IRC Deputy former Sandy Hook student; remembers his hometown as a 'quiet place'

VERO BEACH, Fla. - As Jeff Saputo flipped through his childhood photo album, he remembered what it was like to grow up in Newtown, Connecticut.

"This brings back a lot of memories," he said, looking at a Sandy Hook Elementary School merit certificate with his name on it.

His memories of that town will now be haunted by a tragedy at his former school.

"That was heart wrenching, and it does affect me," he said, through tears, of the brutal school shooting that left so many dead. "It's sad, it's very unfortunate. Just to think of those kids... no child should ever have to be subjected to that."

Saputo is a father of two 8-year-old twins, and he knows how vulnerable children are.

"What bothers me the most is the age of the kids, and to think that they're so helpless and innocent," said Saputo.

Deputy Jeff Saputo's mission as a traffic officer for the Indian River County Sheriff's Office is to keep the roadways, and citizens, safe. 

He respects the law enforcement officers who responded to the scene in Newtown, and those who died trying to protect the innocent.

"All the teachers that tried to help them, they're all heroes in my eyes," he said.

Deputy Saputo's brother and parents still live in Newtown, and he has been in touch with them many times since Friday. He said the community has truly pulled together, but he expects it will forever be changed.

"You can't come back from something like that," he said.

He will always hold a special place in his heart for his hometown, and he will never forget the victims of such a senseless crime.

"This just hits home because I grew up there," he said. "It's a little harder. I've been dealing with this since it happened, just like the whole nation is, and all the people in Newtown. It's very difficult. It's very difficult."

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