• Fri, Dec 14 2012

Unspeakably Brave 6-Year-Old Boy Grabs & Waits For Friends In The Midst Of Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

shutterstock_1165063We’re still learning the details regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at Newtown, Connecticut. But from the teachers to the police officers, it’s more than evident that many, many brave individuals were present at this massacre, including a 6-year-old boy.

The Associated Press reports that one parent, Robert Licata, who must have been one of many horrified and shaken by today’s news, says her child was in class when the alleged shooter “burst in and shot the teacher”:

“That’s when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door,” he said. “He was very brave. He waited for his friends.”

He said the shooter didn’t say a word.

One of the most alarming patterns in this school shooting is that most of the recounting is in the voice and words of children. As more and more details emerge about the unspeakable horror of this day, I have no doubt that we’ll hear about the policemen, the school administrators, and selfless teachers who saved lives. The fact that we can even cite a 6-year-old boy as one them speaks not only to the grimness of this crime, but the strength required of even the smallest and youngest victims.

(photo: Jack Haefner/ Shutterstock)

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  • Kai

    First the media reported the wrong name for the shooter. No-one’s learned to wait a bit?
    I understand the need to publish something about the fact that it happened, but all these little tidbits and stories should really wait until there are facts.
    Do you remember Cassie Bernall from Columbine? I’d link to the wikipedia page, but I suspect that might get me spamfiltered. She was initially reported to have been asked about her belief in god, and killed due to her answer. Her mother went so far as to publish a book detailing her life and ‘martyrdom’ before all eyewitness accounts confirmed that no such exchange had happened.
    Before you go telling a story based on one mother’s account of her own son’s ‘heroism’, which doesn’t actually do anything to get out the basic facts people are looking for about the shooting, how about giving it a couple days to see which stories actually hold up?

    • Kai

      sorry, I intended to mention ‘one father’s account of his own son…’. Still had mother on the brain from Mrs. Bernall’s book, but it was a father in this case. Of no account which it is, just wanted to correct my mistake.

    • bumbler

      6 year olds really aren’t the most accurate source of information (much less is any person in a crisis situation). “I ran out with everyone else” can quickly be blurred into “I personally saved all of my friends by ferrying them out of the room”, and I suspect the parent is the one doing the blurring. I would say it doesn’t really matter and that it’s natural to look for this kind of heroism, but I wonder what kind of psychological effect the LIE of being heroic would have on the 6 year old? Like when someone gushes about how beautiful your drawing is, and that uneasy feeling you get knowing you really just traced it….but x100 because this is about saving human lives in a tragedy. Pretty heavy. Who knows, maybe he did save them, but it’s pretty unlikely considering everything.

    • Kai

      On the upside, I’m sure the boy has no idea what the media reports on him. That at least shouldn’t be a 6-year-old’s burden. but hopefully his parents are doing what they can for him regardless of how they actually left the classroom. That’s up to the parents.
      If we’re speaking to the fact of heroism, I don’t even see it in this story. It might be ‘brave’ to wait for others before leaving a dangerous place, but unless you personally assisted them with leaving, which they didn’t need here, you didn’t actually help them in any way, and if anything slowed the total evacuation.
      But my general point is that all these little stories that aren’t relevant to the basic reporting of the shooting should not be published without facts.
      But hey, call me archaic, expecting facts to be published rather than rumours…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shelly-Lloyd/826469442 Shelly Lloyd

    To all the armchair editors and internet fact police for this, does it really matter right now if this little boy helped his friends out the door or if he just ran out with them? I think as adults we all know that things like this get misreported, but damn guys, it’s a 6 year old boy who has just went though a very traumatic experience. Can you wait a few weeks before you get your red pen out and start double checking with Wikipedia over every detail?

    • Kai

      My comments on a website is not going to change what the boy thinks of himself. I don’t even know what the boy thinks of himself.
      But rather than me waiting to fact check, perhaps the people who are supposed to be responsible for that try? The media is supposed to publish facts, not rumours. I do not suggest people interrogate the boy for the real story. I suggest the media, of which this little website is a part, refrain from publishing random stories based on hearsay. That’s their job.
      If a few mixed reports come out of the basic details that are to be reported right away, I understand that. But reporters, even of the extremely amateur form, should not be publishing random feel-good stories until they have the facts on them.

    • Kai

      Come to think of it, you’re on my point. Does it matter how exactly this boy and his friends left the room? No, not at all. So why is an article published explaining how it happened when it doesn’t matter in any way, and there is no fact to be known?