Around town, the expressions on most faces were grim. Some people cried quietly, others seemed to struggle not to. Stricken with grief and overwhelmed by the immense media presence, some declined to talk to reporters and shied away from cameras. Several people appeared upset as they told reporters and photographers to leave them and their community alone.
Due to the media presence, police investigators, and road closures to keep people away from the school, traffic backed up on most thoroughfares in town.
The sidewalks crawled with TV anchors in long coats and photographers with hands red from the cold.
State Police parked silver cruisers in driveways around Sandy Hook, turning reporters away from the homes of families.
Churches in Massachusetts will address the tragedy in Sunday services, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley will deliver a homily on the shootings at an 11:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston’s South End.
A fuller picture of some of the lives taken began to come into focus yesterday.
Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, a 30-year-old permanent substitute teacher killed at Sandy Hook, had just celebrated one year dating her boyfriend, said her mother, Teresa Rousseau, a copy editor at the Danbury News-Times.
“She died at a really happy point in her life,” she said in a phone interview Saturday. “I’m just happy I was able to enjoy her for as long as I did.”
After working as an occasional substitute at Sandy Hook, Lauren had just recently been hired as one of the school’s two permanent substitute teachers, filling in any time someone was out, according to her mother.
Lauren sent a text message at 8:45 a.m. — about 45 minutes before the rampage — to her boyfriend, making Friday night dinner plans. It was the last time she would be heard from.
Lauren loved to read, take photos, and go to Broadway plays, her mother said. “She was doing a whirlwind of fun things with her boyfriend.”
The Associated Press, citing town officials, said Hochsprung, 47, was killed while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him.
Lori V. Quigley, dean of the Esteves School of Education at The Sage Colleges in Troy and Albany, NY., said Hochsprung had been accepted last spring in the school’s doctorate in educational leadership program.
“The first time I met Dawn is when I welcomed the 15 new students into the program at a dinner this past summer,” said Quigley, in a telephone interview Saturday. “The sad irony of this is that she is the one person of the group who I truly do remember.
“Right off the bat, her professors and her peers could see the reason she was pursuing her doctoral studies was to improve the way she and her staff . . . could make children’s lives better,” said Quigley. “It wasn’t all about her. She was never that way. Ever. That’s what stuck me and impressed me. That plus her smile. Her smile was genuine.”
Amid all the suffering in Newtown, Robert Parker, the father of 6-year-old shooting victim Emilie Parker, responded with uncommon grace on Saturday, offering condolences to all the families devastated by the attack, including Lanza’s.
In addressing reporters, Parker described his daughter as an exceptional artist who loved to draw a picture for anyone feeling sad or frustrated.
He asked Americans to hold on to the feelings of love for family, and compassion for strangers, that the tragedy has inspired.
“May we do this,” he said, “so we can better all of our communities, and all of our cities, and all of our states so that we can make everyone everywhere in this country feel safe.”
Martine Powers and Peter Schworm of the Globe staff and Globe correspondents Matt Rocheleau, Jaclyn Reiss, Gal Tziperman Lotan, and Derek J. Anderson contributed to this report. Mark Arsenault can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @bostonglobemark.