20 children among dead at school shooting in Connecticut
27 killed, including gunman, at school; 1 other adult found dead at 2nd crime scene
The Associated Press Posted: Dec 14, 2012 10:58 AM ET
A man opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school Friday leaving 27 dead, including 20 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police.
The death toll at the school — 26 plus the gunman — in Newtown, located 95 kilometres northeast of New York City, was confirmed during an update from police Friday afternoon.
Lt. Paul Vance said 18 children were pronounced dead at the school as well as six adults and the shooter. Two other children were transported to hospital but were pronounced dead. One person was also injured.
Another adult was found dead at what police described as a "secondary crime scene" in Newtown.
The shooting appeared to be the nation's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, which left 32 people and the gunman dead.
A visibly emotional President Barack Obama said, “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years and each time I learn the news I react not as a president, but as anybody else would, as a parent.”
“These neighbourhoods are our neighbourhoods, and these children are our children, and we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” he said during a press conference Friday afternoon.
Parents flooded to Sandy Hook Elementary School looking for their children in the wake of the shooting. Students were told to close their eyes by police as they were led from the building.
A photo taken by the Newtown Bee newspaper showed a group of young students — some crying, others looking visibly frightened — being escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line, hands on each other's shoulders.
A law enforcement official briefed on the shooting said the gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that one of the victims was the man's mother, a teacher. The official wasn't authorized to speak about the investigation.
A law enforcement official in Washington said the attacker was a man in his 20s armed with a .223-calibre rifle. The official also said that police were searching a location in New Jersey in connection with the shootings. That official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak on the record about the developing criminal investigation.
'Everyone was just traumatized'
Robert Licata said his six-year-old son was in class when the gunman burst in and shot the teacher.
"That's when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door," he said. "He was very brave. He waited for his friends."
He said the shooter didn't say a word.
Stephen Delgiadice said his eight-year-old daughter heard two big bangs and teachers told her to get in a corner. His daughter was fine.
"It's alarming, especially in Newtown, Conn., which we always thought was the safest place in America," he said.
Danbury Hospital was the only hospital to take in victims from the shootings, admitting three patients. Doctors said at a news conference they cleared four trauma rooms to treat shooting victims.
Mergim Bajraliu, 17, heard the gunshots echo from his home and raced to check on his nine-year-old sister at the school. He said his sister, who was fine, heard a scream come over the intercom at one point. He said teachers were shaking and crying as they came out of the building.
"Everyone was just traumatized," he said.
'There's no words'
Richard Wilford's seven-year-old son, Richie, is in the second grade at the school. His son told him that he heard a noise that "sounded like what he described as cans falling."
The boy told him a teacher went out to check on the noise, came back in, locked the door and had the kids huddle up in the corner until police arrived.
"There's no words," Wilford said. "It's sheer terror, a sense of imminent danger, to get to your child and be there to protect him."
Melissa Makris, 43, said her 10-year-old son, Philip, was in the school gym.
"He said he heard a lot of loud noises and then screaming. Then the gym teachers immediately gathered the children in a corner and kept them safe in a corner," Makris said.
The fourth-grader told his mother that the students stayed huddled until police came in the gym. He also told her that he saw what looked like a body under a blanket as he fled the school.
"He said the policeman came in and helped them get out of the building and told them to run," Makris said. "And they ran to the firehouse."
With files from CBC News
Shooting suspect is 20-year-old Adam Lanza
Pete Yost, The Associated Press
Published Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 2:16PM EST
Last Updated Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 4:33PM ES
WASHINGTON -- The suspect in the Connecticut school shootings is Adam Lanza, 20, the son of a teacher at the school where the shootings occurred, a law enforcement official said Friday. A second law enforcement official says the boy's mother, Nancy Lanza, is presumed dead.
Adam Lanza's older brother, Ryan, 24, of Hoboken, N.J., is being questioned by police, said the first official. Earlier, a law enforcement official mistakenly transposed the brothers' first names.
Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record about the developing criminal investigation.
According to the second official, the suspect drove to the scene of the shootings in his mother's car. Three guns were found at the scene -- a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols -- and a .223-calibre rifle. The rifle was recovered from the back of a car at the school. The two pistols were recovered from inside the school.
The official also said Lanza's girlfriend and another friend are missing in New Jersey.
Meanwhile, former Jersey Journal staff writer Brett Wilshe said he has spoken with Ryan Lanza of Hoboken, who told Wilshe the shooter may have had Ryan Lanza's identification.
Ryan Lanza has a Facebook page that posted updates Friday afternoon that read that "it wasn't me" and "I was at work."
The world truly is a disgusting place.
Edited by Jägermeister, 14 December 2012 - 03:07 PM.