Conn. shooting victim had local family ties

(Courtesy Deptford Patch)

December 15, 2012 4:02:55 PM PST
Action News has learned that one of the victims in Friday's deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut had local family ties. PHOTOS: WEBSITE and iPAD | WIRELESS

The Salem High School Basketball team took that moment of silence before Friday night's game in honor of Newtown Shooting victim 56-year-old Mary Sherlach.

"Before we started, we took a moment of silence. The kids all held hands," said Coach Matthew Hassler. "A couple of them got emotional about it. I'm choking up about it now."

Sherlach's daughter, 28-year-old Maura Schwartz, is the high school's choral teacher.

"Here at this small high school of only several hundred, word spread fast. The principal sent out an email to the entire faculty telling them Maura Schwartz's mom was among the dead," said Coach Hassler.

Maura's mother was a school psychologist at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and was reportedly killed in the hallway by Adam Lanza.

Schwartz's husband Eric told the Deptford Patch that Maura first received a call from her sister about the shooting, but it was a news report that confirmed that her mother had died.

As the news unfolded, Eric Schwartz first wrote on Facebook, "Please God, let the news be wrong."

The couple raced to Connecticut.

Middle school choral director Shaun Brauer calls Maura a dedicated teacher who began at the school four years ago.

"She has an excellent relationship with her students and they will all be devastated for her," said Brauer.

Salem's Superintendent Patrick Michel tells Action News Maura is an outstanding teacher and even better person. They are also urging staff to keep her in their prayers.

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