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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.

Lois Daniel Skipworth December 15, 2012 at 09:49 PM
My love and prayers are with all of you in Sandy Hook. May the God above bring comfort and peace at such a sad time. Being a teacher myself I cannot imagine..I can only pray.
Cynthia Tompkins December 15, 2012 at 09:51 PM
Holding out hope that no one lost two children.
hypocrite December 15, 2012 at 09:56 PM
agreed.....and as a parent knowing that your kid has mental issues...why have such an arsenal of weapons easily availlable?
Tammie King December 15, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Never even thought of that.... (My heart just sunk even further) xoxoxo
BIGMACBOY December 15, 2012 at 10:17 PM
GREAT IDEA, CHOW MEIN.... BUT THE GUN SUPPORTERS WILL STEP UP AND SAY THAT THEIR "FIRST AMENDAMENT RIGHTS" ARE BEING STIFFLED BY NOT LETTING THE STORY AIR. BUT IT IS A GOOD IDEA. ELIMINATING GUNS FROM PEOPLE LIKE THE MOTHER THAT OWNED THESE IS A GOOD IDEA TOO. BUT THEY WILL SAY THAT SHE WAS A RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNER AND IT WAS NOT THE GUNS THAT KILLED...... IF SHE DID NOT HAVE THOSE GUNS, THOSE CHILDREN WOULD BE ALIVE TODAY. TAMMIE KING, WAKE UP, THIS IS REAL. IT NEEDS TO BE STOPPED AND TALKED ABOUT.... A BIG REALITY SHOW.
Cynthia Tompkins December 15, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Evil finds a way to do evil with or without guns.
Alan Vanderbilt December 15, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Deepest condolences from Tinley Park illinois. I cannot imagine what you are going through but stay strong for those surviving children, moms and dads of lost ones and first responders who were in the building
calvin anthont December 15, 2012 at 10:51 PM
God bless Newtown Ct. all the children and parents. The hurt is so bad I can not know what pain they feel and how they will deal with it. Heaven does have more angels now and God will help you if you let him.
Nick December 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM
My heart is full of sorrow for the familes. At this time what we should be doing is expresssing our condolences to all who had suffered this great lose. Our preys go out to them. May God truly bring confort to them!
gracenmercy December 15, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I just cant imagine losing a child. You feel helpless that u could not protect them. I have 4 children, 6,7,9,and 11 and my heart is in pain. I am confused. What is this world coming to? Parents are not supposed to bury their little children! I will pray more fervently for this country and those mourning this aweful loss, because I was already praying for this world. I must tell myself that those little angels are back in Heaven with God smiling, playing, and at peace.
Dee December 15, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Colorado Springs offers prayers to those affected by the unspeakable tragedy in CT. Words cannot express the sadness I feel for the parents who lost their baby and the children who lost a friend, a sister or brother, and the innocence lost in their tiny lives. I am at a loss for words, I wish there was more I could say or do to take the pain away.I will continue to pray that god sends his angels to offer comfort to Newtown, CT. I am so very sorry for your losses, we are all feeling a sense of loss as well. God Bless Newtown.
Claudia Bittner December 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM
God was taken out of the schools. Immorality was brought in. Maybe a camera at the door would have been a good idea. Might have helped if they saw that this young man had on an armored vest. Plus, we need mental institutions instead of allowing those with problems out with the public.
sheila December 16, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Well said, heartsick in New Jersey also
MARK RIVARD December 16, 2012 at 12:25 AM
I Lowered our American Flag on behalf of ALL of the victoms at Sandy Hook Elementary School. My prayer are with all of the familys.
Katie 0810 December 16, 2012 at 01:09 AM
I have not really smiled. I have felt your pain My son is 15 an no longer a baby, but the thought of losing him at all, the thought of what your community and your families must be going through hurts me more then I think possilby my own sons best freinds death. I cannot cope with what has happened, I cannot belive that anyone especially a 20 year old would do this. I pray and wonder if it helps you. You lives forever changed. No words can express to you my thoughts or may feelings, nothing I say will change what happened. but if you read this know that for the rest of my life I will keep you and your children and all in you town, in my thoughts, my heart and my prayers. May God help you find strenght, renew your faith and somehow find peace.........
Sheila Watkins December 16, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Our love and prayers go out to you all. We all are lifting you up in prayer and carrying you in our hearts tonight. May God carry you in this time of heartbreak and sorrow. Love from Louisiana, Sheila and son, CJ
Arlene G December 16, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Well said here too. Heartsick in Clearwater FL. I am a CT native. This is a horrific tragedy. Gut wrenching; agonizing. My love and deepest sympathies go out to all that were taken. We are also praying and are there in spirit for all involved.
HEATHER DESHOTEL December 16, 2012 at 01:50 AM
NO NAME S ON LIST SHARED LAST NAMES
Leslie Ely December 16, 2012 at 01:52 AM
My family and I are so sadden by the tragic event that took palace with all God's Special Angels. Let us all remember that and I quote. "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." —-Anonymous
Mary S. December 16, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Did the shooter's mom's arsensinal protect HER? Guns kill people.
Amy B. from Colorado December 16, 2012 at 03:43 AM
A collective gasp was heard round the world not only for the victims who lost their lives, but those who will forever be scarred by the tragedy. God bless you and your family.
Barbara Faircloth December 16, 2012 at 06:44 AM
To all that was directly touched by this tragedy, I want to express my deepest condolences. There are no words that will dry your tears or take away your pain. In time I hope you will be able to smile and feel blessed for the time you had with your child, and let those precious memories replace the sorrow you feel in your heart today. Barbara Faircloth
Elle Redifer December 16, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Havinh lved in Littleton and as a mother there is a hugh diffrence, we didn't drop our teenagers at school. They knew what they were doing and understood the sick world we live in. These babies we led like lambs into this killer's hands and will never understand what went wrong that morning. It's too late for them, but I pray G-D helps their families slowly be able to fin their ways again, like the poor families of 911 and Littleton did. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost anyone, in any manner.
Mason Yu December 16, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Mother of shooter registered rifle owner. son, the shooter, diagnosed with Asperson's syndrome. Solution background checks must link the NCIS criminal database with family members with mental illness history. If flagged, the applicant is zapped.... Gun owners should enjoy their weapons... this is to prevent the .000001% from accessing such deadly weaponry. I grieve with Connecticut and America's loss. Does not look good at all..... The President and Congress have sufficient funds to set up such a national database, after all, we spent 600 B in Afghanistan, about time we take care own before another tragedy occurs.....
Richard K McKenzie December 16, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I am a 79 year old grandfather who just a few years ago lost my second oldest son to a horrendous accident. I know none of the victims in this outlandish, despicable act of cruelty. But I have shed more tears for them and their families than I did for my own son. Perhaps that is because he was 47 and lived a happy, productive life ........these precious little beings have been robbed and deprived of that opportunity. And the best I can do is to include them in my daily prayers, asking our God to watch over their souls. To all the affected parents, I grieve with you; I cry with you and pray also that you are all given the strength to cope with this tragedy. God bless all of you.
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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