- Last Updated: 9:57 AM, December 18, 2012
- Posted: 12:37 AM, December 18, 2012
As teacher Victoria Soto lay dead inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning, a desperate Carlee stood outside, tearfully pleading on her cellphone for information about her.
Of the gut-wrenching photo, Carlee told CBS yesterday, “It’s like a reminder of that moment all over again. It kills.”
It came as no surprise to Carlee and Victoria’s mom that her daughter died trying to save kids.
“She was truly selfless,” Donna Soto said of her 27-year-old “Vicki,” who was shot trying to shield her first-graders from madman Adam Lanza’s assault.
“She would not hesitate to think to save anyone else before herself and especially children,” Soto’s mom told CNN. “She loved them more than life, and she would definitely put herself in front of them any day, any day, and for any reason.”
“So it doesn’t surprise anyone that knows Vicki that she did this.”
Victoria Soto’s heroics were matched by her teacher’s aide, Anne Marie Murphy, 52.
In a statement put out yesterday, the parents of 6-year-old Dylan Hockley told how his body was found in Murphy’s arms.
“We take great comfort in knowing that Dylan was not alone when he died, but was wrapped in the arms of his amazing aide, Anne Marie Murphy,” said Ian and Nicole Hockley.
Vicki, they said, “was warm and funny, and Dylan loved her dearly.”
Dylan had autism, as did Lanza.
Donna said Vicki would be overwhelmed by all the attention.
“She was not somebody that ever wanted to be famous or wanted her picture in the paper,” she told CBS’s “This Morning.” “To have it blasted all over the papers throughout the country and the world, it’s just, it’s surreal,”
Vicki, she said, always wanted to be a teacher, having first talked about it at age 3.
“She just loved her kids and talked about them all the time with such fondness and caring. She just adored them,” said Donna Soto, a retired nurse.
She described how the family learned of her death.
After hearing of a shooting, “we were just praying and praying and praying. Then we got closer, and we parked at a church and walked up the hill and never, never could have imagined the scene that we saw,” Donna said.
The families of unaccounted-for students and educators were gathered, and “the exact words that the governor used were, ‘Two children were brought to Danbury Hospital and expired,’ and at that point, the parents just were hysterical. They were on the floor.
“Then another parent said, ‘Well, where did the other people go? . . . We want to be with our kids,’ and he said, ‘Nobody else was taken to a hospital.’ A very angry parent said, ‘So what are you telling us, they’re all dead?’ And he said ‘yes.’ ”
Gov. Dannel Malloy yesterday tearfully explained himself.
“It was evident to me that there was a reluctance to tell parents and loved ones that the person that they were waiting for was not going to return and that had gone on for a period of time,” he said. “I made the decision that to have that go on any longer was wrong.”
The family said they were grateful for President Obama’s visit with them Sunday before his speech at a prayer vigil.
Vicki Soto’s parents, little brother and two younger sisters will bury her tomorrow.