Authorities have released the names of all the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Twenty eight people, including the gunmen and his mother were killed. Of the children, twelve were girls and eight were boys, all first-graders, ages 6 and 7.
Shortly after authorities released the names of all 20 children and 6 adults killed at the school, the first parent, a father, spoke out about their families grief and shared words of sympathy not only for the other victim’s families, but also for the families of the gunman.
“She was the type of person who could just light up the room.” Said Robbie Parker, father of 6 year old Emilie Parker. “She always had something kind to say about everyone.”
Fighting back tears, he described his 6 year old daughter’s love of drawing and generous spirit. “Her love, and the strength that she gave us, and the example that she showed us is remarkable, “ he said, adding “she is an incredible person, and I am so blessed to be her dad.”
Six adults were also gunned down at the school. They were all women; three of them still in their 20’s. Like 27 year old Victoria Soto. Thousands turned out for a candlelight vigil Saturday night. Soto, a first grade teacher, is being hailed a hero for putting herself in the line of fire shielding some of her students from danger.
Said a Family friend, “I think her putting herself out there she’s just an angel and she just went straight into heaven. There’s no doubt about that.”
And the mother of another first grade teacher killed, 29 year old Lauren Rousseau, released a picture taken just a few weeks ago. After two years a substitute teacher, this was her first year as a permanent teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“It’s a feeling of helplessness” said Diane Licata, mother of a first grader who escaped unharmed. “I actually received a text from a friend said that he at the police station and he was safe there and he was one of the groups of kids that ran, that got out.”
As authorities continue their investigation to try and find out the why’s of this horrible tragedy, Robbie Parker has this message for everyone. “As we move on from what happened here, what happened to so many people, let it not turn into something that defines us but something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate and more humble people.