Aerial views spared the public the horrors inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, but for the first responders, there was no shield from the carnage they witnessed.
Adam Lanza had two pistols and a military-style rifle when he entered Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning, and in just a matter of minutes, he fired multiple rounds, killing 20 children and six adults. Before the school shooting, he shot his mother four times.
"There was a policeman who brought the child out to the street where we were and we transported from there," said first responder Marty Folan.
First responders told Eyewitness News that they aren't used to seeing even a fraction of what they saw on Friday. And for all of them, this is not something that's easy to shake.
"I jumped in my car and drove right down to the school, not knowing what I was walking in to," said first responder Sharon McCarthy.
McCarthy and Folan are just two of the 70 volunteers that make up the Newtown Ambulance Association.
On Friday, Folan was at the Sandy Hook Fire Station and was in one of the three ambulances in the fleet sent to the elementary school.
"We picked up a third EMT that responded directly and she reported that she heard shots from her home," he said.
Being one of the first on scene, he saw the innocence that was shattered by evil.
"We acquired a patient down there and treated and transported [them] to the hospital," Folan said.
McCarthy was outside, working to calm the fears of frantic parents.
"I said we're just going to wait here, and keep our hopes and the hopes of everyone around us," she said.
When the day ended, that's when it all sunk in.
"Emotionally, it hit the core," Folan said. "Especially when we found out about the totality of this tragedy."
Eyewitness News has learned that some first responders are retiring after this tragedy. McCarthy and Folan said they have no plans to quit. They told Eyewitness News that their role in this town is just too important.
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