Newtown Shooting: Young Survivor Recalls Horror

Tom Parmenter and Brian Donathan, Sky News
Newtown Shooting: Young Survivor Recalls Horror

An eight-year-old consoled his classmates as Adam Lanza went on his shooting rampage, reassuring them his policeman dad was on the way to save them.

Luke Santana, a third grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School, said he was ushered into an adjacent classroom by teachers as the gunman began his killing spree.

He told Sky News: "It was awkward because everyone was piling up on each other, and I was saying, 'Don't worry ... stop crying. My dad is a police officer, he's going to help'."

Luke said his father was physically sick after facing the traumatic task of dealing with the aftermath of the massacre of 20 children and six adults at the school.

Luke's mother Lisandra Santana said her husband heard the call go out on the radio and rushed to the scene both as a father and a first responder.

"He wasn't sure if his son was alive," she said.

The Santanas did not have to confront the nightmare that has been thrust upon the parents of 20 murdered children in Newtown, Connecticut.

"I was really happy to know that he was OK," said Mrs Santana as she stood next to her son near a makeshift memorial not far from the school. "I just ran in there and hugged him and started kissing him."

"I just pray for those who didn't make it," she added.

Luke's father, also named Luke, agreed to allow his son to speak to Sky News, but declined to comment himself.

With his mother looking on, the younger Luke expressed his condolences for the families who lost loved ones, including a classmate whose little sister was killed and his former first grade teacher Victoria Soto.

Ms Soto has been praised for saving students by hiding them in a closet before Lanza entered her classroom.

"She shielded her students," Luke said.

Mrs Santana acknowledged her son's bravery as well.

"He's gone through a lot, but I'm so proud of him," she said.

"I'm glad he was brave and that he was able to talk to his classmates and tell them everything was going to be OK."

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