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Sandy Hook Survivors Graduate High School and Share Their Experiences from the Morning of the Shooting

It’s been nearly 12 years since 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty of the victims were children between six and seven years old, and the other six were adult staff members.

Now, as several of the survivors of the massacre graduate high school, they’re sharing their experiences and being a voice for those who were silenced on December 14, 2012. 

In an interview with Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos, six of the survivors bravely recount what they remember from that day. 

Harrowing Sandy Hook Memories

Three of the seniors were together in the same classroom that morning, as were two others in another classroom. Emma Ehrens was in a third classroom, with the gunman. 

The teens recall their teachers huddling them into cubbies and cabinets in the classroom and quietly reading winter stories to them. 

The most traumatizing moment, and one they remember the most, was their principal coming over the loud speaker. 

She addressed the students throughout the elementary school, instructing them to “get into their safe spots.” Then over the intercom, students heard the gunshot, and her voice went silent. 

Emma Ehrens was in one of the classrooms where Lanza opened fire. Through tears, she recalls being at the front of the class when he walked in and stood next to her. 

“I watched all of my friends drop,” she says. “One of the victims did not make it, and he told me and a couple other people to run, and we did,” she recalls. 

“We ran out of the classroom, out of the school, and on the way we saw bodies in the hallways and doors blown off the hinges, and we just ran and ran and ran out of the school, out of the parking lot.” 

It’s Never Over

Ella Seaver says she tries not to remember a lot of what unfolded that day. And while sometimes it helps to talk about it with those who also lived it, she says the digging up of such traumatic memories is terribly difficult. 

Her classmates all nodded in agreement. 

Seaver, who has been in and out of therapy her whole life following the shooting, hopes to become a therapist herself, after experiencing firsthand just how transformative it has been in overcoming trauma. 

“It’s really just helped me cope and help me learn about myself,” she says. “So I want to try and pay that forward and help people who have gone through gun violence, or even people who haven’t, who are just struggling with their daily life.” 

Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm
Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

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