Irish American couple describe how daughter-in-law cheated death
Six-year old Grace McDonnell also died in hail of bullets
Newtown: A little Irish American girl, six-year-old Grace McDonnell died in the gun attack .
She attended the school with her 11-year-old brother, Jack who survived.
She lived with her parents Lynn, 45, and Christopher, 49, in a $500,000 house, a street away from where killer Lanza lived.
Neighbour Dorothy Werden, 49, told the Mirror newspaper : “I just choke up when I think about it. Grace was like a little doll. She was utterly adorable.
"I used to see her waiting for the school bus over the road from our house every day. She had blonde hair and blue eyes – she was like a little Barbie doll.
"When I saw Lynn and Christopher at the school with Lynn being held up by a nun I knew things were not good. I can't imagine what they are going through."
Retired couple William and Susan Kane Neilson, live at the point where Churchill Road meets The Glen Road in the center of Sandy Hook near the school where the massacre occurred.
They can see the school from their upstairs in their bedroom. Their daughter-in-law works at the Sandy Hook elementary school. She barely survived.
Susan, who claims Irish roots, her maiden name was Kane, cried and told how her daughter in-law, Terry, had locked herself in a closet at the school during the shooting with two other teachers.
“They stayed there for an hour and a half. "
The couple has been receiving calls from people all over the country all evening. "People we haven't heard from in years are calling us."
William, her soft spoken husband said that he saw kids like this all of the time when he worked at the mental institution. “They are just cold, when they have this psychosis.
“I worked with kids who ended up killing their girlfriends, killing their entire families."
But William could not answer the question on how to prevent something happening like this. "It's an open society, we can't do anything to prevent it. We can't predict it."
Susan said how she saw parents driving towards the school as news broke that something devastating was happening. "I just watched it all unfold. I watched parents park their cars in the middle of the road, get out and just run towards the school.”
The streets here are thronged with men and women carrying black aluminum camera stands. The small stream that runs through Sandy Hook is called Pootatuck. First white settlements started in this area around the 1660’s and 1670’s. A local said to this reporter that “Yea, this is Newtown now, we’ve got a label now. This is what we’ll be known for.
A Newtown student recently back from studying in Ireland recounted how stunned he was when news of the killings reached him.
Twenty-one-year-old Conor Collier, who has lived in Sandy Hook all his life, is Irish American. “I studied last fall in NUIG, I am majoring in English, so I was taking English in my classes in Galway. That’s the only reason I’m talking to you," he said.
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