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Friday, December 14, 2012 - 12:17pm
Newtown, CT — 20 children, six adults and the shooter are dead after shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
Below is the latest information L4N is getting from the CNN Wire:
8:48 PM: President issues Proclamation:
As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, December 18, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
5:58 Authorities are "cautiously optimistic" they will have positive identifications on the victims of Connecticut's elementary school shooting by Saturday, according to Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police. He addressed the condition of the one injured victim, saying she was an employee of the school and that she was "doing well."
5:30 A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation says the three guns found at the shooting site were legally purchased by Nancy Lanza, the mother of the suspect in the shooting.
According to the law enforcement official, the Glock and Sig Sauer handguns were found inside the school with the deceased gunman. The Bushmaster was found in a car outside the school. The official did not know if the car was registered to the gunman, to his mother or to someone else.
The official echoed what other law enforcement officials have told CNN: That Adam Lanza was the suspected gunman, and that he died at the scene of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.
5:13 Three U.S. law enforcement officials, from different agencies, separately tonight identified the suspected shooter as Adam Lanza, contrary to what investigators had said previously. It is not clear what caused the confusion among investigators.
His older brother, Ryan, was taken into custody for general questioning from a home in Hoboken, New Jersey. Officials did not label Ryan Lanza as a suspect. It is unclear when he may be released.
One of the officials say Adam’s father was also taken in for similar questioning. There is no indication that the father will be charged. The official noted the father has remarried and lives with his new wife in a residence in the general area of Connecticut not too far from where his ex-wife lived.
5:00 The three weapons found at the scene of Friday's Connecticut elementary school shooting were legally purchased by the suspected gunman's mother, Nancy Lanza, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told CNN. A Glock and Sig Sauer were found inside the school with the deceased gunman, while a Bushmaster rifle was found in a car outside the school, the official said.
4:50 Ryan Lanza, the older brother of the suspected gunman in Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, was taken into custody for general questioning from a home in Hoboken, New Jersey, according to three law enforcement officials. They did not label him a suspect.
4:48: Law enforcement officials identified the suspected gunman in Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school as Adam Lanza, contrary to what investigators had said previously. It was not clear what caused the confusion among investigators.
4:20 PM: "Evil visited this community today," Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy just told reporters in Newtown. "And it's too early to speak of recovery, but each parent, each sibling, each member of the family has to understand that Connecticut - we're all in this together.
"We'll do whatever we can to overcome this event. We will get through it. But this is a terrible time for this community and these families."
4:13 PM A man on Friday was taken away for questioning from a residence in Hoboken, New Jersey, two law enforcement sources told CNN. He is believed to be the brother of the suspected Connecticut school shooter, according to the sources.
3:28 PM A man on Friday was taken away for questioning from a residence in Hoboken, New Jersey, two law enforcement sources told CNN. He is believed to be the brother of the suspected Connecticut school shooter, according to the sources.
3:23 PM The mother of the suspected school shooter was found dead in her son's residence in Newtown, Connecticut, a law enforcement source with detailed knowledge of the investigation told CNN. CNN had previously identified the mother as Nancy Lanza, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, according to law enforcement sources.
2:23 PM CNN has learned that Connecticut police have searched the suspected gunman's home and place of employment in the wake of Friday's mass shooting, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
They have also interviewed his friends, relatives and "everyone who possibly had any connection with him whatsoever," he said.
2:20 PM Connecticut police have searched the suspected gunman's home and place of employment in the wake of Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, state police Lt. Paul Vance told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. They have also interviewed his friends, relatives and "everyone who possibly had any connection with him whatsoever," he said.
2:09 PM Police did not discharge their weapons at any time when responding to Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. However, he could not confirm whether the suspected shooter -- who died at the scene -- killed himself, saying that would have to be determined by the medical examiner.
1:58 PM A third weapon was found at the scene of Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, a law enforcement source told CNN. Officials have now recovered a .223 Bushmaster, a Glock and a Sig Sauer.
1:53 PM The mother of the alleged gunman in Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school appeared to be the primary target, a federal law enforcement source told CNN. She was a teacher at the school.
1:48 PM Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school happened in one section of the school, a state police spokesman said.
1:43 PM Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school left six adults and 20 children dead, a state police spokesman said. Eighteen students were pronounced dead at the scene, and two others died at the hospital, said Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police. The six adults died at the scene. It wasn't clear if that toll included the shooter, who also died.
1:39 PM The perpetrator of Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school is dead and so is an individual that the suspect lived with, said Gov. Dannel Malloy. He called the mass shooting "a tragedy of unspeakable terms."
1:30 PM: President Barack Obama wiped away tears and paused to collect himself Friday as he spoke of "beautiful little kids" killed in the Connecticut school shooting, saying: "Our hearts are broken today."
The sound of gunfire, confusion, a lockdown and then an evacuation. Witnesses, students and parents told frightening stories Friday about a school shooting that police say left six adults and 20 children dead.
Many details of the attack were still unfolding, but the sight of dozens of emergency vehicles and police spread across the wooded campus made it clear Sandy Hook Elementary School has become the nation's latest infamous crime scene.
For now, evacuated children are being comforted and reuniting with their parents at a nearby firehouse where, outside, an American flag flies at half-staff.
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.
In the hours following the morning attack, parents rushed to the school after first hearing the news. They reunited with their children, clutching them and then hurrying away.
Lynn Wasik wrapped her arms around her 8-year-old daughter, Alexis, cloaked against the cold in an oversized jacket. The girl described her ordeal after police and teachers barged into her third-grade classroom and ordered her and her classmates to hide in a corner.
"Everybody was crying," Alexis said. "And I just heard the police officers yelling."
Her mother said she first learned about the emergency through an automated phone call message. She said the message wasn't clear about the school where the incident had occurred. In a panic, she raced to Sandy Hook, eventually finding Alexis unharmed.
"My heart is in a million pieces for those families," said Lynn Wasik. "Who could do something like this? It's just sickening."
Like Wasik, other parents wrapped their arms around their children as they hurried away from the scene.
The FBI presence became much more evident in the afternoon. Several federal officers in tactical gear were coordinating with state and local law enforcement. Officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrived to join the investigation.
"I was in the gym at the time," student Brendan Murray told CNN affiliate WABC. "I heard screaming and I thought a custodian was knocking down things. Police came in, teachers yelled to get to a safe place. Police were knocking on the doors -- police were at every door, leading us down, quick, quick."
Brendan said he later joined classmates and ran to the firehouse "really quick. We were all really happy that we were all alive."
At the firehouse, counselors such as Rabbi Shaul Praver lended a hand to help the traumatized. Some suffered from "terrible anxiety," Praver told CNN. "It's very hard to console parents in this situation," he said. "There's no theological answer to this. What you have to do is hug them and just be with them and cry with them."
Teary-eyed parents continued to emerge from the firehouse. Some were talking on cell phones, using words like "chaotic" and "devastating."
Others were openly weeping into their phones as they walked up a wooded roadway leading away from the school.
"Why? Why?" one woman cried as she walked away.
Earlier, a woman who lives near the firehouse described seeing "a bunch of children with a bunch of adults" apparently evacuating toward a nearby park. "I seen five children running up through our back field," the woman told CNN. "And by God, those poor little guys were running."
Temperatures weren't far above freezing at the time of the evacuation. Adults led children away from the school. Many of the kids wore no coats and were dressed in brightly colored clothing. They marched in a line -- one behind another -- with their hands resting on the shoulders of the children in front of them.
'Pop, pop pop'
Children and adults shared their versions of the attack.
One parent who was inside the school at the time of the shooting described hearing a "pop, pop, pop," sound around 9:30 a.m. In the room with her were the school's principal, vice principal and the psychologist. All three left the room and went into the hall to see what was happening. The parent ducked under the table and called 911.
"I cowered," she told CNN's Meredith Artley. The shooter "must have shot a hundred rounds."
Later the parent said she saw two adults lying dead in the hallway, in a pool of blood.
Although school shootings have become sadly familiar in 21st century America, violence is not common in this picturesque 300-year-old town of about 27,000.
"I can't believe -- in a small town like this -- we've never had anything like this happen," a father of a Sandy Hook student told local CNN affiliate WTNH. "I was pretty shaken up. I did not know who or what happened."
"It doesn't seem possible," said another parent. "You have something happen so close to home. ... I guess I'm still in shock."
At the Stone River Grill, just a few blocks away from Sandy Hook, residents sat quietly watching TV news announce every dark detail of the tragedy.
"It's insane," said grill employee Jill Richelsoph. "This is a really nice community. We've never had anything like this." Surrounded by restaurant co-workers Richelsoph shared a conversation she had with a friend whose 5-year-old daughter attends Sandy Hook.
"She's really shaken up right now," said Richelsoph. "I don't know how she's ever going to bring her daughter back to that school."
Also at the restaurant was Tracy Ryan, who teaches at another elementary school. Newtown's schools, she said, have helped to attract new residents from different parts of the state.
"People move here for the school system," she said. "It's got great schools. I'm just totally speechless."
"My heart goes out to those families."
Just a few weeks ago Newtown -- about 60 miles outside New York City -- was recovering from Hurricane Sandy, which downed trees and knocked out power to most customers. A year before, residents suffered through Hurricane Irene.
Police did not discharge their weapons at any time when responding to Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. However, he could not confirm whether the suspected shooter -- who died at the scene -- killed himself, saying that would have to be determined by the medical examiner.
Officials recovered three weapons. Connecticut police have searched the suspected gunman's home and place of employment. They have also interviewed his friends, relatives and "everyone who possibly had any connection with him whatsoever," he said.
Newtown is about 60 miles north of New York. Image courtesy Hartford Courant.
-- CNN's David Ariosto and Susan Candiotti reported from Newtown, Connecticut, Terry Frieden and John King reported from Washington and Thom Patterson and Meredith Artley reported from Atlanta.