dawn Hochsprung and teacher Victoria Soto both died in the massacre.

School psychologist Mary Sherlach, 56, also died after confronting the alleged gunman Adam Lanza in a similar fashion to Ms Hochsprung.

Together there were four teachers at the school who died trying to save the lives of their young students.

Teacher Victoria Soto's final moments were spent ushering her students into a closet.

When the gunman entered the popular 27-year-old teacher's classroom she did her best to protect the children.

"She was found huddled over her children, her students, doing instinctively what she knew was the right thing. I'm just proud that Vicki had the instincts to protect her kids from harm," Soto's cousin, Jim Wiltsie, said.

"It brings peace to know that Vicki was doing what she loved, protecting the children and in our eyes she's a hero," he said.

Source: ABC News, NBC News, Stamford Advocate

Author: Emily O'Keefe

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