WOODBURY, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Friends, family and neighbors said their final farewell to Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung Wednesday evening.
A large American flag hung near the doorway of the funeral home and luminaries spelling out the word ‘hope’ were set up on the lawn.
WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond Reports
“Fantastic friend of ours. [Our] daughter was at that school and is safe perhaps because of Dawn and others at that school, so touched many of us here in Connecticut,” parent John Hade told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
Hochsprung’s colleagues said she came face to face with Newtown elementary school gunman Adam Lanza just after he broke into the school and lunged at him, trying in vain to stop the deadly rampage.
1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels With More On The Story
Hochsprung was the principal at two schools, Sandy Hook and Mitchell Elementary School.
“A lot of principals and teachers love their students but Dawn had an energy that not many people have. The enthusiasm was contagious,” Betty Geraci, a Mitchell teachers aide, told Diamond.
A candlelight vigil was held in the memory of Hochsprung on Tuesday night.
Hochsprung was at the helm of Sandy Hook Elementary for the past two years. She was a mother to two daughters, and a stepmother to three.
Her husband got the details of her heroics from the women his wife tried to protect.
“And they said they were in a meeting,” said George Hochsprung on Tuesday. “Dawn told us to go hide, and she, and at least with one other teacher ran out, and actually tried to subdue the killer. I don’t know where that comes from. Dawn was 5 feet 2.”
On Tuesday night, people marveled at how Dawn Hochsprung’s courageous confrontation saved lives.
“That says it all,” said family friend Debra Miller as “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler played in the background. “You don’t have to know her. You just have to know what she did as an act of selflessness, and that touches humanity.”
Hochsprung’s family started a scholarship fund that will be given annually to at least one Newtown High School senior.
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