While details of Friday’s Sandy Hook shooting are still emerging, firsthand interviews with students from the Newtown elementary school reveal heroics on the part of slain school principal Dawn Hochsprung.
According to an eyewitness who later spoke to a CNN managing editor, Hochsprung, 47, gave her own life in an effort to save those of countless students and teachers.
The eyewitness told the news outlets that Hochsprung was in a meeting regarding a student at the time of the shooting. When shots rang out, the witness said the principal ran out of the room and was among the first who confronted Adam Lanza.
In an interview with ABC News, Sandy Hook third grader ,Tori Chop, said that she could hear her principal's final moments over the school’s PA system.
"Yeah, yeah, she was crying. I thought she was screaming," Chop told "Good Morning America." "That's what we heard over the loudspeaker. We heard kids crying."
According to the ABC News report, it is still unclear whether the intercom was turned on purposefully to alert the school's staff to the menace or whether the intercom was on for morning announcements.
"We kept hearing gun noises and 'put your hands up' … we kept hearing that," Chop said.
Lanza killed 20 children and six adults, including Hochsprung, before shooting himself. Lanza's mother was also found murdered in their home.
Hochsprung’s cousin, Melanie Buhrmaster-Bunch, appeared Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“When I learned that she actually tried to take the gunman down, it was no surprise to me at all,” Buhrmaster-Bunch said on the broadcast.
“My only hope is that the gunman actually had a little bit of fear knowing this 5-foot-2-inch raging bull was coming at him, that he had a little bit of fear in his eyes that knowing that someone like Dawn was going to come after him because he was trying to hurt her students,” she said. “She was so vibrant and so full of life and I want people to know that she was a hero.”
Hochsprung leaves behind a husband, two daughters, three stepdaughters and four grandchildren. She had been the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary since 2010.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.