Twenty children and six teachers and staffers died at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, and the chaotic morning was recounted by a neighbor who found six children sitting in his driveway. Retired psychologist Gene Rosen said that one boy told him, "We can't go back to school. Our teacher is dead. Mrs. Soto; we don't have a teacher."
Victoria Soto died trying to shield her students from the shooter, who fired his way into the school. Rosen told the AP he heard gunfire but "dismissed it as an obnoxious hunter in the nearby woods," explaining, "I had no idea what had happened."
The children were with a school bus driver, and Rosen took them into his home. The grandfather went to get stuffed animals for the kids and gave them juice. From the AP:
[He] sat with them as the two boys described seeing their teacher being shot.
Victoria Soto, 27, was a first-grade teacher killed when 20-year-old Adam Lanza burst into her classroom. It wasn't clear how the children escaped harm, but there have been reports that Soto hid some of her students from the approaching gunman. The six who turned up at Rosen's home did apparently have to run past her body to safety.
"They said he had a big gun and a little gun," said Rosen, who didn't want to discuss other details the children shared.
He was able to call their parents because the school bus company had contact numbers. However, hours after the children had been picked up, one mother visited him, in hopes that her son was there. He said, "She thought maybe a miracle from God would have the child at my house... I looked at the casualty list ... and his name was on it."