Added by Erik West on December 14, 2012
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut has claimed 27 lives – 20 children, 6 adults at the scene, plus 2 at a secondary scene. The gunman is also dead.
** New information as of December 16 at 19:45GMT: Sandy Hook School shooting details emerge as investigation continues
*** Complete coverage Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting
The gunman has unofficially been identified as Adam Lanza – it was originally reported by this and other media outlets that Adam Lanza’s brother Ryan Lanza was suspected. Police officials have not yet identified the gunman, calling the scene a complex one.
Police received a 911 call at approximately 9:30 Eastern time (14:00 GMT/UTC). A police official said “every possible asset” was deployed to the school when they realized the magnitude of the scene.
A law enforcement official said the school was a “horrific scene”.
Adam Lanza reportedly shot his mother – Nancy Lanza, a kindergarten teacher at the school – at their New Jersey home, drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, and started shooting in the front office.
Schools in the area are required to be secured and require all non-students and non-staff members to be escorted throughout the school. Lanza was able to gain access to the school because his mother, Nancy Lanza, worked at the school as a kindergarten teacher.
Lanza went to a kindergarten classroom and opened fire.
There are reports that Adam Lanza’s girlfriend and another friend are missing.
Police say the shootings took place in one area of the school and in two rooms of the area.
Lanza reportedly killed himself; he used two handguns during the shootings.
A house close to the school was under investigation by police yet they have not said what they’re looking for. They did confirm that the house is connected with the shooting.
Adam Lanza’s bother, Ryan Lanza, said his brother is autistic, has a personality disorder, and has Aserger syndrome; none of these details can be confirmed at this time.
It is reported that the school’s principal was the target of the shooting and he has is among the dead. A teacher was shot and received non-life-threatening injuries. Two students were taken to the local hospital yet were pronounced dead shortly after they arrived.
A visibly shaken President at a press conference had to pause several times during his speech and said “not a parent in America that doesn’t feel the same grief that I do”
Obama added, “…this has happened too often. We’ll have to come together to take meaningful action, regardless of politics. I will do everything in my power as president to help.”
Officials have deployed teams of counselors to assist students, parents, other survivors, and emergency responders since the scene was so horrific.
Police officials say they will hold one more press conference at 6pm (local time) or 23:00 GMT/UTC, and will schedule more news conferences on Saturday. They say the need time to be diligent to perform a thorough investigation.
Update – the police conference at 6pm (23:00GMT/UTC) updated the number of dead to 27, including the gunman; there were no other updates. The local police department said their next press conference would occur sometime on Saturday morning local time (possibly 11:00GMT/UTC – yet this is not confirmed).
Peter Lanza, father of Adam and Ryan Lanza, was visited by police for about thirty minutes.
Reaction to the shootings was one of shock and disbelief. Many residents said violence and crime are very rare in their community. Some residents recalled Adam Lanza saying he was a nice, polite person; Adam Lanza graduated from high school with honors. Our condolences go out to the families of the victims.
Please note – due to the fluidity of the situation, reports of the number of dead varied throughout the day as events unfolded. The last official update is 27, plus the gunman. 20 children are dead – 18 died at the scene, 2 died at or on the way to the local hospital, and 6 adults are dead. Names of the victims have not yet been released.
Coverage as the situation developed: