Yesterday at 9.30am Newton Police received their first phone call from Sandy Hook Primary School. Within 10 minutes, a gunman had opened the small school in rural Connecticut and began shooting. Believed to have ties to the school, the shooter carried two handguns and wore a bullet proof vest.
The ABC is reporting as many as 28 people are confirmed dead. Up to 20 of them are children.
It is understood that the gunman has since confirmed dead at the scene and there are a reports that a second man (possibly his brother) has been arrested in association with the murders.The area has now been secured by local police and students have been evacuated from the school.
While details continue to emerge, the death toll so far has been confirmed as at least the second highest from a school shooting in US history, after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 where 32 people were killed.
US President Barack Obama has addressed the nation and the world this morning, wiping away tears as he spoke about the tragedy.
This from Sky News US:
“Our hearts are broken today,” Mr. Obama said, at times he used an index finger to wipe tears at the corner of his eyes.
“There is not a parent in America who does not feel the same overwhelming grief as I do,” he said.
“As a country, we have been through this too many times,” Mr Obama said in the televised address.
There’s been some confusion over who the gunman is. US media were initially reporting the gunman was 24-year-old New Jersey man, Ryan Lanza. It’s since been reported that the gunman was actually Adam Lanza, Ryan’s 20-year-old brother.
One of the gunman’s parents was found dead in their New Jersey home, but it is not known if it was his mother or his father.
The principal of the school – Dawn Hochsprung – was also one of the victims.
This video is from CNN:
Children at the school were reportedly told to cover their eyes as they were led out of the school, past the bodies of those killed. Children who were evacuated from the school are being comforted at a nearby fire-station where outside, an American flag flies at half mast.
There, couples enter and exit, some leaving without children and walking silently and tearfully past a nearby cemetery. One couple, escorted by firefighters seemed especially shaken — eyes bloodshot and lips trembling — stricken by the events of a clearly devastating day.
We will continue to update you during the day as more information comes to light.