As a gunman's terror gripped a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, killing 27 people, 20 of them children, several teachers on the scene acted with heroism. One most likely saved an entire class by quickly ushering students into a closet.
"[The teachers] will be applauded for their efforts," an ABC newscaster said during the station's live video report Friday afternoon, citing conversations with sources. "There was no screaming, which indicates just how carefully these teachers carried this out this afternoon."
Harrowing images recorded outside Sandy Hook Elementary School show children exiting the building in single-file lines, guided by their teachers. Officials identified the gunman, who took his own life, as Adam Lanza, 20, according to CNN.
Brenda Lebinski, the mother of an eight-year-old student, told Newtown Patch that her daughter is safe due to one teacher's decision to move her kids out of harm's way when Lanza entered the school.
"My daughter's teacher is my hero," Lebinski told Patch. "She locked all the kids in a closet and that saved their lives."
On Saturday, she was identified as Maryrose Kristopik, a music teacher for all grade levels from Seymour, Conn. According to the Daily Mail, she and a class of fourth graders huddled in the closet as Lanza banged on the door, screaming "Let me in!"
With large musical instruments blocking one door, she tightly held the knob of other door, the Daily Mail reported.
“We stayed quiet, we held hands, we hugged," Kristopik told the New York Daily News. "I tried to talk to them calmly."
At the suggestion of a student, the group said a prayer, Kristopik said. They remained safely in the closet until exiting the school together a short time later.
In the wake of the incident, Kristopik believes the victims' families deserve the nation's thoughts -- more than her actions.
"I did what any other teacher would have done," she said.