STEPHEN DELGIADICE said his 8-year-old daughter was in Sandy Hook Elementary when she heard two big bangs.

Teachers told her to get in a corner, he said.

"It's alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America," he said. His daughter was fine.

Robert Licata said his 6-year-old son was in a classroom when the gunman burst in and shot the teacher.

"That's when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door," he said. "He was very brave. He waited for his friends."

He said the killer didn't utter a word.

Theodore Varga said he was in a meeting with other fourth-grade teachers when he heard the gunfire, but there was no lock on the door.

He said someone turned on the public address system so that "you could hear the hysteria that was going on. I think whoever did that saved a lot of people. Everyone in the school was listening to the terror that was transpiring."

Also, a custodian ran around the school to warn others that there was a gunman in the school, Varga said.

"He said, 'Guys! Get down! Hide!' " Varga said. "So he was actually a hero." The teacher said he did not know if the custodian survived.

Varga said he tried to kick out a window air conditioner so the five teachers at the meeting could flee, but he managed only to knock out the wood filler next to it, and the space wasn't big enough for all of them to squeeze through.

He said he smelled gun smoke in the halls as he ran out to escape through a door. Varga then went around to help three other teachers climb out of the window of the first-floor room they had been in.

- Associated Press