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26 Killed in Newtown School Shooting

Local and state police in Newtown, Conn. were called to an elementary school at about 9:30 a.m. Friday after a gunman opened fire at the school, killing more than two dozen people.

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.
 
The Scene

Police in Newtown, CT were called to the Sandy Hook School at about 9:30 a.m. after receiving a 911 call. They alerted Connecticut State Police and authorities began an active shooter investigation once they arrived at the school, according to Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance.

Authorities said the gunman was found dead inside the school. He was allegedly 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 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

Police have not identified the shooter, but reports have said the suspect’s mother was a kindergarten teacher at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT, a town of about 28,000 people an hour outside Stamford where the shooting rampage took place.

Media reports initially identified the shooter as 24-year-old Ryan Lanza. However, Patch has learned that Lanza told friends his developmentally disabled brother, Adam Lanza, may have committed the crime.

Lanza’s friend, who declined to be identified, told Patch he spoke to Ryan Lanza as he was headed home from his job in Hoboken, NJ. Ryan Lanza wrote on his Facebook page that he is not the shooter.

“I’m on the bus now, it wasn’t me,” he wrote.

Lanza’s mother, Nancy, a kindergarten teacher at Sandy Hook, is believed to be among the dead. According to reports, the shooting took place in her classroom. 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. Authorities said another adult at a different location was killed in the incident.

National Response

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 this 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."

Follow Newtown Patch in Connecticut as more details become available

Roger December 16, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Harold, what is your belief system? What is the foundation for that belief system? In other words, what shapes your worldview, and your eternal destiny? Just wondering...
cecil resident December 16, 2012 at 04:44 AM
If laws stopped people from killing other people we wouldn't be having this discussion their are all kinds of gun laws out their. Chicago has one of the toughest gun laws out their and one of the highest crime rates. This is a free America and base on christianity with freedom of religion and speech
Ed M December 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Harold, Since you know nothing about our God your comments are moot. God is in control 24/7/365 and this happened for a reason. I don't know what that reason is but God will use this tragedy for good. He always does.
cecil resident December 16, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Thank you Ed M. very well said everyone is quick to blame guns what about our society the lack of morals of a large group of young people is troubling the last few shooting have been people in their 20's. The bullying in the schools, the internet which a lot of sites that glorify this type of activity. Not saying everyone has to believe in God but maybe it wouldn't hurt to take some of the teachings and establish that back into our society. The decline in our society has been on a rapid down hill fall. Everything is exceptable today among a large portion of our young people today drug, alcohol,sex. Go to a large mall and watch the disrepsect in the young people among the elderly the first person to open a door for someone say in a wheel chair is another older person. I personally have experienced this pushing a person in a wheel chair they will stand in your way even when you say excuse me they will look at you and smirk like what are you going to do about it. There are a lot of good young people out their but it is declining this group of young people I am willing to bet is being taught respect and morals in their homes teaching similar to the teachings in the bible.
Mary Ellen MacPherson December 16, 2012 at 05:33 PM
1.There is no sane reason why any person in this country needs to own an assault rifle. None! This is the type of gun used so often in massacres like this one. These guns are meant for one reason only: mass murder. Get them out of homes, gun shows, online shops and make it illegal to produce, sell, buy or have in one's possession. Guns do kill people, NRA, so get rid of them. 2. Mental illness is not being addressed sufficiently by our families, schools or the medical profession. Sociopathic behavior is recognizable very early in a child's life, so diagnosis, intensive treatment and hospitalization should be provided immediately to protect both the child and society. 3. This country was founded on the principle of freedom OF religion and freedom FROM religion. We are a nation of immigrants with many different religious and and non-religious beliefs. These beliefs should be taught in the home, not in the schools. What is taught in our schools is tolerance, kindness, sharing and respect for one another. If these basic human virtues are not taught by parents, that is where the breakdown occurs.
Roger December 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Calling on Harold for answers ....
JS December 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Roger - please stop with your obsession of asking people their belief system on the freakin Patch. Not everyone is so interested in putting their core beliefs out there like you are. You can continue to whine about how everyone should believe in the same ancient stories as you do, but it just isn't reality. Though, apparently, you're not that interested in reality to begin with. And before you ask me - "Well, I believe in the soul, the ****, the *****, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days" There - you happy now?
Deb December 17, 2012 at 02:08 PM
To all of you who think that if only god were allowed in schools, schools would be safe, explain why so much sexual abuse happened in catholic churches. I hesitate to even challenge you so-called "Christians" because as was stated by some above, reality rarely filters into your thinking. As a student of history, the one thing I have learned is that society and people haven't changed much from even ancient Greek times. People have lamented over the "decline" in society since there was written word and probably before. Read history and get some actual perspective instead of whining that nobody beleives in your god. And thank you to those of you that push back against the people that just want us all to adopt their "Christian" outlook. It's good to know there are others out there who understand we are a multi-cultural society and see mythology for what it is.
NE12Ukid December 17, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Thank you for sharing, Crash Davis. :-)
NE12Ukid December 17, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Well, I'd agree that the ones who hang out in malls are not the best and brightest of our young people. And they may not have parents who bothered to teach them manners. Sorry they didn't help you get the door. But there are many wonderful young people, who are not hanging in the mall, they might be working there, earning money for college, or other expenses, helping their families. More likely they are doing some service activity, playing sports, visiting at friends' homes. "Everything" is not ACCEPTABLE to these good kids. And I've been blessed to meet and know many of them. And, no, they don't all sit home reading the Bible, many of the good kids don't go to church, many are of different faiths. Some might not look like you and me either. Now, back to the topic, one young adult brutally murdered children (and other adults) at that school, after killing his own mother who had cared for him, homeschooled him due to his Aspbergers. Please lets not let this horrible murder against so many children cause us to post here badmouthing MORE of our children.
cecil resident December 17, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Didn't say their wasn't a lot of good kids out their NE12Ukid and I didn't say only the good ones go to church I said they are more likely in a home that is teaching respect and morals similar to the teaching of the bible. As we watch all the scenes unfold in this community we are all watching the majority turn to their faith to get them thru this terrible crime. It doesn't matter if you believe in God or not let hope their faith gets them thru this troubling times. I for one am praying for these families and nothing you can say can change that and God Bless those little angels.
WW December 17, 2012 at 04:20 PM
@ Harold - Thank you for the slap of reality that so many need. I find it amazing how many people have boiled this down to "Removing God from schools." Yeah, that whole "No 20 second prayer in home room" or "No team prayer before a basketball game" thing is really pushing society over the edge. Unfortunately, we will continue to hear responses like what has already been posted below, such as, "Everything is in God's control!" and "He will use this for good, I just know it!" When no amount of evidence (or lack of) will change a person's mind and their only basis is myths and legends, that person must be removed from the conversation so that adults centered in reality can discuss real solutions.
Kittypepper December 17, 2012 at 10:27 PM
HAROLD & ROBERT don't take GOD away from these innocent children. As you notice all the Church service are taking place so these innocent children and their parents find some peace.They are sitting at the right hand of God. "Excerpts from Martin Luther King's Eulogy for the Martyred Children. "These children-unoffending, innocent, and beautiful--were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity. God still has a way of wringing good out of evil, May I now say a word to you, the members of the bereaved families? I hope you can find some consolation from Christianity's affirmation that death is not the end. Death is not a period that ends the great sentence of life. but a comma that punctuates it to more lofty significance. Death is not a blind alley that leads the human race into a state of nothingness, but an open door which leads man into life eternal. Let this daring faith, this great invincible surmise, be your sustaining power during these trying days. Now I say to you in conclusion, life is hard, at times as hard as crucible steel. And if one will hold on, he will discover that God walks with him. And so today, you do not walk alone. You gave to this world wonderful children. They did not live long lives, but they lived meaningful lives. Good night, those who symbolize a new day. And may the flight of angles take thee to thy eternal rest. God Bless you, "Our heart aches." May the families find comfort.
cecil resident December 17, 2012 at 10:47 PM
That was beautiful and very well said Kittypepper.
John Williams December 17, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Harold. Superficial, angry, insulting. Thank God you are being rational. How do you talk to others when you really want to make a point?
NE12Ukid December 18, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Who said anything about changing what you pray about? I said: Please lets not let this horrible murder against so many children cause us to post here badmouthing MORE of our children.
cecil resident December 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM
NE12Ukid facing reality is not bad mouthing kids, naybe it is time we take a long hard look at our country as a whole.
NE12Ukid December 18, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I said: Please lets not let this horrible murder against so many children cause us to post here badmouthing MORE of our children. If you prefer to focus on the few without manners/morals, your choice of course. In your reality " Everything is exceptable (sic) today among a large portion of our young people today drug, alcohol,sex. " Maybe that is even true of the young people you know. For others we see many many more good kids. Many prefer this week not to bad mouth any of them, but to hug them closer and be more vigilant about their safety and their actions. The very wise PARENTS will also BAN all violent video games, return any you bought for Christmas, get rid of any you have in your home, don't let kids play such games, and don't let them see adults playing games that give more points for the more bodies you get! The wisest will never have had such games in their homes, never have bought any, and will teach their children to be responsible, and to care for and help others---not blame others and kill others. Do these games cause all this killing? No, theres no ONE cause, but as the doctor said, exposure to them may be all the sick mind needs to start it on the path to another massacre. Such games are also isolating, the worst thing for the mentally unstable child.
cecil resident December 18, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I agree parents have to take the training into their own homes and not some government agency passing laws to take more rights away. I am surrounded by a wonderful group of young people from the age of 17 to 2 but these children have been taught right from wrong and the difference from reality and fantasy. What I stated was their is a decline not all young people are rude and disrespecting so drop that argument.The people who are doing these types of things have a bigger issue they are mentality ill and either the families are ignoring how bad their are or the system is just failing them. Where do you think all the mental patients went when they closed the mental hospitals in this area, not all where violent maybe because they had proper daily treatment but what happens when they are put out in group homes if they where lucky. How many of the homeless are mental patients let down by the system and laws that say they don't have to take your meds if you don't want to or we can only hold you for so many days.
Dblock December 18, 2012 at 03:52 PM
It really amazes me that in this day and age we still have such brainwashed people like Kittypepper. Yes...let's waste time talking to some imaginary entity and put all of our trust in that entity to protect us. Let's ignore the fact that this is reality and we need to use logic and reasoning to develop a solution to this problem. Nah...let's pretend like we are still in ancient times and pray to a GOD to help us out. The God of rain is really showing his mercy on us today. Surprisingly the god of thunder hasn't made much noise yet, but I'm sure the god of the seas doesn't mind a little bit of wet weather. But it's all okay because the god of the Christians is going to protect us all from anything bad ever happening again, just like he's been doing for the past 2000 years *rolls eyes*
Dblock December 18, 2012 at 04:02 PM
And also, who are you to impose your religion on everyone else in that school? As someone else said, this is a multicultural society. Not everyone believes in your myth, sorry. Granted, some even believe in their own myths, but none of these myths belong in a school. Schools are for education and to teach kids how to be problem solvers and to examine the facts. Very few verifiable facts in the Bible or any other religious book for that matter. How about if parents teach their children to be respectful and steer their development toward a healthy, educated, and responsible adulthood. My future children will never step foot inside a church. Too many people who proclaim to be "good Christians" but really are the most judgmental of the bunch. "If you don't believe what I believe, you're a POS" is basically the attitude. You go to church every Sunday, and then spend the week gossiping and overindulging and prancing about with a holier-than-thou attitude without actually doing Christian deeds. No thanks, I'd rather teach my kids to be good people and not pretend like going to church or believing in a lie makes you any better than anyone else. Religion is the opiate of the masses, and is no more than a fancy story about the battle between good and evil. I'll teach my kids about the real world, and bring them up to be GOOD PEOPLE who would never denigrate the rights of others. Kittypepper can keep going to church and pretending like it makes a difference.
Roger December 18, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Dblock, you have railed against one segment of our society. That is OK, certainly your right to do so. You have told us what NOT to do. Please tell us what belief system should be used in the schools, and what worldview the teachers should hold. Maybe you have position on this that we should hear about, and want to embrace. Thanks.
cecil resident December 18, 2012 at 10:15 PM
: NPRwww.npr.org › News › ReligionYou +1'd this publicly. Undo Jul 28, 2012 – "But generally polls show that about 90 percent of Americans actually believe in God. Kittypepper we are among the 90% who believe so we will continue to pray for those families.
Roger December 19, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Dblock writes, "... "Roger, The teachers may hold whatever worldview they so desire, as this is their right. However, when you start talking about which belief system/worldview to impose on impressionable children, you're walking a slippery slope. ...." Oh my!!! "... whatever worldview they so desire..." Really??? This statement is in total contradiction to what you wrote earlier about "not imposing religion" in the schools. On one hand, you suggest that a worldview other than yours was wrong. Then, you say it does not matter. Which is it? The second statement of the quote is very naive. It implies that the present system is not imposing anything in the education process. You are suggesting neutrality. Do you really believe this? Apparently, you have missed the complaints of many parents about what is being taught in public schools, why, and how. Why do you think there has been a upsurge in homeschooling in recent years? Yes, the slippery slope has already captured many students, and they have slid to the bottom, or near the bottom. Of course, the college scene is further down the slope than the public schools. One only needs to look at the profile of staff at many colleges to learn that the worldview being imposed at that level has had significant impact upon the students. Dblock, it is time to take notice about what has happened in the past 10-20 years. It helps explain many things. "... their right ..." Or, "... they're right ..."
Roger December 19, 2012 at 01:26 PM
JS, apparently I continue to touch a nerve with you about what you believe. You suggest that you aren't willing to speak about it. It this be the case, then you would not be posting on Patch. With every post, you reveal just a bit more about your belief system. If you wish to keep it under wraps, then hang up your keyboard. Reality? Yes, reality is important. Yes, it is woven through the fabric of my life, your life, and everybody's life. The events of the past week bring harshness to some parts of reality. Deep beliefs deal directly with reality of good and evil, and eternity. We seen the impact of these every day, sometimes more stark than others. The reality of life is that all of us will fold our earthly tent, yes, me, you, and everybody else. One of the most important parts of reality is what follows that folding. The time here is a brief speck on the axis of time. The reality is that the folding will come, and will I, you, and everybody else, be prepared at that time. Shuffling off the question, denying the question, or otherwise trying to deflect the question does not change the reality. I am telling you that dealing with this question is the most important issue in reality. Saying I don't deal with reality is one way of saying that you choose not to deal with the reality yourself. I only continue with the issue because (reason clause here) the question of eternal destiny is the most important question of anybody's life.
WW December 19, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Roger – You know what I would be in favor of? Leave religion out of both the home and the school entirely until kids turn 16 or 18. Teach verifiable FACTS, like math, science, history (which I admit will almost inevitably have bias creep into it), religious history (which opened my eyes to so much), physics, chemistry, political science, sociology. What we don't know, say "We don't know yet" and not "God did it!" Then, when they reach 16, say to them, “We haven't told you this before, but there is actually an Omnipotent God who chooses not to use his power to simply forgive humankind, but instead implemented a solution where he impregnated a teen girl in order to give birth to himself so he can have himself killed to save humans from Hell and the Devil, both of which he created but apparently cannot or will not undo to remove eternal suffering from the equation. He decided to communicate this whole plan by telling a handful of people 2,000+ years ago through their minds, which was passed down through conflicting accounts written decades later by anonymous authors, handed down over centuries and changed regularly. Disregard all the suffering around the world, and when someone dies horribly (as part of his plan), it’s never his fault, it’s our fault for not believing in what I just mentioned or to teach us a lesson. Remember: He LOVES you.” Let's see how many followers are left after you try to teach this at 16 years, not indoctrination at 16 days old.
WW December 19, 2012 at 02:41 PM
"One only needs to look at the profile of staff at many colleges to learn that the worldview being imposed at that level has had significant impact upon the students." Yes, there is definitely a negative correlation between education and religiosity. That pesky knowledge, always getting in the way of our ancient rituals and superstitions.
John Williams December 19, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I made a brief comment in this discussion because i laughed at the discourteousness of the main characters. Now, i receive all the comments as they are posted as if I want to follow it. But I grow weary of this drivel. Please, how do I block out this pointless noise.
Erin Faulk December 19, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Hi John, Beneath the article, and above where the comment section starts, there is a tab that says "Stop Following." After clicking that, you should no longer receive email updates for this article. Thanks!
Roger December 21, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Calling on Dblock to defend ... WW, how was the slide down the slope? Thank you for making my point. You did it more efficiently than my comments.

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