Victoria Soto, 27, is shown in this undated handout photo posted on Tumblr in her honor. Soto was one of six adults killed at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
A young teacher who reportedly shielded her first-grade students from Adam Lanza's gunfire with her own body is being hailed as a hero on social media sites like Facebook and Tumblr.
Tributes are pouring in for 27-year-old Victoria Soto on R.I.P. Victoria Soto, a Facebook page dedicated to her heroism.
Soto was one of 26 people who were killed by Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Friday. Twenty of the victims were children aged between six and seven, according to an official list of the dead.
"God bless ms. soto and her students - her beautiful spirit will always be with them. As a teacher and a parent also in CT- she will always be a hero to me," on person posted on the Facebook page.
Another said: "Somehow, for me, it's not about how Ms. Soto died. Rather, it's about the way she lived, especially those last few minutes. She is awesome! She will live on in the lives of the children she protected and in our never ending gratitude."
According to the New Times, a Danbury, Conn-based paper, Soto's sister, Carlee tweeted on Saturday: "Hug your loved ones an (sic) tell them how much you love them because you never know when you'll see them again. Do this in honor of Vicki."
And a friend of Vicki Soto's posted this message on Tumblr: “I talked to Vicki Tuesday and she told me that she loved her 16 angels and never wanted to let them go. Today when the shooting started Vicki hid her kids in closets and when the gunman came into her room she told them the class was in gym.
She was then murdered. Not one of her students were harmed. Words can not express how heartbreaking and tragic this is. I will miss you dearly.”
Soto graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in elementary education and history and was attending Southern Connecticut State University for a master's degree in special education.
Yvonne Cech, the school library's media specialist, told the New Times that Soto went to the library on the fateful morning to find what she called the "perfect" book for her first-graders that day.
Cech told the paper it was just before 9 a.m. when she helped Soto find the book, What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by Steve Jenkins.
The book explores amazing things animals can do with their ears, eyes, mouths, noses, feet, and tails.
"She was amazing and a wonderful teacher,'' Cech said.