The Connecticut State's Attorney final report on last December's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school includes the final moments of the school psychologist with ties to Central New York. Mary Sherlach and the school principal both ran toward the gun shots in an effort to protect others from potential harm.
Both women were killed by shooter Adam Lanza's Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle.
Page 9 of the 44 page report includes the section that describes Mary Sherlach and the school principal running out of a morning meeting when they heard the sound of gunfire.
Just down the hallway from the main office, in the direction that the shooter was to be seen firing, a 9:30 a.m. Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting was being held in room 9, a conference room. It was attended by Principal Dawn Hochsprung and School Psychologist Mary Sherlach, together with a parent and other school staff. Shortly after the meeting started, the attendees heard loud banging. The principal and school psychologist then left the room followed shortly after by a staff member. After leaving the room, Mrs. Hochsprung yelled "Stay put!"
As the staff member left the room, the staff member heard gunshots and saw Mrs. Hochsprung and Mrs. Sherlach fall down in front of the staff member. The staff member felt a gunshot hit the staff member's leg. Once down, the staff member was struck again by additional gunfire, but laid still in the hallway.
The report goes on to state:
Both Dawn Hochsprung, age 47, and Mary Sherlach, age 56, died as a result of being shot. Both wounded staff members shot in the hallway were later evacuated to the hospital and survived.
Sherlach graduated from Vestal High School, near Binghamton, in the Southern Tier.
She earned a Bachelor's Degree from SUNY Cortland, where she met her husband, Bill.
The couple would frequently return to their Alma Mater for games, even as recently as November.
They owned a home on Owasco Lake in Auburn.
Sherlach was getting ready to retire.