Newtown remembers Sandy Hook principal
Gerald Stomski, friend Dawn Hochsprung speaks out
- Duration 6:25
- Date Dec 16, 2012
Gerald Stomski, friend Dawn Hochsprung speaks out
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As details into Friday's deadly massacre continue to unfold Newtown Connecticut is remembering.
A hero whose principal dawn hoax from.
She's a woman described not only as a loving wife and mother but a dedicated educator who protected her students until the very end.
In Woodbury Connecticut first selectmen Gerald -- -- with us this morning he was a close friend of -- arms.
He joins us live this morning good morning to you killed some nice -- -- to be -- -- tell us about -- from this wonderful caring and brave principal.
Good morning yes Don was a very inspirational.
Type of educator.
Friends the teachers.
The parents actually all adored her.
Gerald you know we just had a school safety expert on last hour who said that some and I didn't know which was that.
-- some of the educators and principles are actually each range to challenge and confront strangers when they make it into the school I didn't know that was part of their training.
And it's one thing to say that you're supposed to do.
Confront a stranger -- when that stranger is armed.
At -- black out riot gear obviously it's a much different thing she could have gone and run the other way and barricaded.
Herself in her office is -- a surprise to you she confronted the gunman.
No it isn't Don used to be a principle in our school system.
And after the column buying on the incident -- and I had several conversations in regards to this type of situation -- an active shooter.
We basically played it out and had discussions about the responsibilities.
Of the students.
Other responsibilities that the educators and and the administration and and we also had frank discussions about what our roles would be -- it's no -- thing that we.
That she did what she did we actually.
Sort of played the -- one time -- and having had a real shooter in it's not surprised that she would give it up or give up her life for students.
And sure we understand -- dawn actually.
Was was happy about the fact that she was able to bring.
Her school into the the modern era being able to -- safeguarded.
And protected and putting all the measures in place to actually protect.
Her students -- teachers.
The staff she was really.
Really adamant about that a proactive about it so on this day the fact that she sacrificed herself.
What what is the community losing in this wonderful leader.
Who inspired some.
Teachers and students.
Yes she did take this very seriously like that we had frank discussions we've trained we practice.
She knew that the health and safety of her children.
Were absolutely Paramount.
I think between the thing we need to come away from this is the fact that she actually save a great many lives and taken actions that she did.
Now the shooter had the capability of killing much more in this tragedy would have been far worse for wasn't for her.
Her heroic actions so I think that loss.
Certainly is extremely heartfelt.
And -- we're saddened but in in the other instance saw it gives me great pleasure.
To know that she did what she was supposed to do and when we talk about these types of things and -- -- streams.
Did we ever think that the reality of this conversation that her and I had but actually unfolding -- a reality.
And then causing the lost her life she is truly a hero that I.
We mention you're on the first selectmen and and would very how in your sense is the community there coming together.
Around this tragedy.
Well I think the first thing we all were when this was unfolding was it was sheer shock.
-- -- -- four.
-- it goes into heartbreak in -- is a community were coming together we're all talking we're grieving.
And trying to make some sense of the senseless and now.
We're strong we're -- small community and will come together and get through this is there anything you need I think so many people out -- ask us what can we do is there anything that people there need.
From our viewers and people across country.
Yeah I think come aside from your thoughts and prayers I think the one thing that -- I spoke with Don we've often talked about -- People take this type of action in and -- in going to schools and student take innocent lives.
And I think -- thing that we need to come away with this that once this happens.
There's a great deal of discussion about someone some mental stability.
And a lot of people knew that there was they were troubled and I think the thing they've gone and I talked about.
Is that we need to reach out to these people had a time and not turned a blind eye to them recognize their difficulties.
I'll put a handout access then this is the responsibility of and the every individual in our society.
And I think of dom was here she would certainly be saying the same thing and I think that's what we really need his thoughts and prayers and certainly reach out to your -- your neighbors.
Gerald that is such a great reminder and and a nice message you know we talk so much about what a hero -- was and how dedicated she was as a principal if she also had a family.
Can you tell us about her -- He you know just like her students you know she cared a great deal of her family she talked often about the family.
Mom she was a great mother stepmother a wife.
Her family actually lives and our -- again as a small community we would see each other in the grocery stores we were -- I continually asked her to come back to our school system but -- is very happy moving up forward without her career.
And it's a great strategy and and our thoughts and prayers certainly go out there.
On her family at this time also -- free go Hadi move on as the community.
Well again you know we -- -- -- lot with each other we cry a lot.
We talk a lot.
And we move on and we continue and we learn from some of the things that Don has taught us.
-- you know again we work very hard with our community to try to alleviate these problems.
With the things that we saw what this horrific tragedy we're gonna learn from this and we're gonna bring this back to our community and we're gonna take steps that make sure that this doesn't happen again.
-- strong Steve thanks so much for sharing your your personal.
Remembrances of your good friend Don we appreciate it.