Four funerals held as Newtown mourns

Dec. 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM
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NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Scores of firefighters came to Newtown, Conn., Wednesday to honor one of the victims of last week's massacre, a boy who wanted to be a firefighter.

Daniel Barden, 7, was one of four victims buried Wednesday as Newtown continued to mourn the six adults and 20 children gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The others were Victoria "Vicki" Soto, 27, a teacher who died trying to shield her students, and two girls, Charlotte Bacon and Caroline Previdi, both 6.

Musician Paul Simon played "The Sound of Silence" at Soto's funeral. The service was held at Lordship Community Church in Stratford, Conn., where folding chairs were set up outside for those unable to get into the small building.

Soto's cousin, James Wiltsie said she "instinctively went into action when a monster came into her classroom and tried to protect the kids that she loved so much."

"We just want the public to know that Vicki was a hero," he said.

More than 100 firefighters from New York City, where Daniel had cousins in the fire department, and Connecticut departments, the Connecticut Post reported.

"We came here to show support," said John Cummings of Ladder Co. 45 in New York City.

Caroline Previdi was also buried after a funeral mass at St. Rose. In the early afternoon, a funeral for Charlotte Bacon was held at Christ the King Lutheran Church.

Those at the church included Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November.

A single gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, who had already killed his mother, cut down 20 children and six adults at the school Friday before taking his own life.

The 911 tapes, posted on YouTube by a police scanner buff, show responders believed at first there were two shooters in the building. NBC reported the tapes have been authenticated by police.

The first call reports "somebody shooting in the building" followed two minutes later by a call that the gunfire has continued. An early report says a teacher saw "two shooters running past the gym."

The tapes also show a growing realization of the extent of the massacre. The first casualty report is of someone shot in the foot, and a call 3 minutes earlier requests two ambulances.

By around 10 a.m., less than half an hour after Lanza entered the building, dispatchers were calling frantically for "buses," ambulances.

"You might want to see if the surrounding towns can send EMS personnel. We're running out real quick," a dispatcher said soon after, followed quickly by someone urging, "Call for everything."

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