Transcript: Connecticut State Police briefing on the Sandy Hook shooting on Dec. 15, 2012
Edited by Jenny Jiang
Partial transcript of press conference remarks by Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 15, 2012:
As you know, the victims have been positively identified by the office of the the chief state medical examiner. They’re still in the process of doing some of their work.
As soon as that work is completed, we will be prepared to release in writing to you a formal list of names, birth dates, and information.
There was one – there were a couple of major factors.
Number one, when we release that list and we would ask you again as we did yesterday at the request of all the family members – they have asked for you to please respect their privacy. They’re going through a – I know you understand – a very difficult and trying time.
We have, in fact, the office of the chief and the colonel reassign – we continue to assign a trooper to these folks to help to maintain that solitude.
So again, I would ask you – and I’m pleading with you – as you know this is extremely heartbreaking, difficult thing for these folks to endure – to please abide by their request.
In addition, for the townspeople in the town of Newtown, a crisis intervention team from Yale-New Haven Hospital has been established here in the community, and they can be reached via telephone. The telephone number is 203-270-4283.
And again, they’re open and they’re available to anyone in the community who may have the need to discuss, to talk, to talk about this incident in its entirety.
I have the ability to take some questions. I just simply want you to understand that we still have major crimes detectives and Newtown detectives working at the scene in the school. That is not completed. That probably will not be completed for at least another day and a half to two days. I’m not putting a time limit on it. It could take longer.
As I explained to you in previous press conferences, we’ve done everything we need to do to literally peel back the onion layer by layer and examine every crack and crevice of that facility, and that does not include – or exclude, I should say, the outside of the building. The outside of the building is also part of the crime scene. Every single vehicle in that lot. So it’s going to be a long, painstaking process.
We actually have three teams now – three major crimes team in the community. Our local partners are working with us and we’re going to move that and expedite that along as quickly as possible.
We had a meeting this morning and that was the delay with the Superintendent of the school. She will be hopefully in the not too distant future up here to talk briefly about some of the issues that she has encountered.
The minute the medical examiner is done – and I mean that sincerely – the minute he is done, he is coming here and we will again provide all the detailed information or as much detailed information as we can relative to the work that his office did overnight and continue to do as we speak.
Again, as far as actual specific questions, I’ll take a few but I have to tell you there are certain things that were just simply cards we’re holding close to our chest in this investigation until – so nothing’s taken out of context and we have continuity of all the information that we provide.
Press briefing Q&A
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: No, that’s not accurate. The weaponry that was recovered by our investigators were recovered in close proximity of the deceased. And again, we’re investigating the history of each and every weapon, and we will know every single thing about those weapons. And I know follow-up questions are legally registered, who are the owners, so on and so forth. That’s all being done by the investigators assigned to that task.
Question: [unintelligible audio]
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: Again, we’re going to allow the medical examiner – we’re going to wait for the medical examiner to come in and provide the identities of the shooter, of all the deceased in this investigation.
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: That’s certainly a fair good question. The answer I could give you on that is that our investigators at the crime scene – the school and secondarily at the secondary crime scene that we discussed with a female who was located deceased – did produce some very good evidence in this investigation that our investigators will be able to use and hopefully paint a complete picture as to the how and, more importantly, the why this occurred.
Question: Can you characterize the type of evidence?
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: We’re not going to name the evidence. We’re not going to talk about the evidence. Simply stated, it’s part of the investigation. I don’t want to take it out of context of what’s being done.
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: We have established the point of entry. It was – I can tell you it’s believed he was not voluntarily let into the school at all, that he forced his way into the school. But that’s as far as we can go on that.
Question: Are there broken windows at the school?
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: Quite frankly that’s something – again, if you take it out of context, it sounds suspicious. But as the rescue crews arrived, the active shooting teams entered the school – they entered the school from several different points and it necessitated forcing their way in to gain access to perform the rescue and to save as many students and faculty as they possibly could. Hence, law enforcement broke many windows.
Question: [incomprehensible audio]
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: The other crime scene? Yeah, the second area crime scene, as I told you, was a crime scene that was discovered pursuant to the investigation. Once we had a tentative identification from the suspect, we began doing a great deal of work – again, peeling back the onion – everything we could find out about that suspect, including and not limited to relatives, friends, co-workers, former students, location of residence. And all those areas, people had to be interviewed and all those areas had to be examined. Hence, they caused us to discover the secondary crime scene, which is a private residence with a sole female deceased.
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: To be determined. The detectives will certainly analyze everything and put a complete picture together of the evidence that they did obtain, and we’re hopeful that it will paint a complete picture as to how and why this entire incident – unfortunate incident – occurred.
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: She’s doing fine. She had been treated and she’ll be instrumental in this investigation, I’m sure you can understand.
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: Forcibly – forced his way into the school. That would be accurate according to investigators.
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: I don’t want to be too specific because quite frankly I don’t know. So I would simply – I’ve been informed that it was forcibly entered and was not allowed to enter, if you will.
State Police Lt. Paul Vance: Now, you have to understand that after the shooting, we did a complete thorough search of the entire area, the neighborhood, with our local partners. And everything – everything was examined. If we found anyone who was in the woods, cutting wood, they would be detained pending the investigation. There were no other arrests associated with this – with this investigation that occurred.
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