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Family, Friends Remember Teacher Vicki Soto Who Died 'Doing What She Loved'

STRATFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) -- Hundreds of mourners filed into the Adzima Funeral Home on Tuesday evening wearing white and green ribbons, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School, to remember first grade teacher Victoria Soto.

The 27-year-old has been hailed a hero for trying to shield her students from the gunfire when shooter Adam Lanza burst into her classroom Friday morning.

WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reports


"She died saving kids, so it gives meaning to her life and it gives meaning to her cause and be what you wanted a teacher to do in that situation -- save my kid," family friend Jancee Pust-Marcone told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond.

Soto's family has been told by police that Vicki was attempting to get the class into a closet when the gunman entered the room.

WEB EXTRA: Remembering The Sandy Hook School Shooting Victims

Lauren Ostrossky said her friend died doing what she loved.

"She really wanted, I think, to make a difference in people's lives and she did," Ostrossky said. "She'd probably do it again 10 times over if she needed to."

Victoria Soto
Victoria Soto (credit: CBS 2)

Others paying their respects remembered a giving, loving young woman.

"My granddaughter was very ill at the time and Vicki used to come and babysit for her and she loved her and she helped take care of her and eventually she passed away, but Vicki was a big, big help to our family. Lovely girl," neighbor June Maguire told Diamond.

Soto was found inside her classroom huddled with her students, trying to shield them from the gunfire.

"I don't think I could have done anything like that. It's not in me, I guess. But she knew what she was doing and she was going to protect those kids just like she protected my granddaughter," Maguire said.

Soto's burial is planned for Wednesday morning in Stratford.

"She really appreciated the kids she taught and she wanted to instill good things in them and she was just a really good friend to me and to everyone I know that knew her," Ostrossky told Diamond. "I don't think there was a bad bone in that girl's body. Respectful, courteous."

Soto was among the 26 students and school officials killed Friday morning by Lanza, 20. Four little boys and girls have been buried with more wakes and funerals planned in the coming days.

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