11:09 AM EST, December 18, 2012
Gene Rosen played a special part in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown tragedy. He found six terrified children from Sandy Hook Elementary School sitting in the driveway of his home the morning of the shootings.
Rosen told INSIDE EDITION's Paul Boyd, "They were just sitting right here. They said, 'Our teacher is dead. We can't go back to school. How can we go back? We don't have a teacher.' "
As fate would have it, Rosen is a retired psychologist and was able to offer what comfort he could to the terrified children.
They sat in a semi-circle at the foot of his driveway. Four girls and two boys. Their teacher was 27-year-old Victoria Soto. She and six of their classmates had just been gunned down. The brave band of survivors fled the school in the chaos. It's believed they went through the woods all by themselves before ending up at Rosen's home a quarter-mile away.
Rosen recalled, "They were just crying."
He tried to calm the children by bringing out his grandchildren's collection of stuffed animals.
"There was one little girl who was inconsolable. She kept looking out the window and saying, 'I want my mother.' "
Rosen says the boys wanted to talk about what they had witnessed.
"Two of the boys kept talking. Then they started talking about the guns. They said, 'He had a big gun and a small gun,' " Rosen recounted.
Rosen said he listened in astonishment as the little ones spoke about seeing their teacher die, saying, "One of them said, 'She had blood in her mouth and blood coming out of her mouth and she fell to the ground.' "
A call was made to authorities, alerting them to the presence of the six children at Gene Rosen's house.
Boyd asked, "Can you describe for me what happened as parent by parent came here to your home to pick up their children?"
Tearfully, Rosen said, "Oh my. They were so relieved."
Then came a scene of utter heartbreak. A mother showed up looking for her little boy.
Rosen said, "Her face was frozen in terror and fear. She said, 'Is my son here?' and she said his name and I said, no."
She was the mother of Jesse Lewis, one of 20 children killed at the school.
Rosen said, "It was the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. Her face was just frozen. She knew. She knew."