Ohio State University Gymnast Hit Hard By Shooting Deaths Of 7 Young Gymnasts In Connecticut


UPDATED: Monday December 17, 2012 6:40 PM

A freshman athlete at The Ohio State University plans to attend the funerals of seven of the people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday.

Maddie Herr grew up in Southbury, just a few miles from where the deadly school shooting happened.

While growing up, Herr trained at a gymnastic facility in Newtown, where seven of the children killed also trained.

Herr said that she is struggling to make sense of the senseless shooting.

“It shocked me, and it made me sick to my stomach how someone could do that,” said Herr. “I was just worried about all the kids that I knew, and it turned out that seven of them were affected.”

Herr said that it wasn’t until one of her friends texted her the list of the dead that the horror set in.

“I started to recognize a lot of names, and it really started to freak me out,” Herr said.

Six-year-olds Charlotte Bacon, Olivia Engle, Dylan Hockley, Catherine V. Hubbard, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison N. Wyatt and 7-year-old Grace McDonnel were those who died who Herr trained with.

“I’ve probably seen them every day of my life last year,” Herr said.

Herr’s teammates at Ohio State plan to wear green ribbons in their hard to honor those who died at Sandy Hook.

“Last night, I just kept thinking about it, and I knew I had to do something,” Herr said. “It just hits so hard.”

Herr said that she plans to leave for her home state on Tuesday. She plans to attend the vigils and funerals of the children she knew.

“It’s just sickening that something like that could ever happen,” Herr said.

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