Sandy Hook Elementary parent describes panic before finding her son

(CBS News) NEWTOWN, Conn. - When parents here in Newtown received that robo call Friday morning about a school shooting, the recording told them not to come to the school. Of course, everyone did.

"We just ran to the fire station, and we didn't know what we would find if it was children, if it was adults telling us when we could get our children," the mother of a 10-year-old boy at Sandy Hook Elementary School Melissa Makris said.

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Makris was among hundreds of parents desperate to find their children.

Melissa Makris describes the feeling of relief she had when she saw her son, a student at Sandy Hook Elementary School, smiling at her.
CBS News

"We went in and you just saw lots and lost of kids and crying and parents," she said. "And, you just search for your child's teacher, for your child's face, and I heard, 'Mommy! Mommy!' and there he was sitting there waiting for us."

Makris' son, Philip, was in the school gym when the shooting began. He said teachers gathered them in a corner and kept them safe.

"I was a teacher before I became a mom, and you always wonder are you going to do what you need to do to protect your kids, and those teachers did," Makris said.

Phillip described being pushed in a corner, and teachers keeping him safe there. When police officers arrived, they told them to run to the fire station.

"That school should be proud," Markris said. "That principal would be proud."

Makris says her son doesn't understand WHAT happened today, and she's not ready to tell him. It's why she didn't want us to show him on camera.

"We got a miracle. My little boy is okay, and there are a lot of parents tonight who haven't gotten that miracle," she said.

She said that there are no words to tell the parents in the community who lost their children.

"We want our children and want to raise them and love them, and we're not equipped for this," she said. "You don't lose your children, and I get to put my bed tonight, and I am very lucky."

Makris said she's going to take her son and the rest of her family and leave town for the weekend, if not for longer.

There were so many people whose children didn't even go to this school who are still affected. One woman grabbed her daughter off her bus and started hyperventilating and crying.

Parents say Newtown used to be a place where they felt their kids were safe, but tonight they say the area will never be the same.