During a service at the firehouse, Woodall wandered around. He wanted to find people who might be by themselves, people who perhaps didn't know how to receive care. He saw a woman standing apart from the rest of her family. She looked so fragile to him that a whiff of wind might have shattered her.
He said nothing. He hugged her. She hugged him back.
"I don't know where my grandson is," she said. "What have they told you?" Woodall asked.
She said there was a list. A list of the dead.
The problem was that officials wanted to make absolutely certain of the names on that list before they released it. That's why it was taking so long.
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy was finally given the list at about 3 p.m., Woodall said.
On it were 26 names; 20 were children.
Charlotte Bacon, 6; Daniel Barden, 7; Olivia Engel, 6; Josephine Gay, 7; Ana Marquez-Greene, 6; Dylan Hockley, 6; Madeleine Hsu, 6; Catherine Hubbard, 6; Chase Kowalski, 7; Jesse Lewis, 6; James Mattioli, 6; Grace McDonnell, 7; Emilie Parker, 6; Jack Pinto, 6; Noah Pozner, 6; Caroline Previdi, 6; Jessica Rekos, 6; Avielle Richman, 6; Benjamin Wheeler, 6; Allison Wyatt, 6.
Eighteen of them never made it out of the building; two died in hospital.
Six school employees, all women, were also dead.
Among them: Hochsprung, 47; Sherlach, 56; Rousseau, 30; and Soto, 27. Two other employees -- Rachel Davino, 29, and Anne Marie Murphy, 52 -- were also killed.
All 26 were struck by bullets several times, H. Wayne Carver, the state medical examiner, later told reporters. Carver had been in the business of inspecting bodies for more than three decades. This was the worst he'd seen.
Those who were standing outside the firehouse heard the wails and moans as mothers and fathers learned they would never see their children again.
Robbie Parker learned his daughter, Emilie, was gone forever. He would never see her smile again. Her two younger sisters would never be able to count on Emilie again for comfort.
"Why? Why?" one woman cried as she walked away.
Woodall stepped outside to find the grandmother he had hugged earlier. He told her the devastating news: Her grandson's name was on the list.
Some people fled the firehouse. Others lingered for a while. Their world was broken. It would never be whole again, not like it was.
Coping through faith and love
A gunman changed Newtown within a matter of minutes. By the afternoon, it changed again as hundreds of journalists descended on the small town.
Church Hill Road was lined with satellite trucks. One resident said the Starbucks was teeming with reporters who needed Internet access.
Mixed in with all the Christmas signs now were ones that said: "No press beyond this point" or "Church is open."
Flags flew at half-staff. People across the nation gathered for candlelight vigils in tribute to the victims. President Barack Obama wiped away tears as he spoke in Washington about the terrible loss.
In Newtown, residents spilled out of the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church for a vigil. There wasn't enough room to accommodate everyone. They shed tears, clutched one another and tried to comprehend the tragedy.
Those who were reunited with their children clung to them as though they would never let go again.
They clung to their faith as they grappled with how their children would cope. How could they trust again after seeing such tragedy?