Connecticut State Trooper Has Kept His Sandy Hook Promise

Survivors, family members, first responders, and others look back on 10th anniversary of massacre
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2022 6:55 AM CST
10 Years Later, Remembering Sandy Hook
Co-founder and CEO of Sandy Hook Promise Foundation Nicole Hockley shows photos of her son Dylan, killed in the shooting, in her office on Dec. 5 in Newtown, Connecticut.   (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Wednesday is the 10th anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, in which a gunman massacred 20 first-graders and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut. In the decade since, the victims' families have struggled with a painful new life without their loved ones, and the town of Newtown has remained a centerpiece in an ongoing conversation about school shootings and gun safety. Some of the day's must-reads to commemorate the tragedy:

  • CNN looks back at what was learned about each of the 20 "bright smiles" and the six adults who tried to protect them soon after Dec. 14, 2012, in a "town known, now and for decades to come, as a cradle of grief—but also of untold love and quiet resilience."

  • Siblings of two of the children killed, Jesse Lewis, 6, and Noah Pozner, 6, talk to Today on what it's been like growing up without their little brothers. "You feel like you'll never feel happiness again," Danielle Rogus, the now-28-year-old sister of Noah, says. "The world stops, and all you can feel is this immense pain." Getting involved in gun violence advocacy helped her push forward, and she said she found a new sense of bravery within herself: "The worst possible thing had happened, so what did I have to lose?"
  • Connecticut State Trooper Bill Cario, one of the first law enforcement officials to arrive at the scene of the shooting, has kept his promise to never talk about what he saw that day. But he tells the New York Times—which he agreed to talk to only if the article centered not on him, but on the victims and everyone else who helped that day—that "I have heartbreak about this, but anyone in America with a heart has that." His own specific heartbreak, however, persists because "I couldn't do anything to change the outcome."
  • The Washington Post talks to four survivors of mass shootings that stretch back as far as 43 years. One of the more recent survivors: 10-year-old Jaydien Canizales, who hid under his desk at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, as a gunman killed 19 of his classmates and two of his teachers. "I saw most of my classmates get shot," Jaydien says. "I want people to know what happened there at the Robb shooting, what I've been through. I want everybody to know how I felt."

  • Dannel Malloy, who was governor of Connecticut at the time of the murders, recalls to WTNH one of the hardest things he's ever had to do: making the decision to not leave the victims' families in anguish as official identifications of the bodies were pending, instead choosing to inform them that their loved ones weren't coming home: "It was one of the most meaningful things I did in my life, and it was certainly a very difficult moment."
  • A survivors network has sprung up for those who've lived through shooting tragedies, to help each other through the agony. "We have that unfortunate shared experience, and there's some sort of wisdom that comes through that that you can't get from the average person who hasn't experienced something as traumatic," 17-year-old Jackie Hegarty, who survived Sandy Hook, tells Good Morning America, per ABC News. "We are such a connected community."
  • NBC News highlights a bright spot on this sobering day: the wins racked up by the gun safety movement since Sandy Hook. Although advocates say there's still much work to be done, "nearly every single state in the nation has passed at least one significant gun safety law since Sandy Hook," per a new report by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
(More Sandy Hook Elementary School stories.)

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