Newtown Massacre: Teacher Vicki Soto's Heroics Remembered (With CBS News Video)
Her son had escaped. He later told his parents a remarkable story of the nightmare unfolding inside his classroom. When the shooting began inside Sandy Hook Elementary, teacher Vicky Soto moved the children in Classroom 10 against a wall, away from the door, and that's when the little boy came face-to-face with the gunman.
Robert Licata said, "Somehow the person was able to burst open the door. And basically at that point, that's when they witnessed his teacher (being) shot. And they all ran. My son was the last one out with the children that he escaped with. They ran right by the shooter who was in the doorway. How they escaped we still, to this day, don't know if we'll ever really know, exactly how they managed to get past him. And they ran out the door. ... They ran past the shooter."
Diane Licata, asked if some of the children saw some of the victims, said, "They did."
The children got out, but the young teacher who had bravely shielded her students, was left dead.
Diane Licata said, "I know she would have done anything to protect those kids. I know she would have, and I know she did everything she could at that moment. In the chaos and ascertaining what was happening. She is truly a hero. And it's very likely that it's because of her that our son is with us today."
President Obama echoed that sentiment on Sunday night in Newtown. He said of Soto and her colleagues, "They responded as we all hope we might respond in such terrifying circumstances, with courage and with love, giving their lives to protect the children in their care."
On Sunday, the Licatas told their son his teacher was with the angels.
There is a grassroots effort underway to honor Vicki Soto with the highest award granted to civilian, the Medal of Freedom. So far the petition has more than 7,000 signatures.