Las Vegas shooting reopens old wounds for Sandy Hook first responders

(WTNH) — It’s been almost five years since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, and still, first responders have a hard time talking about it.

The wounds are still very fresh.

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Lieutenant J Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police retired this year, but he remembers what it was like on the scene that day, remembers what it was like a year after, and he says in Las Vegas, they’re taking the first step in a very long journey.

“You can’t put firefighters or EMS into harm’s way, you’ve got to make the scene safe and that is very difficult,” explained Lt. Vance. “Especially when you have a high-rise building and you’re looking at zeroing in on where the danger is coming from. Where the shots are coming from.”

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“The men and women that responded to Sandy Hook or Las Vegas, they are always going to remember this,” he said. “They’re always going to remember what they encountered. They’re always going to hope they did everything they possibly could.”

Lt. Vance says it is still very difficult for him to talk about Sandy Hook, and something like this in Las Vegas brings back tough memories.