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(NECN/NBC News: Miguel
Almaguer) - In a town consumed by heartbreak and tears, Saturday night revealed
tales of courage and heroism.
When gunshots rang out at Sandy Hook, Janet Vollmer huddled her kindergartners into a back room. The teacher of 25 years knew many of the young victims. She saved the lives of her entire class and escaped unharmed.
She locked the doors, pulled down the blinds, the curtains, put paper over the window the door, sat the kids in a cubby and read to them. She tried to remove the distraction of what was really happening.
Just down the hall, another kindergarten teacher scrambled to close her classroom door to protect her students.
She came to the hallway and saw the gunman. Her comment was that she “felt the earth shake.” Then, it was shades down, kids under the desk.
Jeff Mubarek is a neighbor of the only surviving victim.
“She didn't realize she had been shot until she secured the door,” Mubarek said.
The unidentified teacher, who, on Saturday night, was still the hospital, is said to have locked her door just before the gunman tried to pry it open. Everyone in her class survived.
“She's a hero, without a doubt,” Mubarek said. “He saved the life of countless children in a very heroic and selfless act.”
Dawn Hochsprung, the school principal, reportedly ran toward the shooter while trying to shield students. She was shot and killed.
As News of the shooting spread, anyone who could help was on their way.
"I drove up to the
school -- you could see all the ambulances there,” said Maureen Kerins, a
mother of five and a nurse. She led some of the smallest students to safety, then
rushed to help the injured.
But police told her there
was nothing she could do.
“I wish I could have had somebody in there that I actually could have helped,” Kerins said. “So I think the hardest thing is that we couldn't do anything for them.”
On Sunday, there is still pain and sorrow. But in this tragedy, some find comfort in the heroic acts of others.