The Magic Square. That was Katie Zimmerman’s thought when she heard that a gunman had opened fire Friday on children in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

Sandy Hook is the only elementary school in the town, she knows. She went there second through fourth grade. There was a central tile square in the school that gave you a view down both hallways. Her principal at the time called it the Magic Square.

“I thought, (the gunman) must have been standing there,” she said.

Zimmerman, 32, is a project manager with the Coastal Conservation League in Charleston. The news hit her in the pit of the stomach. Newtown is one of those little picturesque Connecticut towns, a place where the post office is a barn.

One of her teachers at the school inspired her love of writing. He dressed up a loudspeaker in the front of the classroom as an elephant that the students could ask questions to.

“It was a wonderful school, a really wonderful school,” she said.

“So we already have to worry about kids shooting kids, about crazy people shooting kids. Now we have to worry about teacher’s children shooting kids. It’s crazy to me. I can’t imagine what could be going on to make him do that,” she said.

“It’s unbelievable it could happen in a town like that. I guess it’s clear it can happen anywhere.”

Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744, @bopete on Twitter or Bo Petersen Reporting on Facebook.