Huffpost Crime

Victoria Soto, Slain Sandy Hook Teacher, Remembered As Selfless Hero

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VICTORIA SOTO FUNERAL
A coffin bearing the body of Victoria Soto is carried out of Lordship Community Church after her funeral service, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Stratford, Conn. | AP

STRATFORD, Conn. -- A Connecticut schoolteacher gunned down during last week's elementary school massacre is being remembered as a selfless hero who died trying to shield her students.

Outside 27-year-old Victoria Soto's funeral in Stratford on Wednesday, family friend Kim Rusatsky said Soto had an infectious smile and it's "pretty apparent" how selfless she was.

Soto, five other educators and 20 children were shot to death Friday in Newtown in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.

Peter Rusatsky praises Soto's actions. He says "any teacher would do it and not blink and just do whatever had to be done to protect those children."

Fairfield police Chief Gary MacNamara attended the funeral. He calls Soto a "tremendous hero" and says sacrificing her life was "the ultimate strength."

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