Published December 18, 2012
The photo seemed to capture the horror of the day a gunman blasted his way into a Connecticut elementary school, taking the lives of 26 people, 20 of them children.
An unnamed young woman, wearing a white sweater, was ashen-faced and horror-struck as she held a cell phone to her ear, her hand over her heart. The heartbreaking photo, as well as others taken hours Adam Lanza stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary, seemed to capture the awfulness of the day.
Now the women in the photograph, Carlee Soto, the sister of a first grade teacher killed during the school shooting, said the photo haunts still her.
"It's like a reminder of that moment all over again," she said of the photo. "It kills."
Carlee was reportedly trying to find out about her sister, Victoria Soto, during the phone call. She learned later her sister never made it out of the school alive.
Victoria, hailed a hero, reportedly saved some of her students by putting them in a closet and telling Lanza when he stormed into her classroom that her students were in the other side of the building. In the confusion afterward, some students ran out and were shot by the gunman.
“We heard at one point that they found some people hiding in a closet. And all of us said, 'Vicki would never be hiding in a closet,’” her mother, Donna, told CBS. “She would be out there protecting those babies."
Victoria Soto, who was 27 and single, is being hailed a hero.
"She was not somebody that ever wanted to be famous or wanted her picture in the paper,” the mother said. “To have it blasted all over the papers throughout the country and the world, it's just, it's surreal."