Published: Dec 17, 2012 12:49 AM EST

NAPLES, Fla. -  The effects of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut are being felt throughout the country and Southwest Florida is no exception.

Naples resident and retired police officer Al Terifay spent 30 years working crime scenes in Connecticut, but says even seasoned cops can't shake certain images.

Now the picture of his own grandchildren, first-grader Henry and fourth-grader Kelly, will forever be linked with the Sandy Hook shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead.

"The little one, the six-year old, from what I understand, most of this action took place in his classroom," said Terifay.

Both children were inside the school when shooter, Adam Lanza opened fire.

Henry was in 27-year-old Victoria Soto's classroom. Soto was shot and killed as she tried to protect her students.

"I called my son in his truck he was driving over there and he says, 'All I know is the principal been shot up. I'm heading up to the school right now.'"

Terifay's son Kevin raced to the school, still unsure if his children were among the dead.    

"It was a big relief. He got up there and he saw two of his kids. I think he said they were sitting on a bench. [Henry] was fortunate, many of his classmates were hurt, were killed," he said.

Now, the family is trying to find the right words to explain the senseless act.

"I know he has his best friend and he doesn't know that his friend is dead. My son says, 'How do I break this news to him?'"

Terifay says there are still a lot of unanswered questions, like where his grandkids will go to school and how much of the terrible scene they saw. Tonight, he's just thankful his family back home is safe.