BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - On Monday, 6-year-olds Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto were laid to rest, the first funerals of the more than two dozen people murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT on Friday.
Jack was a big New York Giants fan. Noah liked to figure out how things worked. Well-wishers placed two teddy bears outside Noah's service. Hymns echoed from the services for Jack.
As parents begin to bury the 20 young children killed that day, police try to unravel the puzzle left by a disturbed killer who ended so many lives, including his own mother and six other adults, and broke America's heart.
In western New York, a woman is mourning her cousin, who was the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary. Melanie Burhmaster-Bunch works at UB and has lived in WNY for 20 years, but she grew up with Dawn Hochsprung, the principal and one of the first to be shot last Friday.
"Not only was she my cousin, she was my best friend. From accounts of her colleagues and what we've been told is that she basically confronted and went after Adam Lanza," Burhmaster-Bunch said.
Burhmaster-Bunch spent Thanksgiving with Hochsprung just a few weeks ago and calls her a passionate educator who would even bring her dog into school so that children who had trouble reading in front of the class could read aloud to the therapy dog instead.
In October, Principal Hochsprung sent out a photo on Twitter with the comment "Safety first at Sandy Hook...It's a beautiful day for our evacuation drill."
"If she knew someone was going to harm a student, she would do anything to stop it. And I was telling someone that I hope to God that Adam Lanza saw a 5'2" raging bull coming after him and he had at least a moment of fear knowing that this woman who was dedicated and putting her life on the line to save her students. I just hope that he had that fear," Burhmaster-Bunch said.
At Sunday night's memorial service, President Barack Obama was photographed holding one of the four grandchildren of Principal Hochsprung. She also leaves behind two grown daughters.
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