Teacher killed in US shooting mourned

Last updated 17:43 21/12/2012
Anne Murphy
LAID TO REST: An undated handout photo of Anne Marie Murphy. This photo featured on a Facebook memorial site.

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A teacher who died trying to protect her students in the Connecticut, USA school shooting has been laid to rest.

Anne Marie Murphy, 52, was remembered as a teacher who "brought together a community, a nation, a world, now awed by her own life and death", in a eulogy by Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York.

Murphy's father, Hugh McGowan, said authorities told him she died trying to protect her young pupils.

Her body was found covering a group of children's bodies as if to shield them, McGowan said.

"Like Jesus, Annie laid down her life for her friends," Dolan said.

"Like Jesus, Annie's life and death brings light, truth, goodness and love to a world often shrouded in darkness, evil, selfishness and death."

About 15 people arrived at St Mary of the Assumption Church in Katonah, New York, in a yellow school bus with "Newtown", the name of the Connecticut town where the shooting occurred, written on its side. The church quickly filled and about 100 mourners waited outside.

A Justice Department official said Attorney-General Eric Holder would visit the town later on Thursday (Friday, NZ time) to meet privately with first responders and law enforcement officials.

At least nine funerals and wakes were held on Wednesday for those who died when 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza, armed with a military-style assault rifle, broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday (Saturday, NZ time) and opened fire.

He killed six teachers and 20 children, all of them 6 or 7 years old.

Lanza killed his mother at her home before the attack and killed himself at the school as police closed in.

More tributes were scheduled for Friday and Saturday (US time).

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- AP

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