For the past three years, Ashley Waters has rented a house in Newtown, Conn., with her fellow teammates on the Stratford Brakettes softball team.
She got to know the town well, as she and her teammates held clinics and gathered on practice fields throughout the community. The Brakettes, which is part of the Amateur Softball Association, often hold practice clinics for students in Newtown, working with kids from first grade through high school.
Yesterday, Waters sat in front of her television a couple miles from where the shooting occurred, watching the breaking news coverage of a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown that left 27 people dead, including 20 children, hoping and praying that none of the fatalities were kids that she teaches or siblings of young softball players that the Brakettes have worked with. She said she did not know the shooter's mother, who was a teacher at the school.
She described the scene in the town in the wake of the shooting.
Stopping on her way home to get gas, Waters witnessed a crowd of police descend upon a building directly across the street from the station. She watched, along with a growing crowd of bystanders, as the officers circled the building with weapons drawn.
After about 20 minutes, she began to hear reports that the police had just taken a second suspect into custody. It's unclear if he was hiding in the church or another building in that area.
"I have never seen more cops in my entire life (than today)," Waters said. Since getting onto the highway, she estimated about 12 more police cars passed her.
As the afternoon wore on, the tone of the normally busy town changed.
"It's really eerie," she said. "There's no one out."