Watch CBS News

Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung Remembered For Heroic Acts

NAUGATUCK, Conn. (CBSNewYork) -- The darkness and rain Tuesday night could not keep hundreds from the Naugatuck Town Green, where they huddled with candles to praise the life of Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung.

"She never met a challenge that she was not able to overcome and conquer," Hochsprung's high school track coach said.

And as CBS 2's Jessica Schneider reported, it was inevitably the challenge of trying to stop a gunman that cost Hochsprung, 47, her life.

Photos: Victims Of The Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre

Hochsprung's colleagues said she came face to face with Newtown elementary school gunman Adam Lanza just after he broke into the school and lunged at him, trying to thwart his shockingly deadly rampage.

Her husband got the details of her heroics from the women his wife tried to protect.

"And they said they were in a meeting," said George Hochsprung. "Dawn told us to go hide, and she, and at least with one other teacher ran out, and actually tried to subdue the killer. I don't know where that comes from. Dawn was 5 feet 2."

On Tuesday night, people marveled at how Dawn Hochsprung's courageous confrontation saved lives.

"That says it all," said family friend Debra Miller as "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler played in the background. "You don't have to know her. You just have to know what she did as an act of selflessness, and that touches humanity."

Hochsprung was at the helm of Sandy Hook Elementary for the past two years. She was a mother to two daughters, and a stepmother to three.

Hochsprung's daughter, Erica, who was just recently engaged, is now forced to move on without a mother.

"I imagine she'll be hurting the rest of her life," said family friend Michael Lennon. "But I know Chris, her fiancé, is a wonderful guy and they're sticking together, and get married, and a have a life and have kids and move on, and she'll always be with them."

The family of Dawn Hochsprung was present, but did not speak.

But their actions are speaking for them. They have begun a scholarship fund that will be given annually to at least one Newtown High School senior.

Please leave your comments below...

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.