It was a parent's worst nightmare. One year ago today, a disturbed young man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and shot to death 20 first-graders and six adults.
The trauma that swept through town unleashed shockwaves felt by families and in schools across the country.
On Friday, several locals gave their takes on how the Newtown shootings affected them and how such senseless violence has impacted society.
"It's very emotional. Just like the others, it's terrible," said Marshall Butler, a retired employee of the Department of Navy.
He doesn't agree with establishing new laws that restrict gun ownership though. "That isn't the correct way to go," he said. "The problem is there is no respect. If you respect teachers and you respect neighbors, you wouldn't be looking for guns."
A deteriorating lack of respect in society for others, is the main problem, as Butler sees it.
"People have no respect for anybody and being an older person you'll find that doors aren't held open, people cut you off (driving)," Butler said.
"It's just respect for the elderly, it's respect for the young. It seems like the society has no responsibility for what they do."
"We have a little one on the way so it's very scary to think that can happen. It's definitely still a shock," said Jill Bamford of Pittsfield. She and her husband, Dean, married this past summer.
Dean is from England, where there are much tighter restrictions on gun ownership and shootings are rare.
As a trainer and instructor at the Sports Domain Academy in Pittsfield, Dean works closely with children, teaching them soccer.
"I work with kids. It was a shock," he said of the shootings. "It's not something you expect to happen."
Working with children every day made him think how he would act if he was put in a similar situation.
"It made me realize, would you do the same as the teachers did? Would you hide them and step in front (of them)?" Dean said.
He has a friend who works in Connecticut near Newtown.
"They were hit pretty hard by it," Dean said.
Dean said the shooting affects the way he deals with children. "It makes you look at them in a different light," he said.