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Report: Teacher tried to divert shooter

4:45 PM, Dec 16, 2012   |    comments
Families visit a memorial in front of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church between masses Sunday morning in Newtown, Conn.
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John Bacon, USA TODAY

Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Victoria Soto tried to save her students by telling gunman Adam Lanza that her first-grade class had gone to the auditorium on the other side of the school in Newtown, Conn., the Hartford Courant reports, citing law enforcement officials investigating the case.

The Courant, citing those officials, reported that Lanza walked past the classroom of Kaitlin Roig, who had hidden her students in a bathroom, and into the classroom of substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau, where he fatally shot Rousseau, a special-education teacher, and all 14 children as they huddled in fear.

"There were 14 coats hanging there and 14 bodies. He killed them all," a law enforcement officer was quoted by the Courant.

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Lanza then went to Soto's classroom, where her students were huddled in a closet. According to the Courant, Lanza demanded to know where the students were. While Soto tried to divert him to the auditorium/cafeteria, six of Soto's students tried to flee. Lanza shot them, Soto and another teacher who was in the room, the Courant reported.

"Finally, they (police) opened that door and there were seven sets of eyes looking at them," the Courant reported, citing a law enforcement officer familiar with the events. The kids told the officer what had happened. "She tried to save her class," he said of Victoria Soto.

She was shot not far from her desk, from which she had hung drawings on which her students had written captions such as, "I love my teacher Miss Soto."

Police arriving at Rousseau's classroom heard what sounded like a child's moans from where the bodies of the children had collapsed together. Police had to move several bodies to reach an injured boy, who died en route to Danbury Hospital, the Courant reports.

Lanza killed 20 students and six adults at the school before fatally shooting himself as police arrived at the school.

Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance, asked Sunday about the Courant's story, declined to discuss the information in the Courant story. He said he has not released any details to any media outlets and won't until the investigation is complete. He said whoever gave information to the Courant is not directly involved in the investigation.

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