Community surrounding Sandy Hook comes together

It is the morning after.  Uplifting signs are hanging in Newtown.  One says hug a teacher today.  Nighttime has gone by and now this small town realizes the news was not a bad dream.

"I wanted to hear the names.  I was told they are going to release the names today.  And I was up.  I live a quarter of a mile from here," said Kurt Gillis.    

Gillis joined the swarm of news cameras from around the world.  Twenty-six people were shot and killed on Friday morning inside Sandy Hook Elementary, police say by a lone gunman.

"Someone I work with lost her child here," Gillis said. 

His son, now in college, remembers his days at Sandy Hook.

"When I was in 5th grade, we started doing lockdown drills in case a shooter ever came to the school," said Harrison Gillis.   

State police in Connecticut say 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot each victim several times.

The children are just six and seven years old.  Six adults, including the principal, school psychologist, and a first grade teacher are dead.

"We have established a point of entry.  I can tell you he was not voluntarily let into the school at all, that he forced his way into the school but that's as far as we can go in that," said Lt. J. Paul Vance, CT State Police.    

At the Herbstman home, a charitable garage sale is one way the community is coming together.  Six-year-old Aidan and nine-year-old Devin hosted the event at their home. 

Both were inside Sandy Hook on Friday.  The money raised will benefit the families affected by the mass shooting. 

"We try not to get much into detail.  We tell them a little bit.  We just tell them about the principal.  We know that they're going to hear things.  As of this morning they just thought that there were a few injured and the robber was arrested," said Pam Herbstman, Aidan and Devin's mom. 

"Ambulances.  They were there because some people got injured and not killed," said Aidan. 

Young minds need to heal, along with the community of Newtown and quite frankly anyone who tries to comprehend the details of the second worst school shooting in U.S. history .

"My daughter, the thing that she can't get over, she said why would he do this before Christmas," said Herbstman. 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments