Victoria Soto was gunned down as she threw herself in front of her students when maniac gunman Adam Lanza burst into her classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary school
A teacher gunned down during the Connecticut school massacre was remembered as a selfless hero who died trying to shield her pupils.
selfless: Victoria Soto was shot dead trying to protect her children
Laid to rest: Loved ones carry Victoria's casket
Remembered: A mourner carries an order of service with Victoria's picture
Victoria Soto was shot dead as she threw herself in front of her students when maniac gunman Adam Lanza burst into her classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
Outside the 27-year-old’s funeral, family friend Kim Rusatsky said she had an infectious smile and it's "pretty apparent" how selfless she was.
Victoria was murdered along with five other staff and 20 children in the shooting rampage in Newtown on 14th December 2012 , in one of the worst school shootings in US history.
The first-grade teacher was found huddled over her children after trying to hide pupils in cupboards as the gunfire started.
Tragic teacher: Some of Ms Soto's pupils attended the funeral
Motorcade: Police ride ahead of a hearse carrying the body of Victoria Soto
Speaking after the tragedy, Victoria's cousin Jim Wiltsie said police told him her first instinct - and her final act - had been to try and save her pupils.
"She put herself between the gunman and the children and that's when she was tragically shot and killed," he told ABC News.
"I'm just proud that Vicki had the instincts to protect her kids from harm.
"It brings peace to know that Vicki was doing what she loved, protecting the children and in our eyes she's a hero."
Grief: Victoria's mother Donna Soto leaves the funeral
Tribute: Family and friends wear Victoria's favourite colour, yellow
At the funeral, family friend Peter Rusatsky praised Ms Soto's actions, saying "any teacher would do it and not blink and just do whatever had to be done to protect those children".
Fairfield police chief Gary MacNamara called Ms Soto a "tremendous hero" and said sacrificing her life was "the ultimate strength".