Victoria Soto, who turned 27 this month, taught next door to the room where the heaviest shooting broke out. She gathered her students and hid them, possibly in a bathroom or a classroom closet. The gunman then entered her room looking for more people to kill, a source tells the newspaper. "But seeing no one but Soto, he shot her, then left the room."
"It doesn't surprise me at all she would do this," Sabeena Ali, the parent of a girl who was in Soto's class two years ago, tells People magazine, adding that Soto was a "vibrant woman who loved the kids and would be with the kids and spend time with them and sit on the floor with them."
Soto's cousin, a police officer, said "Vicki was a great individual with a huge heart and put students first," reports the Wall Street Journal. "Unfortunately, that is how she lost her life. I wanted people to know that she was a hero for what she did, and that she gets the recognition that she deserves.”