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Conn. school shooting

Terror at Connecticut school

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Scene of school shooting in Newtown, Conn. ( Scene of school shooting in Newtown, Conn. (

A gunman shot and killed his mother at home and then 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., on Friday. He then killed himself.

New details of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School continue to emerge.

The school nurse told a morning news program on Monday that she and the school secretary hid in a supply closet for almost four hours after the massacre had ended. 

Sally Cox said she knew "something terrible was happening" Friday morning when she heard loud popping sounds and the school secretary called out to her.

She said she went under her computer desk, and the gunman entered her office. She said she could see his legs from the knees down, his boots facing her desk. He then left and closed the door, reported the Associated Press.

Cox said the secretary raced into her office and they called 911 and hid in the closet. Cox said they were "petrified" and "didn't know how many there could have been."

State Police Officials have been periodically updating the media about their investigation.

The school would be closed indefinitely, according to Ct. State Police.

"He (Adam Lanza) was not voluntarily led into the school," Police Lt.  Paul Vance said at a news conference about the shooter on Saturday.  "He forced his way into the school."

Vance said every car in the parking lot was part of the sprawling crime scene.  It could take several more days to fully investigate the site.

Lanza, 20, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the school, according to Conn. State Police.

Related:  Who is Adam Lanza

Related:  Victim names released

Initial reports said that Lanza's mother was a kindergarten teacher at the school but the district superintendent says Nancy Lanza was not a full time employee of the district, but may have been a substitute teacher.  She was killed in her Sandy Hook home before her son drove her car to the school.

A Connecticut official says the mother of the gunman was shot four times in the head before her son went to the elementary school.

Events started unfolding about 9:30 a.m. on Friday.  A 9-1-1 call sent police racing to the school.

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, Fox News reported.

"On and off duty troopers responded to the school and with Newtown police, immediately upon arrival, entered the school and began a complete active shooter search at the building," Lt. Paul Vance said at an afternoon news conference.   "That included checking every door, every crack, every crevasse of that school. Our main objective was to evacuate as quickly and as efficiently as possible any and all students and faculty in the school. "

18 children died at the school.  Two died later at the hospital.  Six adults died inside the school along with the shooter.  Police say all of the victims were shot inside two rooms at the school.

Three of the victims were rushed to Danbury Hospital.  It was unclear if that was the hospital where the two additional victims died.

Two of the victims were school principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach.  Witnesses say the two ran towards the gunfire when the shooting started.

Police released a complete list of the victims on Saturday.

Fox 5 News reported that the gunman carried two pistols.  A rifle was also found at the scene.  Sources told Fox News the guns used in the shooting were owned by and legally registered to Nancy Lanza. 

A source close to the investigation said the shooter's father, who lives in Stamford, Conn., met with FBI agents. He was divorced from Nancy Lanza.

The suspect's older brother was questioned by police after the incident but was not considered a suspect in the case. The older brother was initially reported to be the shooter by law enforcement sources cited by several news organizations.

The Newtown schools superintendent says the district locked down all four schools as a preventive measure in the moments after the shooting.

Panicked parents raced to the school. Police told students at the kindergarten-through-fourth-grade school to close their eyes as they were led from the building.

At a news conference, Gov. Dannel Malloy said, "You can never be prepared for this kind of incident. What has transpired, what has happened at that school district will leave a mark on this community and every family impacted. I only ask that all of our fellow citizens here in the United States and around the world who have already offered their assistance, remember all the victims in their prayers."

A visibly moved President Obama addressed the nation on the shooting.

"The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams," Obama said.  "So our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost."


Saturday night, Peter Lanza, Adam Lanza's father, issued the following statement on the Newtown, CT school tragedy:

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured. Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired."

Hundreds packed the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic church for a Friday night vigil.  Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was among the speakers.

The town had lowered the flag at the town border by the afternoon.

The governors of New Jersey and New York said that state buildings would fly flags at half-staff to honor the victims.  N.Y. would lower flags on Saturday and N.J. planned to lower them on Tuesday.

Sandy Hook Elementary School is located on Dickinson Drive.  There are approximately 600 students in Kindergarten through fourth grade.

Newtown, located in western Connecticut, is about 75 miles north of New York City.


Summary: What we know about the massacre


Key facts related to the Connecticut elementary school shooting:

THE INVESTIGATION: Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza was carrying an arsenal of hundreds of rounds of deadly ammunition — enough to kill nearly every student in the school if given enough time, authorities said, raising the specter the bloodbath could have been far worse. Lanza shot himself in the head when he heard police approaching the classroom where he was gunning down helpless children.

He had multiple high-capacity clips each capable of holding 30 bullets, and the chief medical examiner said the ammunition was the type designed to break up inside a victim's body and inflict the maximum amount of damage, tearing apart bone and tissue.

The gunman shot his mother four times in the head before going to the school and gunning down 26 victims there.

THE VICTIMS: All the victims at the school were shot multiple times with a high-power rifle, some of them up close. All six adults were women. Of the 20 children, eight were boys and 12 were girls. All the children were 6 or 7 years old.

Among the dead were popular principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach, who rushed toward Lanza in an attempt to stop him and paid with their lives; Victoria Soto, a 27-year-old teacher who died while trying to hide her pupils; 30-year-old Lauren Rousseau, a teacher thrilled to have been hired this year, and Ana Marquez-Greene, a 6-year-old girl who had just moved to Newtown from Canada.

THE GUNMAN: Lanza was described as a bright but painfully awkward student who seemed to have no close friends. In high school, he was active in the technology club. The club adviser remembered that he had "some disabilities" and seemed not to feel pain like the other students. That meant Lanza required special supervision when using soldering tools, for instance. He also had an occasional "episode" in which he seemed to withdraw completely from his surroundings, the adviser said.

Authorities said Lanza had no criminal history, and it was unclear whether he had a job.

THE SCENE: Families sought to comfort each other during Sunday church services and vigils devoted to impossible questions like that of a 6-year-old girl who asked her mother: "The little children, are they with the angels?"

Many of Newtown's 27,000 people wondered whether life could ever return to normal, and, as the workweek was set to begin, parents pondered whether to send their children back to school. Signs around town read, "Hug a teacher today," ''Please pray for Newtown" and "Love will get us through."

THE PARENTS: One of the parents who lost a child in the attack spoke publicly about his loss.

Robbie Parker fought back tears and struggled to catch his breath as he described his 6-year-old daughter, Emilie, as a little girl who loved to draw. He also reserved surprisingly kind words for the gunman, saying he was not mad and offering sympathy for the gunman's family.

To the man's family, he said, "I can't imagine how hard this experience must be for you."

THE GUNS: Federal authorities visited local gun ranges but found no evidence that the gunman trained for the attack or was an active member of the recreational gun community. Investigators also have interviewed gun dealers trying to determine whether there was any training or other behavior that precipitated the attack.

THE HISTORY: The Newtown massacre is the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history and one of the deadliest mass shootings around the world. A gunman at Virginia Tech University killed 33, including himself, in 2007. It appears that only Virginia Tech; the mass killings of 77 in Norway last year; and a resort massacre with 35 victims in Australia had greater death tolls across the world over the past 20 years.

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