The cafeteria or the first-grade classrooms? "Lanza turned left"

In the most horrifying account yet, a Connecticut paper recreates the chilling minutes inside Sandy Hook Elementary

By David Daley
December 16, 2012 7:51PM (UTC)
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The Hartford Courant this morning has perhaps the most riveting and horrifying narrative of what went on Friday during the massacre in Newtown.

The story, by Edmund Mahony and Dave Altimari, begins:

Adam Lanza blasted his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School. He fired a half-dozen thunderous rounds from a semiautomatic rifle to open a hole big enough to step through in one of the school's glass doors.

Once inside, he had to make a choice.

Principal Dawn Hochsprung's office was straight ahead. To the right, 25 or so children were rehearsing a play in the school cafeteria. To his left were the first-grade classrooms.

Lanza turned left.

Among the other details:

* Lanza skipped the first classroom he passed. The teacher, Kaitlin Roig, had already heard the gunfire in the school and barricaded her kids in a bathroom.


* Then he arrived in a class led by a substitute teacher, Lauren Rousseau, "where he proceeded to systematically shoot everyone inside — the 14 children who investigators believe were huddled and clutching one another in fear."

A law enforcement source told the paper: "There were 14 coats hanging there and 14 bodies. He killed them all."

* Victoria Soto's class was his next stop. The paper reports that Soto told her kids to hide in a closet in the classroom. When he asked her where the kids were, she told him they were in the auditorium. But, according to the Courant, some kids tried to flee, and Lanza killed them, and Soto.


* Lanza's body was found by the door of Soto's classroom by the first responders at the scene.

It's a chilling read.

David Daley

David Daley is the author of "Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy" and a senior fellow at FairVote.

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Adam Lanza Newtown Sandy Hook Elementary Victoria Soto