Victoria Sotos Sister Carlee Describes Symbolic Photo, Family Remembers Hero Teacher

(Photo via CBS News)

A number of the photos from the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting have become enshrined in our minds as symbols of the event.  Played over and over on television news reels, no one who’s seen them will ever forget the sight.

One of the photos is of national hero Victoria Soto’s sister Carlee, her hand pressed to her heart and unbelievable pain on her face as she gets the news of her sister’s death on a cell phone.

Victoria Sotos Sister Carlee Describes Symbolic Photo, Family Remembers Hero Teacher

Carlee Soto (Photo: AP)

For those who aren’t aware, Victoria (also known as “Vicki”) Soto was the first grade teacher who died after putting herself “between the children and the gunman.”

New reports indicate that she was able to hide some of the students as 20-year-old Adam Lanza approached.  A number later escaped the school, having to pass by their deceased teacher, and found refuge at a nearby grandfather’s house.

Here are a few photos of Vicki, provided by her family:

Victoria Sotos Sister Carlee Describes Symbolic Photo, Family Remembers Hero Teacher

Vicki Soto (Photo: ABC News)

Victoria Sotos Sister Carlee Describes Symbolic Photo, Family Remembers Hero Teacher

(Photo via CBS)

Victoria Sotos Sister Carlee Describes Symbolic Photo, Family Remembers Hero Teacher

(Photo via CBS News)

“It’s like a reminder of that moment all over again, and it’s– it kills,” Carlee Soto said of the symbolic photo of her receiving the unimaginable news to CBS.

Struggling to continue, she and her family hold on to Vicki’s courage. 

“We heard at one point that they found some people hiding in a closet and all of us said, ‘Vicki would never be hiding in a closet, she would be out there protecting those babies,’” her mother added. 

And she was absolutely right.  

CBS News has more:

Diana and Robert Licata had a son in Vicki Soto’s class, and he told his parents how his 27-year-old teacher hustled them against the far wall, away from the range of the gunman.  When Lanza broke in and started opening fire at the students, he said Soto put herself in front of the hail of bullets.

“She was an absolutely amazing teacher. She just was so young and so full of life, and educating just got her so excited, and teaching those children is what she loved to do,” Diana Licata said, crying as she spoke.

According to the New  York Post, Vicki Soto’s parents, brother, and two younger sisters will bury her Wednesday.

CBS News has more from the Licata family:

Related: