One week after Sandy Hook shooting, KOTA Territory starts to hea - KOTA Territory News

One week after Sandy Hook shooting, KOTA Territory starts to heal

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One week ago, the nation looked on in horror as dozens of news outlets reported on the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults in a Connecticut elementary school.

For Susan Hughes, the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., hit close to home.
 
"My cousin, Jaclyn Lloyd, was the gym teacher," Hughes told KOTA Friday at Rapid City's First United Methodist Church. "She was the one who put the children in an office space and hid them from the gunman."
 
Hughes heard about the developing tragedy from her mother.
 
"I knew Jackie would be strong and do what needed to be done."
 
Jackie emerged from the school a survivor.

Now, just seven days later, the initial shock is starting to wear off. But people in KOTA Territory and across the nation are still coming to terms with what happened.
 
"There's just evil in the world," Marsha Balsley of Rapid City said. "It's something we have to deal with every day."
 
So soon after the nation was forced to deal with a gunman opening fire on classes of 6- and 7-year-olds, the focus is still on healing.
 
"Now is the time to provide more contributions and prayers and support," said Rapid City's Randy Williamson, "because this is when the people really need it."
 
As for what the country needs, that's anyone's guess.
 
"You don't want it to happen again somewhere else," Brad Conroy, a teacher in Pine Ridge, said. "And you still feel that sense of it can happen anywhere."
 
A week's time doesn't make the tragedy any easier to accept, but for people like Hughes' cousin Jackie, the healing process has begun.
 
"She said that it's hard, though," Hughes said, "because during the day she has to make choices to which child's funeral to go to."

Around the country on Friday the 21st, flags remained at half-staff, and countless people observed moments of silence to remember the victims of last Friday's massacre.

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