20 children among dead in Connecticut school massacre
A heavily armed man opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school Friday leaving 27 dead — including 20 children — and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police.
The death toll at the school — 26 plus the gunman — in Newtown was confirmed during an update from police Friday afternoon.
Lt. Paul Vance said 18 children were pronounced dead at the school as well as six adults and the shooter. Two other children were transported to hospital but were pronounced dead. One person was also injured.
Vance said another adult was found dead at a "secondary crime scene" in Newtown, which police discovered while investigating the gunman.
An unidentified source later told The Associated Press that the gunman killed his mother at her house, before heading to the school.
Vance said the shooting took place in two nearby classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which has students in kindergarten to Grade 4, in the community of 27,000 located 95 kilometres northeast of New York City.
Vance said it would take time to positively identify the victims, which could happen tomorrow.
The shooting was the nation's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, which left 32 people and the gunman dead.
Speaking at a press conference Friday afternoon, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said that it is a terrible day for the community.
"Evil visited this community today, and it's too early to speak of recovery" he told reporters. "But Connecticut, we're all in this together."
Several vigils were held across the country following the shooting. People gathered in front of the White house in Washington, D.C., and an impromptu vigil took place in Times Square in New York City.
Community members are also gathering at a church in Newton to mourn victims of the massacre.
Brother of alleged gunman questioned
Although police have not yet officially identified the shooter, The Associated Press, quoting an unidentified law enforcement official, said it was 20-year-old Adam Lanza and reported that his mother was a teacher at the school.
Lanza's older brother, 24-year-old Ryan, of Hoboken, N.J., was being questioned by police, the official said. Earlier, a law enforcement official mistakenly identified Ryan as the shooter.
Ryan Lanza is not under arrest and has been "extremely co-operative," an official told The Associated Press. He added that Lanza is not believed to have any connection to the killings.
The gunman drove to the school in his mother's car, a second official said. Three guns were found — a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols, inside the school, and a .223-calibre rifle in the back of a car.
A visibly emotional President Barack Obama said the United States had endured "too many of these tragedies."
"The majority of those who died were children — beautiful, little kids between the ages of five and 10 years old," Obama said.
“These neighbourhoods are our neighbourhoods, and these children are our children, and we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” Obama said during a press conference Friday afternoon.
Parents flooded to Sandy Hook Elementary School looking for their children in the wake of the shooting. Students were told by police to close their eyes as they were led from the building.
A photo taken by the Newtown Bee newspaper showed a group of young students — some crying, others looking visibly frightened — being escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line, hands on each other's shoulders.
A law enforcement official briefed on the shooting said the gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that one of the victims was the man's mother, a teacher. The official wasn't authorized to speak about the investigation.
'Everyone was just traumatized'
Robert Licata said his six-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 say a word.
Stephen Delgiadice said his eight-year-old daughter heard two big bangs and teachers told her to get in a corner. His daughter was fine.
"It's alarming, especially in Newtown, Conn., which we always thought was the safest place in America," he said.
Danbury Hospital was the only hospital to take in victims from the shootings, admitting three patients. Doctors said at a news conference they cleared four trauma rooms to treat shooting victims.
Mergim Bajraliu, 17, heard the gunshots echo from his home and raced to check on his nine-year-old sister at the school. He said his sister, who was fine, heard a scream come over the intercom at one point. He said teachers were shaking and crying as they came out of the building.
"Everyone was just traumatized," he said.
'There's no words'
Richard Wilford's seven-year-old son, Richie, is in the second grade at the school. His son told him that he heard a noise that "sounded like what he described as cans falling."
The boy told him a teacher went out to check on the noise, came back in, locked the door and had the kids huddle up 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."
Melissa Makris, 43, said her 10-year-old son, Philip, was in the school gym.
"He said he heard a lot of loud noises and then screaming. Then the gym teachers immediately gathered the children in a corner and kept them safe in a corner," Makris said.
The fourth-grader told his mother that the students stayed huddled until police came in the gym. He also told her that he saw what looked like a body under a blanket as he fled the school.
"He said the policeman came in and helped them get out of the building and told them to run," Makris said. "And they ran to the firehouse."
On Friday afternoon, family members were led away from the firehouse, some of them weeping. One man, wearing only 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 young infant inside and a bag that appeared to have toys and stuffed animals.
With files from CBC News
This is very sad,children are so innocent,I cant even imagine the pain the parents must feel,my heart goes out to all of them,nor can I imagine what kind of monster could do such a thing.
Here in canada we have had gun related deaths ,but not on the scale we see in the usa.
I firmly believe the fact guns are not easy to have here is the main reason for this.
Here in montreal its more stabbings and physical assaults,but yes shootings happen.
The nuts ,crazies,and general bad people still are able to get weapons on the black market, but I don't think to the extent, nor the type of weapons which are available in the usa,where automatic and semi automatic weapons anyone can purchase.
All true, sadly the NRA is so powerful in the USA that any attempt to implement any sort of gun laws is shut down immediately.
Originally Posted by John S. Black
Veteran of Misadventures
Actually the legal reason for lack of gun control has more to do with the Second Amendment of the US Constitution than the NRA. To understand the Second Amendment you need to know a bit about American history dating back to the Revolutionary War. If you lack that historical and legal background, you probably should not attempt an intelligent discussion of the issue.
I personally believe gun control would only lead black markets that are already present to flourish, and a nut job will still be able to find guns and other weapons, whether legally or not.
Also the shooter in this tragedy stole his mother's legally purchased weapons, shot her with them, and then shot up the school. In Connecticut you only need a carrying permit for handguns, which is issued by the State Police.
By the ways, I grew up in Fairfield County, not far from where this tragedy occurred.
Last edited by EagerBeaver; 12-14-2012 at 08:56 PM.
We did have 14 women killed back in 1989 on Dec. 6th. though.
Originally Posted by John S. Black
But to use the NRA argument in the USA "Guns aren't dangerous...it's the people using them'...
Then... how about making sure people won't use guns ? Douchebags !!!
The ones who lack historical, legal backgrounds and mostly judgement if intelligence is too much for these douches are the advocate of such a retarded law dating back to the Revolutionary war. It would be like keeping a law that forbids women to vote !
Originally Posted by EagerBeaver
It is so f*cked up and retarded.
In your statement you say that gun control would lead black market that are already present to flourish... If selling guns at Walmart is hurting the black market then I'll be darn ! It's like saying 'we should have a black market since its already out in the open'.
As for the nut job ? you just stated that the guy stole his mother's gun.
If there wasn't any to stole easy, the nut job might not even be intelligent enough to find one, let alone copying what he saw from others who did the same, themselves by having an easy way of getting guns.
It's totally fallacious.
Try again !
Originally Posted by Gentle
I heard at 1:42 about this barbaric crime. I was too upset to start a thread, though I knew someone would.
Reports said the the filthy animal that did this died in a kindergarten class. That's 5 year olds. I wonder how many NRA people now have dead children who were ruthlessly shot and died in a pool of blood. Every one of those NRA pigs should be run through that school like the Nazi guards and surrounding citizens were run through the extermination camps to see what their fucking right to a gun has done. They've all got this blood on their hands.
The Constitution never intended gun ownership for all. The NRA certainly knows that, that's why they dropped part of the 2nd Amendment line "a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" from the facade of their headquarters, and why the Supreme Court was put in a position to clarify the meaning of the amendment in June of 2010. If there was no doubt the process would never have been necessary. The NRA won only because of a ideology line vote where Conservatives outnumbered Liberals. The militia reference points to the intent and purpose regarding a new country surrounded by many enemies and the near constant state of threat making militias necessary for immediate defense against sudden attack.
As I said elsewhere, gun (arms) makers and dealers have brought down nations for profit. Nothing else matters to them as long as they can sell guns to your friends or your enemies...they don't care.
The atrocity was achieved by easy access to legally owned guns. So as for arguments about self-defense, the fact is there are many millions of legally owned guns in the U.S. sold to protect citizens, so the theory goes. HOW MANY OF THOSE CITIZENS ARE NOW DEAD...DEAD YOUNG CHILDREN despite all the legal gun ownership supposedly to DEFEND them.
Screw the NRA,
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families of victims. Another senseless and tragic event. This should not be a discussion of which country is better served by its laws. While it is true that it would be inevitable for anyone who truly wished to get their hands on a firearm, it must also be recognized that making it more difficult to obtain would surely dissuade those unstable minds. I would think that if these unstable people were to go out on the black market in search of a firearm,at some point during their search, red flags would be raised either in their immediate families or those who sell these black market weapons(I admit this may be somewhat naive on my part)
All this to say making firearms more difficult to acquire could only be beneficial to society...and most importantly, innocent children.
Veteran of Misadventures
I am by no means a supporter of the NRA, but actually that phrase describes State Militias. Who exactly were they? Did any of you guys see the Mel Gibson movie "The Patriot"? These guys were NOT professional soldiers. They were farmers who were simply protecting their property from the British practice of quartering troops, stealing their livestock, and generally making their farms de facto army barracks. That is the history behind the Second Amendment. It has come to be argued to have a more expansive meaning, one I agree it does not have and was never intended.
Originally Posted by Merlot
However, gun control laws will not stop a nutjob determined to kill from getting a gun or a weapon. The black market will enable easy access. As things stand right now hardcore violent criminals are easily able to get guns that cannot be traced to them. So those who believe that tighter gun control laws will thwart these tragedies are misguided. Because what will happen is a tremendous profit will be unleashed on the gunrunners and you will still see these weapons turn up after these tragedies.
Originally Posted by EagerBeaver
As a historian I've known about the ineffectiveness of militias. The Patriot is overblown propaganda, but it still has some accuracies such as the depiction of farmer militia who were almost entirely unreliable, though it was much better with hunters/mountain men who used guns to support themselves. So many farmer and townsfolk militias ran away when the time came or didn't show up.
The pro-gun people do have an argument that tradition has changed the real meaning of the 2nd amendment. But anyone thinking the amendment meant to support gun access for all is fond of sticking their head up their anus.
Since the Columbine Massacre many schools in my area keep police on site while the school is open. If that was not the case in this tragedy then I consider it criminal neglect contributing to this horror.
For all you wrote I'd say you should run for the presidency in the next term !
Originally Posted by Merlot
Cuze I'm afraid after Obama's gone there won't be someone as eloquent to keep the good work and you could do it !
Well said !
Originally Posted by sugarbear1966
It's not naive to think you can fix and change something.
But it is naive to think you can't do anything about it or that the changes will be forever.
However there is always something you can do.
Unless you're like pres. Bush at the 2008 Wall Street meltdown meeting who just walked away.
Let's give up the political correctness for a moment and have a little sympathy for all the families that will have their Christmas and the rest of there lives , filled with excruciating pain , that no one should every have to endure.
It's callus to use this tragedy to push your own political agendas. Show a little human compassion and respect for these people's losses, their suffering and all the nightmares that the young children will have to repeat over and over again.
Some folks here come across as ambulance chasers.