Victoria Soto Shot Dead After Saving Pupils

The family of a teacher who died saving her own pupils have said she was a "true hero".

Victoria Soto, 27, managed to hide pupils in cupboards at the Sandy Hook Elementary School as the gunman Adam Lanza was killing others. 

Ms Soto was then confronted by the gunman and she tried to convince him that her pupils were in a different part of the school.

She was then shot dead but her actions meant that many of her young students survived.

On Saturday night her family joined hundreds of people for a vigil in their hometown of Stratford, Connecticut.

Wiping away tears, her sibling Carlee Soto told the crowd: "My sister truly is a hero.

"I'm very proud to say she is my sister and we have definitely lost an amazing person.

"She died doing what she loved, protecting the kids that meant the world to her."

Ms Soto's selfless act of bravery undoubtedly saved many young lives and has drawn worldwide admiration.

Close friend Kate McLaughlin, 27, started elementary school with Ms Soto and remained friends with her ever since.

She told Sky News: "I was hoping all day that she would update her Facebook to let us know she was OK and when we didn't hear anything I knew something was wrong."

Ms McLaughlin was not surprised when she learned exactly what her friend had done.

"She shielded her children in the closet and took a bullet for them.

"She would have done this for anybody. I don't want to say it makes it easier but it takes away a little bit of the pain we are all feeling."