Town Heals and Remembers

Man Who Kept Sandy Hook Students Safe Getting Harassed: Report

By LeAnne Gendreau
|  Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013  |  Updated 8:00 AM EDT
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Newtown Man Kept Children Safe After They Escaped Shooting

AP

Gene Rosen gestures as he speaks during an interview with the Associated Press, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. On the day of the shooting, Rosen took in four girls and two boys that were sitting at the end of his driveway; they had just run from the school, among the first to escape Friday´┐Żs deadly shooting. He ran upstairs and grabbed an armful of stuffed animals he kept there. He gave those to the children, along with some fruit juice and sat with them as the two boys described seeing their teacher being shot. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

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The Newtown man who took six survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting into his home on the tragic morning of Dec. 14 is being harassed by conspiracy theorists, according to Salon.com.

Gene Rosen, a 69-year-old retired psychologist who lives across the street from Sandy Hook Elementary School, told Salon that he is getting phone calls and emails accusing him of lying when he shared his story of taking four girls and two boys into his home after the shooting.

As he was leaving his house on the morning of Dec. 14, he saw the children from Victoria Soto’s class sitting at the end of his driveway. They had just run from the school to escape Adam Lanza, who shot and killed 20 first graders and six staff members, including their teacher. 

He took them in, gave them toys, listened to their stories and called their frantic parents, using cellphone numbers obtained from the school bus company.

He said he decided to talk to the media in the days after the shooting to tell stories of the children’s bravery and to help himself get through the tragedy, he told Salon.

After those interviews, conspiracy theorists began harassing him and setting up fake accounts in his name, according to Salon.

"I don’t know what to do," Rosen told Salon. "I’m getting hang up calls, I’m getting some calls, I’m getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I’m lying, that I’m a crisis actor, ‘how much am I being paid?’"

Rosen told Salon he is not sure what recourse he has, but there is a sense of rage when he hears the allegations of lies or hears someone mention a conspiracy.

But then there are the well-wishers who praise what he did for the children, and he hopes that they "continue to be the majority."

 

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