Newtown Connecticut Elementary School Shooting Massacre Leaves 27 Dead
Newtown, Connecticut has been left with a heartbreaking headline today as a gunman takes 26 lives, of which, one being his mother, 20 children and also his own life.
CNN identified the shooter as 24-year old Ryan Lanza. He was carrying at least three weapons, including a .223-caliber assault rifle and two semi-automatic handguns and wearing a bullet-proof vest.
Earlier reports indicated the shooters name was Ryan Lanza, and his brother was being questioned by authorities, but now it is not clear which brother was the shooter and which is in custody. Though it was unclear why he was being held in custody, it might be a precaution and for questioning.
Another family member was found shot to death inside a home in Newtown. The relationship between the elementary shooter and this victim was not immediately clear, but authorities believe it may be a brother to the shooter. While state police confirmed that there is a second crime scene in Newtown, they would not elaborate on the details.
The elementary school shooting tragedy began around 9:30 a.m. when Ryan Lanza walked into his mother's kindergarten classroom at Sandy Hook and began to open fire. He shot and killed his mother as well as 18 students then proceeded to shoot seven other adults, and finished by killing himself inside the school.
According to authorities, the superintendent’s office in the district locked down schools in the Newtown, CT area. Neighboring towns were also locked down as a precaution. Sandy Hook Elementary School has 575 students in kindergarten through 4th grade and 42 teachers.
Newtown, CT is located about 65 miles northeast of New York City and has a population of about 28,000.
A nationally televised address by President Obama was given Friday afternoon, from the White House briefing room, as he wiped tears away. "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," President Obama continued. "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, and there are no words that will ease their pain."
"The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old," Obama said during the emotional address. "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."
The Sandy Hook elementary school shooting is being reported as one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.
In 1999 the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado killed 12 students and a teacher before turning the gunmen killed themselves.
Then in 2007, 32 people were killed at Virginia Tech university in the deadliest act of gun violence in U.S. history.
Schools have started to increase their security measures to help from these types of tragedies from occurring, but there hasn't been a proven method.
Michael Dorn, executive director of Safe Havens International, a nonprofit that works with thousands of U.S. schools to develop safety plans told Wall Street Journal, “There is no strategy that guarantees you can stop school violence, but we need to empower people to feel like they are prepared to deal with potential threats.”
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