Police officers are now facing the aftermath of one of the worst school massacres in our nation's history
BY KATIE MCDONOUGH
As the families of the 20 children and 6 adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary mourn, and the debate over gun control rages on, the first responders of Newtown are also struggling in the aftermath of one of the worst school massacres in our nation’s history.
Seven police officers spoke with Ray Rivera of the New York Times to share a heartbreaking and sobering account of that fateful day, and the reality of post-traumatic stress disorder for those who witness horrific violence in the line of duty.
“One look, and your life was absolutely changed,” Michael McGowan, one of the first to arrive at the school, told the Times.
As the officers recount the gruesome details of December 14, they also paint a picture of tremendous bravery, of young officers — also fathers — using their most soothing daddy voice to coax traumatized children out of their classrooms and standing to form a human curtain around the bodies of Dawn Hochsprung, the principal, and Mary Sherlach, the school psychologist, to shield them from the children’s view.
After evacuating the survivors to safety, the long process of recovery began. For the children, teachers and the officers themselves.