20 children killed in Newtown, Conn.
Twenty-six people – including 20 children, ranging from ages 5 to 10 years old – were killed when a heavily-armed gunman opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The school shooting – one of the worst in the nation’s history – happened around 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Police said 6 adults were and 18 children were pronounced dead at the K-4 school. Two children were transported to area hospitals, where they later died.
Police said the gunman was found dead inside the school. Police would not release the shooter’s identity or whether he had died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
The New York Times and other major news outlets have identified the shooter as 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
Police are processing a second crime scene where another adult – believed to be the shooter’s mother, Nancy Lanza – was found dead.
“There’s a secondary crime scene here in Newtown,” said State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance. “There’s an adult deceased at that location. I can’t discuss any further information on that at this time.”
UPDATE DEC. 15, 2012: Vance told reporters on Saturday that the shooter “forced his way” into the school. “He was not voluntarily let into the school at all,” he said.
Vance’s statement contradicted an earlier report by the New York Times that Adam Lanza was “buzzed” into the school by the principal, who “recognized him as the son of a colleague” – Nancy Lanza. The principal was among those who were killed.
School officials also said that they do not have a record of Nancy Lanza being employed as a teacher or substitute at Sandy Hook. Authorities are still trying to figure out the connection between Lanza and the elementary school.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy called the shooting a “tragedy of unspeakable terms.”
Reactions from lawmaker
Flags at the White House and the Capitol were lowered at half-staff in honor of the young victims.
Unable to hold back his tears, President Barack Obama offered his condolences and “every single resource” needed to “investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.”
“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. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do,” said Obama. “The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers — men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.”
Noting the prevalence of mass shootings involving automatic and assault weapons in recent years – including the recent rampages at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a shopping mall in Oregon, and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin – Obama touched on the issue of gun control, saying that the country will have to “come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed his “shock and disbelief” at the shooting.
” As a father and grandfather, it is beyond my comprehension why anyone would want to hurt innocent children,” said Reid. “I join the millions of Americans whose thoughts and hearts are with those suffering because of this horrible crime in Connecticut.”
House Speaker John Boehner called on Americans to unite and “rise above unspeakable evil.”
“Let us all come together in God’s grace to pray for the families of the victims, that they may find some comfort and peace amid such suffering,” said Boehner.
- WhatTheFolly.com: President Obama: “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies”
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Connecticut State Police press briefing on the Sandy Hook school shooting
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s statement on the Sandy Hook School shooting on Dec. 14, 2012
- Reid.Senate.gov: Reid Statement On Connecticut Tragedy
- Boehner.House.gov: Speaker Boehner on the Shooting in Newtown, CT
- New York Times: Gunman Massacres 20 Children at School in Connecticut