One Newtown, Conn., family's story of survival

(CBS News) NEWTOWN, Conn. - Too many families in Newtown are preparing this evening to bury their loved ones.

For other families with students at sandy hook elementary, what happened Friday morning is a story of survival and sacrifice.

Diana Licatta: "Like any other day, we got them off to school and had holiday activities planned. At 9:45 we got a call of unconfirmed shooting."

Diana and Robert Licatta had two children inside Sandy Hook Elementary School

Diana said she "would drive by their school and see what's happening."

"60 Minutes" reports: Tragedy in Newtown
Hundreds of bullets, multiple 30-round clips at Conn. school
Newtown, Conn., school staffers hailed as heroes

Their 6-year-old son is in first grade. His teacher was Vicky Soto. Known for her dedication to her students, Vicky had just turned 27.

"She was an absolutely amazing teacher," Diana said. "She loved what she did... so full of life and educating got her so excited and teaching those children is what she loved to do."

The Licatta's 7-year-old daughter is in the second grade. Her classroom is just down the hall from her brother's. (CBS News was asked not to reveal the childrens' names.)

"I saw my daughter's teacher and asked about my daughter and she said she didn't' know where she was because they...were separated," Diana said.

Then, suddenly, she spotted her daughter.

"She just said: 'Mommy what's happening?' and I said, 'Just stay with your class.' I waited for (my) son to come out, and he never came out," Diana said.

Her son later told his parents a remarkable story of the nightmare unfolding inside his classroom. When the shooting began inside Sandy Point Elementary, teacher Vicky Soto moved the children in the classroom against a wall, away from the door, and that's when she came face-to-face with the gunman.

Robert Licatta: "They heard the noises. Somehow was able to burst through door - that's when they witness his teacher be shot, and she fell to the ground. Ran right by the shooter right by the doorway. How they escaped...we'll never really know...how they escaped him."

The children got out, but the young teacher who had apparently shielded her students, was left dead.

Diana: "She is truly a hero. Very likely because of her that our son is with us today."

  • Peter Van Sant

    Correspondent, "48 Hours"

Comments