At Least 27 Dead In Conn. Elementary School Shooting
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) —At least 27 people are dead after a shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school Friday, CBS News reports.
Connecticut State Police said they are assisting local police where a shooting took place around 9:30 a.m at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
At least 20 of the 27 people killed were children, 18 were pronounced dead at the scene and two more were pronounced dead after they transported to the hospital. Six adults, plus the shooter, also died.
The Associated Press reports that the shooter killed himself.
The principal of the school, Dawn Hochsprung, is also among the 27 dead. It is reported that Lanza and Hochsprung may have gotten into some sort of altercation.
Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance spoke to the media around 1:45 p.m. and said, “suffice it to say, the scene is secure.”
The Associated Press reports that the shooter was 20-year-old Adam Lanza from Newtown, Conn where he lived with his mother. CBS News reports that Lanza’s parents divorced in 2008 and his father, Peter Lanza, lives in Stamford, Conn.
Earlier reports indicated that the shooter was Lanza’s brother, 24-year-old Ryan of Hoboken, N.J.
Ryan Lanza was taken into police custody after the shooting, but authorities determined that he does not have any connection to the incident.
It was first reported that Lanza’s mother was a teacher at the elementary school and that the children killed were her students.
However, Lanza’s mother’s name does not appear on any staff list and has yet to be connected to the school in any way, CBS News reports.
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Police say they have also responded to a secondary scene at a home connected to the shooter. Police say a 28th dead person was found there as well.
Multiple SWAT teams responded to the scene and officials checked the shooter’s home for any explosives or booby traps.
No motive has been determined yet.
One source says Lanza went from room to room shooting people in the school.
Three guns were found at the scene, prompting questions earlier as to whether the shooter worked alone.
Police say they found a Glock .9 mm and Sig Sauer handgun, but officials confirmed that there was only one shooter.
A witness told CBS News that he saw an adult male being walked out of the nearby woods to a police car in handcuffs, wearing dark, camouflage clothing, saying he “didn’t do it.”
“He walked by us and looked into parents’ eyes and said, ‘I didn’t do it,’” the witness said.
The nearby hospital that treated many of the victims, Danbury Hospital was on lockdown after the shooting.
Just before 4 p.m., Dr. John Murphy with the hospital address the media, saying he wanted to thank more than 100 people on his staff who helped respond to the crisis.
“We are here, we are open, we are no longer on lockdown,” Murphy said.
Vance said local police and state troopers were brought in to respond to the school as soon as the first 9-1-1 call was received. He also said off-duty troopers were called in.
“Every door, every crack, every crevasse” was searched before children were reunited with their parents, Vance said.
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Stephen Delgiudice, whose daughter is in third grade at the school, said he was notified via a reverse 9-1-1 system that there was a shooting at the school. His daughter was not hurt in the shooting.
When he got to the school, he said the scene was “mass chaos … it was just chaos.”
Delgiudice said his daughter heard cursing from school officials over the speaker system and knew at that point that something was wrong.
Delgiudice also said he’s surprised that something like what happened Friday would happen in Newton.
“To me, it’s one of the safest places in America,” Delgiudice said.
Melissa Mideris, who has a son in fourth grade at the school, said her son’s gym teacher shoved all of the children into a corner and sheltered them. After that, the teacher told them to run out of the building to the nearby fire station.
Mideris commended the actions of the teachers who helped save many of the children.
“They should be highly commended … those teachers really excelled today,” she said.
Other parents described what happened after learning of the shooting.
“We immediately jumped in the car and headed down here … it was troubling,” another father said.
“Somebody came into the room and shot a teacher,” is what one father said his children told him.
Officials say they are not approaching the situation as if Friday’s events are a part of any terrorist plan, but investigations are still in the very preliminary stages and they can not rule anything out yet.
Sandy Hook Elementary School is for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Newtown, Conn. is a suburb of Hartford with a population of about 30,000, located roughly 60 miles from New York.
Officials say President Barack Obama was notified of the situation.
When asked if Friday’s situation impacts the president’s policies toward gun control, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said there will be discussions in the future, but “today is not the day.”
President Obama spoke live from the White House around 3:15 p.m. Friday.
He was visibly emotional through his address and said “I know there isn’t a parent in America that doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.”
He said that there have been too many incidents like what happened in Newtown in the past few years and that American needs to do more to prevent these tragedies.
“There are no words that will ease the pain,” he said.
Gov. Dan Malloy also spoke in Connecticut following the president.
“We can never be prepared for this kind of incident,” Malloy said.
Lt. Vance said that FBI crisis management would be in Newtown Saturday to help the first responders and families connected to the shooting, calling it a “horrific and difficult scene.”
This is the second-deadliest school shooting, after the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007.