When gunman Adam Lanza burst into a first grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School, he began shooting indiscriminately at children, killing all but one little girl.
The girl, a six-year-old first grader, was the only child in her class of 16 to survive the massacre. In an act of remarkable insight for a child her age, the girl lay next to her bleeding and dying classmates, quiet and still, pretending that she had been killed as well.
The girl, whose name is being withheld for privacy reasons, was the first child to run out of Sandy Hook Elementary after the massacre began. Covered in blood, she ran to her mother and told her:
‘Mommy, I’m OK but all my friends are dead.’”
When her mother asked her what she saw, she described Lanza as an "angry" and "very mad" man.
The child's mother is currently being counseled by Pastor Jim Soloman for what he calls "survivors guilt". He told ABC News:
“The mom told me – and I thought this was very insightful – that she was suffering from what she felt was survivor’s guilt because so many of her friends no longer have their children but she has hers."
Although other students in Newtown have returned to school, Sandy Hook Elementary could remain closed for several months according to State police. School officials are working on a plan which will allow Sandy Hook students to attend school at a former middle school in an adjacent town.
Solomon believes the girl's decision to remain calm and play dead was inspired by God, saying:
“Somehow, in that moment, by God’s grace, she was able to act as if she was already deceased. I think it’s impossible outside of divine intervention. She has wisdom beyond her years, for sure.”