When Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Kaitlin Roig huddled with her first-grade students in a classroom bathroom as a shooter roamed the school halls, she crossed a professional boundary she might not have on any other day: She told the kids she loved them.

“I’m thinking that I have to almost be their parent,” she told Diane Sawyer and ABC World News. “So I said to them, I said, ‘I need you to know that I love you all very much and that it’s going to be OK.’ Because I thought that was the last thing they were ever going to hear. I thought we were all going to die.”

“I don’t know if that’s OK ... [but] I wanted that to be one of the last things they heard, not the gunfire in the hallway,” Roig added.

Roig’s heroism is only one of the stories emerging about how Sandy Hook employees risked their lives – and in some cases, lost them – to protect their students. The Dec. 14 shooting claimed the lives of 20 children, the shooter’s mother, the shooter himself, and six adults who worked at the school: Rachel Davino, behavioral therapist; Dawn Hochsprung, school principal; Anne Marie Murphy, special education teacher; Lauren Rouseau, teacher; Mary Sherlach, school psychologist; and Victoria Soto, teacher.

Hocksprung and Sherlock lost their lives while running head on toward the shooter in an attempt to stop him. And while details are still emerging, it appears Soto and Murphy each died while standing between the shooter and their students.

“I think there are a lot of people who want all the teachers to know how much it means to them how much they care about their children,” Sawyer told Roig during their interview.