Updated: Monday, 17 Dec 2012, 8:29 PM EST
Published : Monday, 17 Dec 2012, 8:29 PM EST
PORTLAND, Conn. (WTNH) -- 25-years-ago there was another school shooting that rocked a small Connecticut community.
Back in 1985 a 13-year-old student fatally shot a custodian at a Portland junior high school and Friday's events in Newtown are bringing back some painful memories for a friend of the victim.
The idyllic appeal of small town Connecticut has been shattered before by a trigger inside a school.
"How do you get through it?
"You know, you do get through it, but you can't forget it either," Gary Nolan said.
Nolan doesn't need to piece through a Portland library file to remember December 11th, 1985, the day a young gunman took the life of Portland Junior High custodian David Bengston, the day 13-year-old Floyd Warmsley took Gary's friend.
"You have to live with good memories. You have to, even if you have bad memories, you put them aside you live with the good memories. We were fortunate," Nolan said.
What News 8 discovered in our travels around Portland is even though this incident happened 27-years-ago, there are still many reluctant to talk about it. Granted, the scope of the tragedy is much smaller here, but it doesn't make the pain any less real.
"Every time it happens it resonates again what we went through, what we as a family personally and I'm sure the Bengston family, and the community," Nolan said.
Warmsley also shot two other people and took a student hostage, later surrendering. Portland High School honors Bengston with a memorial outside the gymnasium bearing his name.
Idyllic life returned here, a place like Newtown, that few ever thought would absorb such shock and sadness.
"You didn't believe it would happen in Portland, Connecticut. No one believes it's going to happen in your backyard," Nolan said.