December 16th, 2012
11:48 PM ET

Family's grief and love for principal remembered as a hero

George Hochsprung was teaching class at Rogers Park Middle school in Danbury, Connecticut last Friday when a student who was reading a story on the Internet pulled him aside.

“One of the kids came up with a computer and said something is happening at Sandy Hook school,” Hochsprung said sitting with his children who were wiping tears from their eyes. The next words, he says, he’ll never forget: “Your wife has been killed.”

Hochsprung’s wife Dawn Hochsprung was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School and was shot to death by the gunman who reportedly forced his way into the school.

Hochsprung rushed to the school along with this step-daughter wanting to know what happened to his wife of 10 years. He waited along with parents of students to find out if the reports were true, but he wasn’t getting word from anyone.

At 2:30 A.M. on Saturday, police arrived at his doorstep and told him what he already suspected. His wife had been killed.

A rash of emotions took over. Anger, rage, love, and loss. Later that morning he started to learn more details about his wife.

“Dawn put herself in jeopardy and I have been angry about that, angry until just now, today,” said George. All he wanted to know was what were the chain of events that led to his wife’s death.

“I met two women that she told to go under shelter while she actually confronted the gunman. She could've avoided that but she didn't. I knew she wouldn't. So I’m not angry anymore....Not angry, I'm just very sad.”

While coming to terms with the loss of his wife, Hochsprung learned that she was a hero. He was told by people inside the school that the shooting started while Dawn was in a meeting with two other teachers.

“They said we were at the meeting. There were gunshots and somebody shot the window. Somebody came in...into the foyer of the building. And Dawn told us to go hide, and she and one other teacher went out and actually tried to subdue the killer.”

Hochsprung says he was amazed at his wife’s strength. “I don't know where that comes from, Dawn was five-foot-two,” he said.

Her daughters believe it was her love of the children and her motherly instincts that made her jump into action and do her part to help save lives.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Patrick Riley

    Thinking of the Hochsprung family and calling for gun control now. No more semi-automatic weapons outside of the military and law enforcement. And more care and attention paid to mental illness before tragedies like Sandy Hook occur.

    December 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  2. Karen

    I lost my mother in 2007 to a murderer and I break down as I watch this video of her daughter because I know her pain.. It takes me back to those shoes and breaks my heart all over again..

    December 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  3. Heather

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart! While you spoke of our beautiful angels that were lost in connecticut, your voice broke! Thank you for not editing that out!! Thank you for allowing all of us to hear your heart ache and passion....many stories/issues portrayed by the news lose the feeling that you displayed! THANK YOU!

    Heather Rippel, BC, CANADA

    December 17, 2012 at 1:30 am |