Mayor: Name school after slain teacher Victoria Soto

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MERIDEN, Conn. -- The mayor of Stratford wants to rename an elementary school after teacher Victoria Soto, a resident of his town who was slain in last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in nearby Newtown.

Soto, 27, was killed when she tried to protect her students from a gunman who killed 20 children and six women on Dec. 14 before killing himself.

"What a fitting tribute to Victoria Soto, whose heroic efforts protected the very students she was there to educate, nurture and take care of," Mayor John Harkin said yesterday. "Anything we do has to be done with the family's approval."

Police have said some of Soto's first-grade students escaped the massacre, and she hid other students in a closet as the gunman approached.

Harkin said the family supports renaming a school in her honor and creating a memorial at the school. The project has the approval of the town's Board of Education members and some Town Council members, Harkin said. The council will vote on the plan Jan. 14.

Authorities in Newtown continue to investigate the shooting by Adam Lanza, 20, who killed his mother before driving to Sandy Hook to carry out the other killings.

Investigators have found that Lanza changed magazines frequently during the assault, at times shooting as few as 15 rounds from a 30-round magazine, according to the Hartford Courant, which cited unnamed sources.

The newspaper, in a report posted online Sunday night, also said Lanza wore earplugs during the rampage. It said investigators believe the earplugs were either the result of routines Lanza picked up at gun ranges, or meant to muffle the screams of victims.

Meanwhile, about three dozen professional soccer players were scheduled to host a series of games and activities for Newtown residents. Among the players scheduled to attend were Landon Donovan, Alexi Lalas and Mia Hamm.

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