6-Year-Old Survivor: ‘Mommy, I’m OK But All My Friends Are Dead’
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NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSDC/AP) — A 6-year-old first-grade girl played dead to survive while Adam Lanza gunned down her classmates at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday.
New Hope Community Church Rev. Jim Solomon tells ABC News that the little girl ran out of the school covered in her classmates’ blood — the only one to survive the shooting in her classroom.
“She ran out of the school building covered in blood from head-to-toe and the first words she said to her mom when she got outside was, ‘Mommy, I’m OK but all my friends are dead,’” Solomon said.
Solomon said the little girl felt Lanza “was angry and was very mad.”
The girl’s mom told the pastor that she is suffering from survivor’s guilt because many of her friends lost their kids.
Lanza killed 26 people, including 20 children, Friday morning in one of the worst mass school shootings in American history. Lanza also killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, before he left for the school.
Newtown braced itself Monday to bury the first two of the 20 littlest victims of the school gunman. Authorities could not say when or whether the school, now a crime scene and forever scarred, would reopen.
State police Lt. Paul Vance said that it could be months before police turn Sandy Hook Elementary School back over to the district. The people of Newtown, consumed by loss, were not ready to address its future.
“We’re just now getting ready to talk to our son about who was killed,” said Robert Licata, the father of a student who escaped harm during the shooting. “He’s not even there yet.”
Classes were canceled Monday, and Newtown’s other schools were to reopen Tuesday. The district made plans to send surviving Sandy Hook students to a former school building in a neighboring town but could not say when.
Authorities said Sunday that the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, was carrying an arsenal of hundreds of rounds of especially deadly ammunition, enough to kill just about every student in the school if given enough time.
The shooter decided to kill himself when he heard police closing in about 10 minutes into the attack, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Sunday on the ABC program “This Week.”
The first funerals were for two 6-year-olds: Jack Pinto, a year-old New York Giants fan who might be buried in wide receiver Victor Cruz’s jersey, and Noah Pozner, who liked to figure out how things worked mechanically.
“He was just a really lively, smart kid,” said Noah’s uncle Alexis Haller, of Woodinville, Wash. “He would have become a great man, I think. He would have grown up to be a great dad.”
With more funerals planned this week, the road ahead for Newtown, which had already started purging itself of Christmas decorations in a joyful season turned mournful, was clouded.
“I feel like we have to get back to normal, but I don’t know if there is normal anymore,” said Kim Camputo, mother of two children, 5 and 10, who attend a different school. “I’ll definitely be dropping them off and picking them up myself for a while.”
Jim Agostine, superintendent of schools in nearby Monroe, said plans were being made for students from Sandy Hook to attend classes in his town this week.
Newtown police Lt. George Sinko said he “would find it very difficult” for students to return to the same school where they came so close to death. But, he added, “We want to keep these kids together. They need to support each other.”
Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said state construction employees are giving their advice on renovating Sandy Hook, which serves grades kindergarten through four.
Authorities say the gunman shot his mother at their home and then took her car and several of her guns to the school, where he broke in and shot his victims to death, then himself.
A Connecticut official said the mother was found dead in her pajamas in bed, shot four times in the head with a .22-caliber rifle.
Divorce paperwork released Monday showed that Nancy Lanza had the authority to make all decisions regarding Adam’s upbringing. The divorce was finalized in September 2009, when Adam Lanza was 17.
Federal agents have concluded that Lanza visited an area shooting range, but they do not know whether he practiced shooting there. Authorities would not identify the range or say how recently he was there.
Agents determined Lanza’s mother visited shooting ranges several times, but it’s not clear whether she took her son, said Ginger Colbrun, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said investigators were reviewing the contents of Lanza’s computer, as well as phone and credit card records, in an effort to piece together his activities leading up to the shooting. The official was not authorized to discuss the details of the case.
Lanza took classes at Western Connecticut State University when he was 16, and earned a B average, said Paul Steinmetz, spokesman for the school in Danbury. He said Monday that Lanza took his last class in the summer of 2009.
Investigators have offered no motive, and police have found no letters or diaries that could shed light on it. They believe Lanza attended Sandy Hook many years ago, but they couldn’t explain why he went there Friday. Authorities said Lanza had no criminal history, and it was not clear whether he had a job.
Lanza is believed to have used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle in the school attack, a civilian version of the military’s M-16 and a model commonly seen at marksmanship competitions. It’s similar to the weapon used in a recent shopping mall shooting in Oregon.
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