Closure still far off for Sandy Hook families

Anthony Johnson reports from Newtown.
December 15, 2013 4:54:25 AM PST
Parents of students who lived through the Sandy Hook shooting say the idea of closure is still a long way off and may never happen in Newtown. Their children survived but the scars are deep. Their recollections are vivid.

"All of the kids are affected. I'll tell you that image of her clutching that bear still, it didn't hit me at first but when I think about it now, that's the image I think of," said Daniel Krauss, a student's father.

Daniel found his daughter alive at the fire house, but a year after the tragedy, some Sandy Hook families say their kids are still too traumatized to talk about their terrifying ordeal.

"We worry about five years, ten years down the road. How it's going to impact her," Krauss said.

"It's obviously always there. Some days are harder than other. Some moments are harder than others," said Erin Nikitchyuk, a student's mother.

There is no time table for healing when the tears are still flowing.

"I'm careful about reactions in front of the kids. But if I am on my own I just go with it," Nikitchyuk said.

Erin knows her son was saved by a teacher. When she found him safe, she heard how close he was to the shooter.

"She whispered in my ear, the bullets were probably not as close as he thinks they were. They went high," Nikitchyuk said.

Those words resonate. Erin has spent the past year occupying her mind, taking no time to focus on the tragedy.

"Do you think if you paused for a moment, that's when everything kind crashes?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Probably, yeah, which may be why there haven't been a lot of pauses," Nikitchyuk said.

Parents know a day of emotional reckoning is coming. It can't be avoided.

"That's Ariel's house, that's Olivia's, that's Jessica's house. Going to the highway from my house there're eight houses that should have kids in them and they don't," Nikitchyuk said.