Traumatized Newtown Police Tell of Darkest Day
Seven officers recount Sandy Hook Elementary massacre
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2013 7:33 AM CST
Updated Jan 29, 2013 8:30 AM CST
In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, a police officer leads two women and a child from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.   (AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks)

(Newser) – It's been six weeks since the Newtown massacre, but for the police who were first on the scene, it may as well have been six minutes. The New York Times speaks to seven Newtown officers—some telling their stories for the first time—who describe horrifying and heart-wrenching details that just won't fade from memory:

  • On finding the first bodies, of the principal and school psychologist: "For a split second, your mind says could this be a mock crime scene, could this be fake, but in the next split second, you’re saying, there is no way. This is real."

  • On the one they couldn't save: One officer found a girl wounded, but with a pulse. He rushed her to an ambulance, telling her, "You’re safe now; your parents love you." She didn't make it.
  • On the one they did: In the classroom where police found most of the bodies, they also found a girl among them, bloodied, in shock, but unhurt. After seeing Adam Lanza dead in the next room, an officer grabbed her and ran her out of the building.
  • On teachers' heroics: In the aforementioned classroom, "the teacher had them huddled up like a mother hen—simple as that, in a corner." Others, fiercely protective of their kids, refused to open their doors. "We were ripping our badges off and putting them up to the window."
  • On the aftermath: Three detectives spent a week after the shooting bagging evidence, in tandem with state police. One spoke of Christmas ornaments that had been set on a windowsill to dry. "It's heartbreaking. These kids will never take those ornaments home to their parents."
  • What lingers: For as many as 15 officers, PTSD, says a lawyer for the union that represents them. One officer, now on medication to help him sleep, still hasn't returned to work. Others say even a TV show—or the sound of a child laughing—can produce tears.
Click for more from the interview.

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Showing 3 of 33 comments
Jan 30, 2013 8:29 PM CST
At least something good comes of the "Newtown Mentally ill Boy using Mentally ill Mom’s Legally Purchased Firearms to Gun Down Mom, Teachers and Children Massacre”. It seems that no less than 15 mentally imbalanced police officers are off the streets of Newtown, Connecticut. They should be placed on permanent Medical Leave or Terminated for mental instability and have all their guns taken away immediately.
Jan 29, 2013 11:54 AM CST
All the gun nuts like to say they are protecting the Second Amendment. They say it. I doubt they have ever read it. One portion states a WELL REGULATED MILITIA. Gee I wonder if well regulated could possible have anything to do with laws. If they were as smart as they think they are on the subject would have read the Federalist papers where the authors of the 2nd amendment used the words militia and military interchangeably If you big tough guys need to play brave why don't you join the military and really be brave. Stomping around in the woods in your red dumbo looking clothing does not make you brave. You are just a member of the little pee-pee mens group who need the loudest motorcycle, the fastest car and the biggest gun to feel like a real man. Believe me women know who you are.
Jan 29, 2013 11:31 AM CST
Am I logged on yet.... I went to the Newton Bee website and looked up the obituaries for the kids and adults.I looked up some of the cemetaries were some of the children are buried.I typed in their name.Their name, their dob and their date of death were recorded and where their burial site can be located at the cemetary....