The chilling photo is already an iconic one: that of a dark haired young woman crying into her cell phone, face distraught, hand pressed over her heart. It was one of the first images to emerge from the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and last night its subject, Carlee Soto, spoke out about the photograph and the instance it captured-when she was told her big sister Victoria, a first grade teacher at the school, was dead.
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"It's like a reminder of that moment all over again," Soto, 20, told CBS 2's Chris Wragge in a TV interview. "It kills."
Speaking about the photo, which was released by the Associated Press, Carlee said it captured the worst moment of her life, and that looking at it was like reliving the moment of raw grief all over again.
Today is the wake for Victoria, 27, who died a hero Friday when she was killed trying to protect her class of first graders from shooter Adam Lanza, whose bullets took the lives of 20 children and six adults.
The slain teacher lived at home in Stratford, CT, with her close-knit family, including mother Donna and younger siblings Carlos, Jillian and Carlee. In the days since Victoria's death, they have spoken to media outlets in her memory, each wearing a scarf, sweater or ribbon in various hues of Victoria's favorite color, green. They say she adored snowy weather, Christmas and especially her job as a teacher.
"She didn't call them her students," Carlee told the Today show's Erica Hill on Sunday. "She called them her 'kids.'"
Early this morning, Carlee tweeted about preparing for today's wake. "It's 2:20am and we're still up making a million green ribbons for big sis' wake tomorrow," she wrote. On Sunday she tweeted about going to meet President Barack Obama: "dressed in all my big sisters' clothes," and, earlier that day, tweeted a link to an Instagram photo of her and Victoria hugging on an outdoor lounge chair, with this poignant post:
"I drove up to Sandy Hook tonight. I just stood on the street that leads to the school. I watched the road just like I did yesterday. I watched and watched waiting for Vicki to run down hold [sic] her kids hands. I stood there watching for a long time but then was reminded that Vicki wasn't going to walk down the street. I can't begin to explain how painful it was to watch that street tonight. I can't explain how painful it was to watch yesterday hoping she was still alive. Vicki I miss you so much."
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