Child survivor of US massacre recounts moments of terror

Nine-year-old Nicholas Sabillon was remarkably composed as he recounted how the Connecticut gunman who killed his schoolmates pounded on the locked door of the room where he was hiding.

He shouted "Let me in, let me in!" said Nicholas, who was interviewed with his parents Jose and Sherry.

When the first shots rang out at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, music teacher Maryrose Kristopik ushered Nicholas's class into a large closet and quickly locked the door. "We held onto the instruments to not make any noise," said Nicholas, who clutched a gong.

"We were all really scared and then we prayed... Miss Kristopik gave us all lollipops. We thought it would be our last snack.

"Then we heard this glass shatter and we were all scared, and we heard knocking on the class door from the outside. Luckily, we were all quiet, and the guy was talking 'Let me in, let me in!' and we never opened the door."

The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, 20, eventually left the room and shot himself dead. Soon after, police officers swarmed into the school.

"The police made a line, they had guns pointing into all the rooms," said Nicholas. "We ran down the center of them and we went outside."

The class bolted across the recess yard, and the students ran "as fast as we could" to the nearby fire station, Nicholas recalled. At the station, they settled down, and firefighters gave them water and saltine crackers.

"Then our teacher came in and he was crying because he didn't know if we were all safe," said Nicholas. "We all hugged him as soon as he got in."

His mother Sherry said she received a text message about shots heard around the school, but assumed that they were accidentally fired by a deer hunter.

"The next thing you know, a text came through saying that there was a shooting at the school. I tried to get 911 and they told me to call the Newtown police number. I called them and it was busy. I called my husband and he was already en route to the school."

Initially, police told parents to stay away from the school, but once the site was secured, they were told to go to the fire station, where the survivors had gathered.

Sherry rushed in and immediately saw a friend Nicholas has known since he was a toddler, who was with his father. Nicholas was close by.

"I was so relieved I was kissing and hugging RJ, Nicky's buddy, and then I was kissing and hugging Nicholas," she said.

Sherry and her husband then searched the fire station for children of family friends. "There were some kids that were crying and were very emotional, and other children were just in shock," she said.

At the time, parents were only told of three shootings -- the principal, the school psychologist and someone who was hit in the foot.

"There was not one mention of children," Sherry said. "We would never have thought that children were injured."

For hours, she listened, incredulous, to news reports of an ever-increasing death toll.

Lanza slaughtered his own mother, six adults working at the school and 20 young children aged just six or seven before turning a gun on himself. He was armed with a military-style rifle and two handguns.

Nicholas did not mention seeing any bodies or blood, but the experience remained harrowing nonetheless.

"When you go to bed, it feels scary, and you keep having this dream in your head about it," he said. "Because if you lived it, it's always stuck in your head."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February
    ToyotaPH continues it’s strong sales in February

    Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sustains its strong sales in its February performance. Toyota’s strong performance last month was due to the  high demand of the Vios, with sales of 2,012 units and of course the rest of Toyota’s line up such as the Fortuner, Innova, Wigo, Hilux, Avanza and Corolla Altis. Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, recorded 60 units last month. …

  • No apology, but Noy seeks understanding
    No apology, but Noy seeks understanding

    There was no apology, but President Aquino yesterday expressed regret, took “full responsibility” and appealed to the nation for “deepest understanding” for the Jan. 25 Mamasapano raid in which dozens died, including 44 police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos. “To every Filipino who has felt failure or has been hurt because of the events related to this operation, it is with abiding humility that I ask for your deepest understanding,” Aquino said in a speech before the 246 new graduates of …

  • MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician
    MVP on endorsement: Thanks, I’m no politician

    Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan is grateful for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s praise and presidential endorsement, but says he is not a politician. In an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the search for The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines 2015 Wednesday night, Pangilinan dismissed the idea of running for president in the 2016 elections. “I’m not a politician, I’m just an ordinary business person,” he added. Santiago endorsed Pangilinan as a presidential candidate …

  • No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP
    No Lenten break in operations vs lawless groups – AFP

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is not suspending its offensive against the Abu Sayyaf, New People’s Army (NPA) and other lawless groups during the Holy Week, an official said yesterday. Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, AFP public affairs office chief, said the AFP leadership is leaving it up to area and division commanders whether to raise the alert status in preparation for the Holy Week. Those deployed in areas where there are ongoing law enforcement operations against terrorist groups …

  • Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP
    Probe harassment vs human rights lawyer, CA orders AFP

    The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to investigate a human rights lawyer’s claim of harassment, including surveillance, by several military officers. In a 22-page decision, the former Special Sixth Division of the appellate court granted the petition for writ of amparo and habeas data of Maria Catherine Dannug-Salucon. The CA ordered the AFP to identify the officers behind the surveillance and file charges against them. The CA ruling said …

  • Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP
    Noy vows to dismantle bata-bata system in PNP

    President Aquino vowed yesterday to dismantle the culture of factionalism or the bata-bata system within the Philippine National Police as he continued the search for the next PNP chief. Speaking at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) commencement exercises here, the President said the country needed solidarity among leaders and members of the police force so that the policemen would be effective protectors of Filipinos. “Our challenge to the next chief of our national police force: …

  • Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl
    Envoy to expats: Retire, invest in Phl

    Retire and invest in real estate in the Philippines, especially now that the country has made it to the top 10 retirement destinations in the world. This is the message being spread by the Philippine embassy in Washington, with Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. leading the refrain in meetings with various Filipino-American communities in the US. In his talks, Cuisia said that an affordable cost of living as well as warm climate and people are just some of the things that make the Philippines a top …

  • PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson
    PNPA spotlight falls on Ampatuan grandson

    The stigma of being a namesake of the principal suspect in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre did not prevent Cadet First Class Andal Ampatuan III from entering and graduating from the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA). Ampatuan III, now with a rank of police inspector, is a grandson of former Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. The younger Ampatuan was among the 246 graduates of the PNPA “Lakandula” Class of 2015. Ampatuan III’s mother is Bai Rebecca Ampatuan, a daughter of the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options