Sandy Hook: A Reporter Remembers


We hope that Dave Owens of the Hartford Courant does not mind that we share his poignant and tragic December 14th Facebook post:

Six years ago today my colleague William Henry Leukhardt and I were dispatched to what would turn out to be the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown.

Bill and I met up near the school and he scribbled down the name of his stepdaughter, Lauren Rousseau, and her age, 30, and asked me to keep an eye out for her. She had just begun working as a permanent substitute teacher at Sandy Hook School.

As the day unfolded, and the extent of the tragedy revealed itself, I kept an eye out for Lauren.

I never found her. Bill and I ended up splitting up to further our reporting. At some point Bill was sent home.

We found out later that Lauren and 15 of her 16 first graders died that day.

I have this note Bill passed to me that awful day pinned on a bulletin board at my desk. It’s a piece of paper from a reporter’s notebook and anyone who knows Bill can spot his handwriting a mile away.

I look at it pretty much every day.

I never knew Lauren, but I’ve known Bill for a long time. He is a kind and gentle man who everyone adores. The same applies to his mate Terri Rousseau, Lauren’s mom, who is also a newspaper person.

Anyway, that day was just awful. And it still makes me cry.

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