Parents describe children's terror during Conn. school shooting

A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles northeast of New York City, Dec. 14, 2012. AP Photo/The New Haven Register, Melanie Stengel

NEWTOWN, Conn. Many children have not yet comprehended the scope of Friday's school shooting that has left 26 victims dead.

Melissa Makris, the mother of a fourth grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., told CBS News that they were waiting until all the news came in to explain to him what exactly happened on Friday.

"I think he's a little confused. He described moments of being very scared," she explained.

She added that her son knew that the shooter was killed and his "beloved" third grade teacher may have been hurt, but doesn't understand know how many people died. He told her he was very scared when he ran from the school, so they are waiting for him to come to terms with what he experienced before they tell him more.

Twenty children and six adults are dead after a gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. His body was found at the scene of the crime. Authorities believe he targeted his mother's classroom. Another body, later identified as Lanza's mother, was found at a second crime scene, bringing the total number of dead from today's events to 28.

His brother, 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, has been taken into custody but has not been arrested or named as a suspect.

Richard Wilford, father of a second grader Sandy Hook Elementary School, said to CBS News he frantically looked for his son as soon as he was notified the about the shooting through an automated system set up by the school. He said finding his son was the "best holiday present" he had ever received.

"It's sheer terror and helplessness mixed together and, of course, a fear for the worse. You're going to a place to find out something terrible has happened to your child," he said.

Wilford's son told him he heard loud noises like cans falling for about one minute. His teacher went to investigate, and she immediately came back, closed and locked the door and instructed the students to go into the corner. His son and a friend were reading a book when a police officer knocked on the door and escorted the students to safety at the firehouse across the street. He complimented the school's efforts to protect the children from today's events.

One man says his 6-year-old son saw the gunman burst into his classroom and shoot the teacher, the Associated Press reported.

Another mother of an 8-year-old student said to CBS station WCBS in New York she was grateful to the teacher that saved her son's life. Her son was on the way to the school's office and saw bullets. A teacher grabbed him from the hallway.

"He had bullets going by him, and she grabbed him and another child and pulled him into a classroom," she said.

A school nurse at Sandy Hook Elementary School said to CBS News that there were many parents were anxiously waiting outside, and 20 of them were told their children had passed away.

"One of the cops said it was the worst thing he had seen in his entire career," she said.

Comments