HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — As the injured continue to recover from horrific events the Boston bombings and the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, so do the first responders who witnessed all the carnage.
One of the first police officer to arrive at Sandy Hook Elementary told his story in Holyoke on Thursday to a conference sponsored by Baystate Health and the Hampden County District Attorney’s office.
Newtown Police Lieutenant Christopher Vanghele was the keynote speaker at a victims rights conference.
The lieutenant was among the first to enter the school after the shootings.
“I went in with two other officers who were with me through a side door, and it was very quiet. We learned later he had taken his own life pretty much as soon as our first responding units got there,” says Lt. Vanghele.
Adrenaline is pumping, your heart is racing.
“Your mind tells you it’s not real, and then part of your mind says it is real, and you have to act,” says Lt. Vanghele.
Lt. Vanghele says the worst part is to see the pain and suffering the families are going through.
“All I could tell the parents is that I would have given my life for their kids and that’s what every first responder would do,” says Vanghele.
The police lieutenant says parents of the slain children and their families have been a source of inspiration for himself and other first responders.