PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You’ve heard by now about Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. She was killed when she confronted the gunman who invaded her school.

Now, her cousin – who lives in the Pittsburgh area – is talking about her.

Understandably, many of the victim’s families are guarding their privacy, but Tim Beamer says he wants to speak out about his cousin.

“I want the world to know what Dawn was like,” said Beamer. “Dawn was an unbelievably talented and gifted educator. She was amazing with children.”

Beamer, of West View, is Hochsprung’s first cousin.

He says losing Dawn means we’ll never know what kinds of things she and her colleagues might have inspired the children in their care to do.

And he says her dedication to those students was total.

“Every child that was in that school as far as she was concerned, they were her kids,” Beamer said. “We all know what happens when you get between a mother bear and its cubs. That’s what Dawn did.”

The family is busy preparing for a funeral, but Beamer says he’s aware of the debates the tragedy has sparked.

“This happened because we’ve taken God out of our schools – that’s silly and small-minded,” he says.

And the calls for legislation? He says that’s not the answer either.

“I think the answer is how parents raise their children,” says Beamer.

Beamer also says he bears no ill will toward the parents of suspected gunman Adam Lanza, only sympathy because they too are victims.

“To the family of that person, my heart goes out,” Beamer said. I firmly believe that they are as horrified as the rest of the world is over this.”

Beamer says since word of his connection to the tragedy has gotten out, he and his family have been comforted by an outpouring of support, especially from his neighbors and friends here in Pittsburgh.

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