UPDATED at 8:40 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15... NEWTOWN, CT -- Connecticut police said Friday afternoon that 26 people, including 20 children, were killed at an elementary school after a gunman opened fire. Another adult was killed at a second location.
Police in Newtown were called to the Sandy Hook School at about 9:30 a.m. after receiving a 911 call Friday morning. Authorities said the gunman was found dead inside the school. He was reportedly armed with four guns and a high-powered assault rifle. Authorities said during a press conference that they have retrieved three weapons from the scene.
A parent interviewed on CBS News told the network on Friday that his 8-year-old daughter said she heard an argument and cursing over the school’s loudspeaker, apparently coming from the principal’s office. Her teacher then immediately locked the classroom door as a safety precaution. A fourth-grade student at Sandy Hook School told Connecticut’s Channel 7 that he and his classmates were “locked in a closet in the gym” to escape the gunman.
One mother of an 8-year-old girl at the school, Brenda Lebinski, told Patch that her daughter is safe thanks to one teacher's decision to move all kids into a closet when the gunman entered the building.
The Shooter and His Family
The shooter has been identified as Adam Lanza. [Media reports initially identified the shooter as Adam's 24-year-old Ryan Lanza.] Lanza's mother Nancy, was found dead in the Newtown home she shared with Lanza, according to multiple media outlets. Contrary to initial reports, Nancy Lanza was not a kindergarten teacher at Sandy Hook School, as confirmed by the school superintendent at a press briefing on Saturday.
Eighteen children were killed at the scene, while two were taken to the hospital where they later died. The school’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung, also was among the six adults killed. Police released the names and ages of those killed late Saturday afternoon.
The shooting, one of the deadliest in U.S. history, has once again touched a nerve about the country’s gun violence.
During a press conference Friday afternoon, President Obama visibly wept, saying "We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”
The president also said “our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors, as well. For as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early."