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Funeral Today for Fallen Hero Teacher Vicki Soto

Family and friends pay their final respects to the Stratford native who sacrificed her life to save those of her children during the Newtown elementary school shooting. Soto, a 2003 SHS grad, was 27.

Victoria "Vicki" Soto will be remembered as one of the heroes to come out of the Newtown school shooting that stole 26 innocent lives from Connecticut families.

As terrible as the massacre was, it could have been worse if it weren't for Soto, whose quick thinking to hide her first-grade students before the gunman came into her classroom saved more than a dozen lives, according to the Hartford Courant.

But it's not just the local papers reporting Soto's story of bravery. Seemingly every major news network is calling Soto a hero, including CNN, whose interview of the Soto family can be viewed here.

Those who knew Soto said they weren't surprised to hear that, in the middle of the unthinkable carnage Friday, their friend laid down her body to protect her kids.

"She was definitely a kindhearted, gentle person but when you step on her toes she's tough," Luis Sanchez, who grew up with Soto on Knowlton Street and graduated high school with her in 2003, told Patch at a candlelight vigil on Saturday.

"She's a hero and I wouldn't expect anything less from her," Jessica Zrallack, a 2004 SHS grad, said at the vigil.

The funeral service starts at 10 a.m. at Lordship Community Church, 190 Prospect St., Stratford.

Police caution that there is very limited parking at the church; and that there is very limited space at the church so entry is at the sole discretion of the family and funeral director.

Common Sense Moderate December 19, 2012 at 02:06 PM
You make us proud, Vicki. Thank you for saving those kids. We cry for you today, and we will not forget what you did.
Carlos Soto December 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM
RIP Vicki. God bless you.
Tom December 19, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Vicki, I never met you, but I want to tell you how proud I am of you, and I want to express a heart felt thank-you for your unselfish sacrifice. May your memory never fade.... I for one will not forget what you did.
Gail Santa Maria December 20, 2012 at 01:50 AM
As a teacher myself, I applaud your quick thinking to hide your students and keep them safe. I cannot imagine the courage it took to face the gunman and tell him that no children were in that room, knowing that you were going to die yourself. As a Stratford native, I am so proud of you, Vickie; I know that Stratford will never forget our hometown hero.

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