Dozens dead in Connecticut school shooting

11:38 AM, Dec 15, 2012   |    comments
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  • Safety officials secure the area near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012 following a shooting at the school. A lone gunman killed 26 people, including 18 children, according to officials. Gannett, Frank Becerra Jr./The (Westchester, N.Y. Journal News)
  • Safety officials secure the around around Sandy Hook Elementary School following at shooting at the Newtown, Conn. school on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (Gary Stoller, USA TODAY)
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  • NEWTOWN, Conn. - Police say 27 people were killed in the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, including the gunman, and one person died at another scene.

    The dead at the school include 18 children. Two other children died at the hospital. Six adults also died at the school.

    The mother of the shooter was killed at her home, according to an NBC report.

    The gunman opened fire Friday morning inside Sandy Hook Elementary School where his mother worked.

    He blasted his way through the building as young students watched helplessly in classrooms while their teachers and classmates were shot. The gunman then killed himself.

    Young students crying and looking frightened were escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line after the shots rang out in Newtown, 60 miles northeast of New York City.

    A law enforcement official says the suspect in the Connecticut school shootings is 20-year-old Adam Lanza, the son of Nancy Lanza.

    According to an NBC report, Adam Lanza's older brother, 24-year-old Ryan, of Hoboken, N.J., was mistakenly identified as the shooter after an old ID of his was found on the shooter.

    Witnesses describe the gunman firing dozens, if not hundreds of rounds in the massacre.

    Officials are identifying the principal as one of the victims.

    Gerald Stomski is the first selectman of Woodbury, Conn. He says police told him that Sandy Hook Elementary Principal Dawn Hochsprung was among the 26 people the gunman shot to death at the school Friday.

    He says she was a principal in Woodbury until a few years ago. He says residents were mourning her death.

    Stomski says she had "an extremely likable style."

    Hochsprung had been principal at Sandy Hook Elementary since 2010. Hochsprung had frequently tweeted photos from her job and wrote upbeat tweets about what was going on at the school.

    More hauntingly, several publications report she wrote a letter before the school year outlining new safety measures including locked doors during school hours.

    A law enforcement official on the scene says two 9mm handguns were recovered on the scene.

    State police say reported the mass shooting at the K-4th grade school at around 9:40 a.m. eastern time.

    Newtown Police requested help from the Connecticut State Police and additional departments. Officers swarmed into the school and began both searching for the shooter and carrying out the safe evacuation of students and staff.

    Ambulances surrounded the school in western Connecticut and parents were running toward the building as a helicopter flew overhead.

    As a father, President Barack Obama says, he's grieving for the victims of today's school shooting in Connecticut.

    His remarks to the nation from the White House were emotional ones, as Obama wiped his eyes and had to pause for several seconds to keep his composure.

    He said, "Our hearts are broken today." Obama said the victims were "beautiful, little kids" who "had their entire lives ahead of them" -- and he recited future milestones lost: "birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own."

    Obama called for "meaningful action" to prevent such shootings, but he did not say what that action should be. He ordered U.S. flags be flown at half-staff through Tuesday.

    As he spoke, two senior aides standing nearby cried and held hands.

    Obama, who began his comments with no greeting, ended them with words of Scripture, and walked away in silence.

    The White House says the FBI is supporting state and local law enforcement officials in Connecticut as they respond to and investigate the incident.

    (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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