NEWTOWN, Conn. Authorities have released the names of the 26 people gunned down in a rampage at a Connecticut elementary school.
All six adults killed at the school were women. Of the 20 children who were shot to death, eight were boys and 12 were girls. All the children were ages 6 or 7.
Investigators are trying to learn more about 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza, who killed himself after the massacre.
Names and ages of the 26 people gunned down at a Connecticut elementary school Friday in the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history:
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
A glimpse of some of those who died:
Though details of the 27-year-old teacher’s death remain fuzzy, her name has been invoked again and again as a portrait of selflessness and humanity among unfathomable evil.
A cousin, Jim Wiltsie, told ABC News that investigators informed his family she was killed while shielding her first-graders from danger. She reportedly hid some students in a bathroom or closet, ensuring they were safe.
“She was trying to shield, get her children into a closet and protect them from harm,” Wiltsie told ABC. “And by doing that, put herself between the gunman and the children.”
A year ago, 6-year-old Ana Marquez-Greene was reveling in holiday celebrations with her extended family on her first trip to Puerto Rico. This year will be heartbreakingly different.
The girl’s grandmother, Elba Marquez, said the child’s family moved to Connecticut just two months ago, drawn from Canada, in part, by Sandy Hook’s pristine reputation. The grandmother’s brother, Jorge Marquez, is mayor of a Puerto Rican town and said the child’s 9-year-old brother was also at the school, but escaped safely.
Dawn Hochsprung’s pride in Sandy Hook Elementary was clear. She regularly tweeted photos from her time as principal there, giving indelible glimpses of life at a place now known for tragedy. Just this week, it was an image of fourth-graders rehearsing for their winter concert, days before that the tiny hands of kindergartners exchanging play money at their makeshift grocery store.
She viewed her school as a model, telling The Newtown Bee in 2010 that “I don’t think you could find a more positive place to bring students to every day.” She had worked to make Sandy Hook a place of safety, too, and in October, 47-year-old Hochsprung shared a picture of the school’s evacuation drill with the message “Safety first.” When the unthinkable came, she was ready to defend.
Officials said she died while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him.
When the shots rang out, school psychologist Mary Sherlach, 56, threw herself into the danger.
Janet Robinson, the superintendent of Newtown Public Schools, said Sherlach and the school’s principal ran toward the shooter. They lost their own lives, rushing toward him.
Even as Sherlach neared retirement, her job at Sandy Hook was one she loved. Those who knew her called her a wonderful neighbor, a beautiful person, a dedicated educator.
Her son-in-law, Eric Schwartz, told the South Jersey Times that Sherlach rooted on the Miami Dolphins, enjoyed visiting the Finger Lakes, relished helping children overcome their problems.
Lauren Rousseau had spent years working as a substitute teacher and doing other jobs. So she was thrilled when she finally realized her goal this fall to become a full-time teacher at Sandy Hook. Her mother, Teresa Rousseau, does not hold back when describing what the job meant to her daughter.
“It was the best year of her life,” she told the Danbury News-Times, where she is a copy editor.
Rousseau has been called gentle, spirited and active.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.
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