Over 20 dead in Connecticut school shooting

(UPDATED AT 10:23 p.m.) A man killed his mother at their home and then opened fire Friday inside an elementary school, massacring 26 people, including 20 children, as youngsters cowered in fear to the sound of gunshots reverberating through the building and screams echoing over the intercom.
Associated Press
Dec 14, 2012

 

The 20-year-old killer, carrying at least two handguns, committed suicide at the school, bringing the death toll to 28, authorities said.
The rampage, coming less than two weeks before Christmas, was the nation's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre that claimed 33 lives in 2007.
"Our hearts are broken today," a tearful President Barack Obama, struggling to maintain his composure, said at the White House. He called for "meaningful action" to prevent such shootings. "As a country, we have been through this too many times," he said.
Police shed no light on the motive for the attack. The gunman, Adam Lanza, was believed to suffer from a personality disorder and lived with his mother, said a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation but was not authorized to discuss it.
Panicked parents looking for their children raced to Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, a prosperous New England community of about 27,000 people 60 miles northeast of New York City. Police told youngsters at the kindergarten-through-fourth-grade school to close their eyes as they were led from the building so that they wouldn't see the blood and broken glass.
Schoolchildren — some crying, others looking frightened — were escorted through a parking lot in a line, hands on each other's shoulders.
Law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity said that Lanza killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, then drove to the school in her car with at least three guns, including a high-powered rifle that he apparently left in the back of the vehicle, and shot up two classrooms around 9:30 a.m.
Authorities gave no details on exactly how the attack unfolded, but police radio traffic indicated the shooting lasted only a few minutes.
A custodian ran through the halls, warning of a gunman on the loose, and someone switched on the intercom, alerting people in the building to the attack — and perhaps saving many lives — by letting them hear the hysteria going on in the school office, a teacher said. Teachers locked their doors and ordered children to huddle in a corner or hide in closets as shots echoed through the building.
State police Lt. Paul Vance said 28 people in all were killed, including the gunman, and a woman who worked at the school was wounded.
A law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said investigators believe Lanza attended the school several years ago but appeared to have no recent connection to the place.
At least one parent said Lanza's mother was a substitute teacher there. But her name did not appear on a staff list. And the law enforcement official said investigators were unable to establish any connection so far between her and the school.
Lanza's older brother, 24-year-old Ryan, of Hoboken, N.J., was being questioned, but a law enforcement official said he was not believed to have had a role in the rampage. Investigators were searching his computers and phone records, but he told law enforcement he had not been in touch with his brother since about 2010.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the unfolding investigation.
At one point, a law enforcement official mistakenly identified the gunman as Ryan Lanza. Brett Wilshe, a friend of Ryan Lanza's, said Lanza told him the gunman may have had his identification. Updates posted on Ryan Lanza's Facebook page Friday afternoon read, "It wasn't me" and "I was at work."
Robert Licata said his 6-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 utter a word.
Stephen Delgiadice said his 8-year-old daughter heard two big bangs. Teachers told her to get in a corner, he said. "It's alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America," he said. His daughter was uninjured.
Theodore Varga was in a meeting with other fourth-grade teachers when he heard the gunfire. He said someone had turned on the intercom so that "you could hear people in the office. You could hear the hysteria that was going on. I think whoever did that saved a lot of people. Everyone in the school was listening to the terror that was transpiring."
Also, a custodian ran around, warning people there was someone with a gun, Varga said.
"He said, 'Guys! Get down! Hide!'" Varga said. "So he was actually a hero." The teacher said he did not know if the custodian survived.
On Friday night, hundreds of people packed a Newtown church and stood outside in a vigil for the victims. People held hands, lit candles and sang "Silent Night" at St. Rose of Lima church.
Anthony Bloss, whose three daughters survived the shootings, said they are doing better than he is. "I'm numb. I'm completely numb," he said at the vigil.
Mergim Bajraliu, 17, said he heard the gunshots echo from his home and ran to check on his 9-year-old sister at the school. He said his sister, who was uninjured, heard a scream come over the intercom. He said teachers were shaking and crying as they came out of the building.
"Everyone was just traumatized," he said.
Mary Pendergast said her 9-year-old nephew was in the school at the time of the shooting but wasn't hurt after his music teacher helped him take cover in a closet.
Richard Wilford's 7-year-old son, Richie, told him that he heard a noise that sounded like "cans falling." The boy said a teacher went out to check on the noise, came back in, locked the door and had the children huddle 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."
On Friday afternoon, family members were led away from a firehouse that was being used as a staging area, some of them weeping. One man, wearing a T-shirt without a jacket, put his arms around a woman as they walked down the middle of the street, oblivious to everything around them. Another woman with tears rolling down her face walked by, carrying a car seat with a baby inside.
"Evil visited this community today and it's too early to speak of recovery, but each parent, each sibling, each member of the family has to understand that Connecticut — we're all in this together. We'll do whatever we can to overcome this event," Gov. Dannel Malloy said.
Adam Lanza and his mother lived in a well-to-do part of Newtown where neighbors are doctors or hold white-collar positions at companies such as General Electric, Pepsi and IBM.
At least three guns were found — a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols, inside the school, and a .223-caliber rifle in the back of a car, authorities said. A law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said some of the guns used in the attack may have belonged to Lanza's mother, who had legally purchased five weapons.
The shootings instantly brought to mind such tragedies as the Columbine High School massacre that killed 15 in 1999 and the July shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 dead.
"You go to a movie theater in Aurora and all of a sudden your life is taken," Columbine Principal Frank DeAngelis said. "You're at a shopping mall in Portland, Ore., and your life is taken. This morning, when parents kissed their kids goodbye knowing that they are going to be home to celebrate the holiday season coming up, you don't expect this to happen."
He added: "It has to stop, these senseless deaths."
Obama's comments on the tragedy amounted to one of the most outwardly emotional moments of his presidency.
"The majority of those who died were children — beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old," Obama said.
He paused for several seconds to keep his composure as he teared up and wiped an eye. Nearby, two aides cried and held hands as they listened to Obama.
"They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, wedding, kids of their own," Obama continued about the victims. "Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children."
___
Associated Press writers Jim Fitzgerald and Pat Eaton-Robb in Newtown, Bridget Murphy in Boston, Samantha Henry in Newark, N.J., Pete Yost in Washington and Michael Melia in Hartford contributed to this report, as did the AP News Research Center.

 

Comments

jaxxd

Acts of senseless violence are always tragic, but this is especially true when innocent children are involved. Horrified at today's events especially since I have a 7 and 9 year old

UgtaBkdnMe

Children shouldn't have to worry about being safe in school. God bless everyone impacted by this situation.

starryeyes83

Good God, all because a 24 y/o wanted to kill his mother.

No wonder people want to home school their kids.

asweetnessabove

It is sad, however, he was 20. His brother who has not had contact with the shooter since 2010, is 24.

R.I.P these precious souls, god bless these families

starryeyes83

as I corrected in a later post.

reporter54

I think soon that school will be held at home through computers. It's the only way to assure their safety.

the office cat

This man's FIRST victim was killed in her home...

24productions

OMG...tragic and unnecessary...

jaxxd

I think the gun laws should be changed......... They should allow children to carry guns now. But then one would argue that a child is not mature enough, or of sound mind, to carry a gun. Was the shooter?

starryeyes83

Or...

One day it will be every teacher will be wearing holsters and firepower. Or every school will have armed guards.

the office cat

Michigans RTW governor has a law on his desk that would allow persons, with eight additional hours of class - to have an expanded conceal/carry license allowing them to have guns in daycare, hospitals, nursing homes - schools. BUT... Michigan's legislature refuses to consider funding for Mental Health.

The Big Dog's back

Senseless.

eightballcuet1

Grab your kids and hold them tight and pray for the kids, staff and families of Sandy HooK Elementary School

the office cat

Pray for the father and brother of the shooter.... they have to live the rest of their lives wondering if they could have done something.

Kimo

removed

deertracker

This is just horrific!

titanfan84

So where is the 22 year old that had the 2 pistols that 102.7 reported on does anyone have the facts about this tragedy cause one report said there were two gunmen and one was still at large

jon491

LOOK at the news ,not a radio station.

titanfan84

And not the Sandusky register they mess things up all the time. I got my info from the radio and abc news

BEHAPPY

Oh my GOD! Is all I can say. The Human race has completely lost it~GOD bless all involved.

eriemom

This is heartbreaking. Maybe we need to rethink closing our asylums. So many prisons are full of inmates with severe mental health problems. Too many bridges have become homeless communities. Many with the same.

donutshopguy

eriemom,

This young man was autistic. It's the new diagnostic flavor of the year. Used to be ADD. Better not put all autistic individuals in asylums. The latest propaganda says 1 out of 80 children are born with autism. We don't have enough asylums. Guess we just put up with a few mass murders.

the office cat

Actually, only one source reported he has Aspergers.

starryeyes83

** At the time of my first post ABC news had reported the wrong age.

There seems to have been alot of erroneous reports at the time.

the office cat

starryeyes83/// "erroneous reports" out of Connecticut and New York? Fire up the Congressional investigations! If we can't get facts correct in-country.... I mean... uh uh uh... we were supposed to get accurate information about a late-night attack on a consulate somewhere in Libya!!!

starryeyes83

Well, I guess that happens when it's 24 hour news and crap like Face book and twitsh!!T is where everyone has to race to get names out there and those idiots who blatently post false reports to stir the pot, don't ya think?

I'm not a fan of those social media outlets , either. Can you tell?

HoMeMaKeR2005

Home schooling sounds better more and more everyday! God bless the families and community involved!

rjk1915

As far as home schooling is concerned, you can't teach what you don't know.

DGMutley

God be with them all. Be Blessed.

sorryhog

Schools should have metal detectors installed at the entrances.

real talk

and what would that have accomplished?
The metal detector goes off then he starts shooting people.
What needs to happen is to get rid of the guns. All of them.

richrs

Yeah that work real good. Take away more rights. BTW Hitler had a good gun control program. Look where that got Germany.

mikeylikesit

good luck with that..

uturnlouie

And they are still trying to take GOD out of our schools.

richrs

They aren't still trying. Except for your parochial schools, God has left the building. Though I don't think it would've mattered much here.

jas

GOD should be important in everyone's life but it's not for you or a teacher or a School Board to decide whether my children should be taught about Yaweh, Jesus, Allah, Vishnu, Budha, or some other religious belief system. That's for me as a parent to decide and I can take care of educating my children about GOD at home or at the church of my choice. That's what religious freedom is all about. This ain't the 1950's anymore and thank GOD for that.

richrs

I thought schools went downhill when they took prayer out. You jump to conclusions to fast.

the office cat

@richrs. Prayer NEVER was removed from schools - only mandatory, supervised, rote prayer led by a school official. Each time a fundamentalist tells me prayer should be in school, I silence them quickly when asking their reaction if their child's teacher led them in a Hail Mary before lunch or had them kneel with forehead on floor and pray to Allah. Prayer cannot be forced by 'power'... neither can it be denied by the same 'power'. Get your facts straight or STFUp.

shucks

Proverbs 29:18

New Living Translation (NLT)

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild.
But whoever obeys the law is joyful.

Huron_1969

Amen

the office cat

No one has tried to take GOD out of schools. GOD can't be 'taken' anywhere. Virtually all teachers and other administrators bring God with them each day. GOD is more about how people act toward one another and little about teaching religion. Much as many hate it, we have become a diverse society with many different faiths and religions.

gene44870

I dont have children and I have always wanted one or two, and when some selfish act happens , it just makes me glad that I dont have a child that has to see things of this nature.
My thought as well as my heart goes out to all that have been effected by the senseless act 'and may the person burn in the pits of he!!

uturnlouie

Gun control isnt the answer either. Mother owed these guns legally. He got them from her house. How is gun control going to help that? The whole world better turn back to god, if its not too late already?

the office cat

If she had lived, would his mother have been charged as an accomplice - or even with murder? Gun regulation should include gun responsibility. Why does ANYONE need assault rifles? I've asked that often and no one has an answer. Why did she need two? Why did she need six guns? One in each room for 'defense'? Didn't do her much good, did they?

starryeyes83

Office cat ~~~ I've asked that same question , myself and the only thing I come up with I the " I have more toys .. let me show off ".. mentality.

reporter54

massacring? God is ALWAYS capitalized and He was not able to stop this. Gun control will only take guns away from those that may need them to defend themselves against something like this. mental illness needs addressed more thoroughly and barricading schools and other buildings to prevent these tragedies is not practical or affordable. there are not enough safeguards to prevent everything bad from happening or to anticipate every person's intentions and stop them. we are prisoners in our own homes.

jas

Ignoring the fact that the death toll is probably double or triple what it would have been if automatic assault weapons had not been used is almost as insane as the the killer of these innocent children. There is absolutely no legitimate reason for individuals to own automatic assault weapons. Anyone who thinks they need to own automatic assault weapons has mental health issues and needs to be examined for their problem. That's not gun control. That's dealing with a serious mental health problem that is rampant in this country if we believe the gun nuts and the NRA. Their apparent need to own large quantities of firearms is evidence of a serious paranoia problem.

Censorship of movies, television, video games, music, etc. is a substantially larger infringement of our rights than gun control of automatic assault weapons. What are we protecting with our guns if we allow rampant censorship throughout society? Our First Amendment right of Free Speech significantly outweighs our Second Amendment right to Bear Arms. I have never understood the thinking of people who favor censorship but oppose gun control. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Restless1

jas: How many other forums are you going to post the same comment showing your ignorance of the subject? This is the second one I've spotted.

SMF1

Sometimes those who own large quantities of firearms don't do it out of need but out of want. We have a multitude of guns in our home, not because we're paranoid but because we collect them. Most are WWII-era rifles and the others are for hunting and in the event that one of the idiots we read about all the time in the Register and Reflector (you know those people that get "punished" with CBCF after getting strung out and breaking into people's homes, etc) decides to pay us a visit. Maybe that sounds paranoid, but in my opinion it's just reality. Quite frankly it'd be a cold day in Hades when someone would break into our home and we wouldn't be ready and willing to protect our family. The NRA is like any other organization or group, you'll find a nut or two within their population.
I'm not sure how the heck the censorship bee got in your bonnet. Censorship is a parental issue, in my opinion. I think there's nothing but garbage on television, therefore we don't have regular television, cable, or satellite. There's my censorship. Gun control is a moot point...all gun control laws do is take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens: criminals could give a hoot whether or not guns are illegal.

SamAdams

The guns used weren't "automatics." That kind of weapon (a fully auto weapon is such as a machine gun) has been strictly regulated since the 1920's. The weapons used in Connecticut were semi-automatic. That's entirely different, requiring a separate trigger pull for each individual shot.

If you want to be against something, it might be helpful if you had a clue what it was you were actually against.

shucks

.

the office cat

reporter... His mother had six guns... and still her shot her. Where's the defense?

Restless1

Thank you Hollywood! Movies full of killing and violence. TV full of murder investigations and shootouts. Electronic games full of shoot kill, shoot kill, shoot kill! Kids are growing up not realizing the difference anymore. Those slightly off mental balance are the first to fall off this cliff.

Huron_1969

Blame the consumers.... Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment world wouldn't provide this violent material if our society wasn't buying it

mikeylikesit

how about we blame the man who did it?

Huron_1969

I was responding to the "blame it on Hollywood" statement

SamAdams

Oh, woe is me, another "I'm not to blame, it's somebody else's fault!"

I don't know how to tell you this, Restless1, but I LIKE violent movies. Know what else? I like violent video games, too. I watch those movies, and I play those games. I even (prepare yourself!) listen to...ROCK MUSIC! Yup. And so far, I've killed, tortured, or otherwise assaulted a grand total of...uhm...ZERO.

Blaming Hollywood, your mother, or George W. Bush is yet another cop-out. Kids don't need to be banned from movie theaters or sheltered from video games. They need to be taught personal responsibility, and they need to see any failures on their part punished.

There are no consequences any more. "My mommy didn't love me!" or "I was bullied in school!" or "I don't have as much money as Mr. CEO!" And we all line up to feel sorry for the poor misunderstood, mistreated baby.

THAT'S what's wrong with kids today, not the fact they've got an xbox in their bedroom!

the office cat

@SAm... you torture a lot of us all the time. And remember that assault is 'verbal' while aggravated assault involves action. Sure you've never cussed out anyone or said "I'll slap the snot out of you" or "punished" rather than 'disciplined' a child with an overdone spanking?

Katelih-Trailer...

Any pics of the shooter ??

Katelih-Trailer...

Thanks DGMutley.

EZOB

Fact is that this idiot took out his rage on defenseless people. He picked a place where He knew there would be no weapons. What if??--I say What if?? The Principal, assistant principal, and a chosen few others had been allowed to arm thenselves on school property. You are never in our lifetime going to be able to keep all the guns away from wackos and criminals. The only immediate answer I can sensibly come up with is to protect yourself. Oh sure, The cops were there to protect what was left but do you want to wait valuable seconds not minutes on autority, I don't.

the office cat

Move to Michigan... then even YOU can carry a gun into a school.
These guns were legal. What if he had a conceal/carry permit for schools?

JOATMON

Making tougher laws that effect law abiding citizens does nothing. Even with my limited knowledge of law, I am pretty sure that before 9/11/01 it would have been illegal to hijack a jet airliner and fly it into a building full of people, yet it happened, It happened because criminals do not care what laws they break, that is why they are criminals in the first place. Making it more difficult to obtain a firearm for law abiding citizens is like making it more difficult for sober people to purchase an automobile. Cocain, heroine, Meth just to name a few have been illegal for years, yet we still have a major drug problem don’t we? This just proves making anything illegal does not stop criminals from getting it. The best first step to a possible solution that I can offer up is to beef up and enforce the laws that we already have in place. Let’s place the answer to the problem with the true problem... the criminal. Make mandatory non negotiable sentences for crimes committed. Make the plea bargain next to impossible to obtain for the person committing the crime, not the inanimate object that the criminal used. I understand that in certain situations this strategy would not apply as the criminal may take his own life, but even if you could take all firearms out of the equation, what would stop criminals from using other legally or illegally obtainable mechanisms from committing these senseless acts of violence? Just Saying.

starryeyes83

Most of us don't need a book to tell us that firing on little kids is WRONG and EVIL!

uturnlouie

I can't help thinkng about the brother of the shooter also. He lost his mother to this and is the one that must live with the mess his brother make, using his name. God hold him close too, please.

donutshopguy

uturnlouie,

I agree.

starryeyes83

I think the brother should go after the media for putting his name out there without proof positive of the i.d. of the shooter.

That put him in danger.

SamAdams

The only thing more tragic than what happened in Connecticut is the usual contingent that thinks it has the answer to all of our problems.

Make guns illegal! Yeah, I hate to break it to you, but guns are ALREADY illegal on school grounds. I'm pretty sure that Connecticut is a state where cold-blooded murder is ALSO against the law. Bottom line: Bad guys don't CARE if they break just one more law. The only people who will be hurt by a gun ban are those who actually obey the law, i.e. the GOOD guys (who are now just as defenseless as a disarmed teacher in a kindergarden classroom). And don't even start with how at least the death tolls would be lower if only the bad guy didn't have a gun! Bad guys will ALWAYS be able to get firearms, but even if they can't, remember the murder of over 30 in Japan with a KNIFE? How many little ones do you suppose a backpack bomb would kill? What if some whack job decided to inject poison into the kiddies' milk?

Bring God back into the schools! While I disagree with those schools that refuse to allow after school clubs or activities involving ANY religion, I don't agree that God (or Allah or Buddah or Krishna or whoever) belongs in any classroom outside of the context of a given religion's effect on history or in a comparitive religion setting. Think God in the class would help whether it's constitutional or not? Think again. The vast majority of men (and women) who are in prison for the worst of crimes are (get ready for it) believers.

We need more mental institutions! Maybe. Maybe not. The truth is that everything and anything is being classified as a mental disorder these days, and most of it is no such thing. Drugging kids isn't the answer (most don't need it anyway, but are drugged to make them less "challenging" for parents and teachers — not so very long ago, parents and teachers handled such "challenging" children with a swat on the behind, which typically worked a whole lot better than Ritalin). Those who DO experience a dramatic psychotic break like the Connecticut shooter often do so relatively suddenly and without definitive warning. Had he had mental problems? Apparently. But really, who hasn't? Did anybody think they pointed at anything THIS serious? Obviously not!

The bottom line: Like an expert on school security said on Channel 3 this morning, you can't make schools (or anywhere else) 100% safe. The single most dangerous man alive is the so-called lone wolf who doesn't discuss his plans, who doesn't telegraph his intentions with aberrant behavior, and who doesn't care whether or not he lives in the end. There is NO WAY to stop a determined man who has no need to escape after the mayhem. NONE.

We'd all be better off to talk about why this death toll was so high. Why wasn't the shooter stopped? Maybe because none of the teachers or administrators could defend themselves or their young charges. You think?

ragtop66

@ Starry

Good point, ITA and the other Lanza family who also has a son named Ryan with no relation or connection whatsoever. Those news reports made him a target, too.

wiredmama222

I just saw the chief coronor who did seven of the autopsies on these children at the press conference on CNN. He had the help of four doctors and scores of techs and ancillary help. He said they all held it together for now and all the children have been released to funeral homes. They made the identities of the children through pictures the families gave them. This was the worst thing he had done in a third of a century.

People all over the world are showing their respect for the families and no one has any answers about why, what or when this kid snapped, if he did, or what went on. The argument about gun laws and violence won't be answered now any more than it was during the last shootings. It never is until the mental health people get with the gun people and decide what CAN be done.

For now, lets just try to help these families get through this tragedy and hope this poor community gets through the upcoming funerals as best they can this close to Christmas. My heart goes out to the entire community. May God hold those little souls in the palm of His hand for now and all Eternity. May the killer never see the lights of Heaven for taking them. May his mother be with those children as well.

I hope the family of the killer finds peace. What a tragedy. Nothing will ever be explained....as usual. The killer always takes his own life, the act of the coward.

luvblues2

More speculation....*sigh*...the Fat Lady isn't even on stage yet. We don't know what song she's gonna sing, as we've never received a program.

KURTje

ECOT

Centauri

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