NEWTOWN, Conn. - The family of Victoria Soto, a first-grade teacher who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, says she was killed as she tried to save her students.

Her family tells News 12 Connecticut that one of the hardest things was waiting to see if the 27-year-old Stratford resident and her students were dead or alive after the school shooting.

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The victim's cousin, Fairfield Police Officer James Wiltsie, says that Soto did everything she could to protect her first-graders from the gunman.

"She had them huddled in a closet in her classroom, trying to keep them from a spray of bullets, and ultimately lost her life while doing so," said Wiltsie.

A vigil was held yesterday evening in Soto's memory at Stratford High School.