Published December 20, 2012
Dec. 14, 2012: In this file photo provided by the Newtown Bee, paramedics and others rush toward Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., shortly after Adam Lanza opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children. (AP/Newtown Bee)
NEWTOWN, Conn. – While the people of Newtown do their best to cope with loss and preserve the memories of their loved ones, another class of residents is also finding it difficult to move on: the emergency responders who saw firsthand the terrible aftermath of last week’s school shooting.
Firefighter Peter Barresi was driving through Newtown on Friday when police cars with lights flashing and sirens blaring raced toward his oldest son’s elementary school. After he was sent to Sandy Hook school himself, he saw things that will stay with him forever.
With anguished parents searching for their children, he prepared to receive the wounded, but a paramedic came back empty-handed, underscoring the totality of the massacre. Barresi, whose own son escaped unharmed, later discovered that among the 26 dead were children who played baseball with his son and had come to his house for birthday parties.