A poignant vignette from the Connecticut school shooting

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NEWTOWN, Conn. -- As the shooting was taking place in the front of Sandy Hook Elementary School, a class was being held in the back inside the school library, occupied by 18 students and four adults, including Maryann Jacob.

She said she heard "some sort of scuffling and noises but it wasn't really loud. The class going on at the time wasn't really disturbed by it."

And then she heard an announcement over the intercom for teachers to contact the office. When she did so, a secretary told her there was a shooter in the building and to go into lockdown mode. She locked the door and covered the windows and the adults herded the children into a storage area.

Two adults with the children had cell phones and tried to call police but could not get cell service.

The children were given crayons to color with while the adults told them this was a drill, that they were safe but should be quiet and still

"We knew the door was locked so we thought we were safe, but we thought, 'What if he comes in?'" said Ms. Jacob, a staff member of the school.

After some time went by the children became antsy and as the adults were calming them there was a loud banging on the door. It was the police, saying to let them in. The adults refused to do so until an officer slid his badge under the door.

While recounting her experience at Treadwell Park, a staging area for media briefings about a mile from the school, Ms. Jacob was calm and collected. But when asked how she was doing today, she broke down and began sobbing.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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Washington bureau chief Tracie Mauriello: tmauriello@post-gazette.com or 703-996-9292.


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