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Sister of Sandy Hook School Student Speaks

The Newtown High School senior's brother was uninjured in yesterday's shooting. She recalls what it was like waiting to hear if he was OK.


NEWTOWN, CT -- When the announcement came over the PA system yesterday that Newtown High School was going into a lockdown, one senior said students thought it was a drill even though the message said it was not.

Still, students followed instructions and took to secure locations with their teacher. As time went on and information began to come through via text message and Twitter, the reality of the situation hit Michelle Spanedda particularly hard.

The 17-year-old's brother is a third-grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and, at that time yesterday morning, Spanedda said she heard a student had been injured in a shooting there.

"I was literally bawling," she said. "I was thinking worst case scenario. It was really hard."

About an hour later she was overcome with an incredible sense of relief when her father texted her that her brother, Michael, was OK. "It felt so good," Spanedda said Saturday morning while working at Demitasse Cafe in downtown Sandy Hook.

Like the rest of residents of Newtown, though, Spanedda is still trying to come to grips with the magnitude of the tragedy, which is one of the most deadly school shootings in history. There was a noticeable sense of sadness in her voice as she spoke.

And there is a question on her mind, too:

"I just want to know what led to him going into the elementary school. What led him to go inside the school?"

Police have not released the identify of the shooter, nor a motive, or the identity of the 26 victims that includes 20 children [See story here.]

Last night, Spanedda said she spent hours watching the news with her parents. Her brother watched TV, as well, but not the news, she said.

Today, she said she's kind of just going through the motions. And tomorrow she plans on attending the interfaith vigil at the high school.

JANET G TYLER December 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
THIS IS FOR THE ELECTRICIAN WHO DISMISSED OUR PRESIDENT, PLEASE DON'T BRING UP YOUR HATEFULNESS TOWARD OUR PRESIDENT, HE IS A FATHER WHO MOURNS THIS TRAGIC SITUATION JUST AS MUCH AS ANYONE ELSE. PLEASE TRY TO SHOW RESPECT FOR THE LEADER OF OUR COUNTRY. THERE ARE MANY PRESIDENTS WHO WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR HEINOUS ACTS OF WAR, AND YOU ARE NOT PRIVY TO ANY OF THEM. PLEASE TURN AWAY FROM HATE, WHICH IS BECOMING TOO MUCH OF A PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVE GOT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Cynthia Tompkins December 17, 2012 at 01:57 AM
God never left the schools. We have pictures of perpetrator and victims; certainly don't need more cameras. We have mental institutions.
hypocrite December 17, 2012 at 01:30 PM
gee Mary....do you think she aquired firearms to protect her from her OWN son?
me December 17, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Hopefully someone will ask that question. Meanwhile, having semi-automatic weapons in the house didn't help. Too bad citizens can get access to them, mentally ill or not.
MisterSpuddy December 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Chow, a news blackout would NOT prevent other incidents and in any case MOST want to be informed of what's going on. Plus the FIRST amendment guarantees freedom of the press. If you don't like the news, don't watch and be uninformed and ignorant like too many others. And coverage has riled enough people to speak out against the gun industry and instructed how people can help.

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