Principal died in Connecticut school shooting, official confirms

An official from a town near Newtown, Conn. — the site of the horrific school shooting— said police informed him the principal was among the dead.

First Selectman Gerald Stomski of Woodbury, told the Los Angeles Times that Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung was an “an incredible person” and an “outstanding educator and always put her students first.”

Before she began at Sandy Hook in 2010, Hochsprung was a principal in nearby Woodbury, Stomski said.


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“She was a team player. She absolutely adored and loved her children,” he said.

Twenty-seven people died in Friday’s shooting rampage. The gunman then killed himself.

Law enforcement sources told The Times that Adam Lanza first shot his mother, Nancy, to death at her house. Then, these sources said, he drove his mother’s Honda to Sandy Hook Elementary.

Hours after the shooting, Sandy Hook fourth-grader Geneva Cunningham told The Times that her principal was “a real great person that always made people feel the best they could ever feel about themselves.”

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Natalie DeCastro, Hochsprung’s neighbor for five years on Heather Court, a woodsy townhome development in Woodbury, wept as she spoke.

“She was a wonderful person, and I think I would want to say she was a very strong and very thoughtful and accomplished woman. And very caring,” she said in an interview. “She worked so hard, she worked so hard, and she gave so much.”


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Contributing to this report were Times staff writers Tina Susman, Richard A. Serrano and Michael Muskal.