A massive, deadly shooting broke out Friday morning at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 65 miles northeast of New York City.
Of the 27 people confirmed dead, 20 are children – 18 were originally reported and now two more have perished at the hospital. Six adults, plus the shooter, died at the scene. The shooter’s mother was found dead at another location.
“The shooter is deceased inside the building. The scene is secure,” Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police department said in a press conference Friday afternoon. “Many agencies are working together to answer questions about what happened … the public is not in danger.”
CNN reports that one alleged shooter’s body was discovered in a classroom, though it is not known if he died by his own hand, by police, or some other means.
According to the Associated Press, the gunman is 20-year-old Adam Lanza whose mother Nancy was was killed. The shooter reportedly had three guns, including a .223-caliber rifle.
The tragedy began just after 9:40 a.m., when police reported that a shooter was in the main office of Sandy Hook Elementary School. One person in a room suffered “numerous gunshot wounds,” police told the Hartford Courant. In an NPR interview with a teacher, it was revealed the school’s PA system was on the whole time and the sound of the shots were amplified throughout the school.
A photo taken at the scene showed distressed students as they were led away from the school by state police. Nearby Danbury Hospital, which received victims of the shooting, was on lockdown, according to its Facebook page.
“Out of abundance of caution and not because of any direct threat Danbury Hospital is under lockdown,” says the statement. “This allows us simply to focus on the important work at hand.”
FBI agents, SWAT teams and ambulances have been on the scene, according to state emergency management officials.
Also under lockdown were all of the area’s schools. Newtown Public School District secretary of superintendent Kathy June said in a statement, “The district is taking preventive measures by putting all schools in lockdown until we ensure the safety of all students and staff.”
There are several prayer services being hosted at 7 p.m. Friday – all are welcome.
Some reports are calling this the worst school massacre in American history. At Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999, 15 were killed, including the two shooters. The 2007 Virginia Tech massacre claimed 32 victims.