As stunned, grief-stricken Americans continue to mourn the victims of Friday’s shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, at least one story of incredible courage and sacrifice has emerged.
Victoria Soto, a 27-year-old first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, lost her life during Adam Lanza’s violent rampage — but not before saving her students from a similar fate.
According to reports, Soto rushed her young pupils into closets and cabinets when she heard gunfire, hiding them from Lanza and telling him that her class had gone to the gym.
The gunman murdered Soto as she protected the children before eventually taking his own life.
Lanza killed 27 people — including 20 kids, all aged 6 or 7 — but the death toll would surely have been higher if not for Soto’s instincts and sacrifice.
On Saturday, as Soto’s story was reported, Facebook tributes to the late teacher went viral and her name became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
The heroism demonstrated by Soto and the others who risked everything to save as many children as possible, even as their own lives were imperiled, serves as inspiration in these dark and deeply upsetting circumstances.
Rest in peace.