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AP: Up to 27 Dead, 18 Children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School

A gunman shoots at staff, children at a Newtown (CT) elementary school.

 

Citing sources, the Associated Press is reporting the gunman who rampaged through the Sandy Hook Elementary School was armed with four guns including a high-powered rifle and is believed to have shot and killed 27 people including 18 children.

Investigators have identified the gunman “as a man in his 20s from Connecticut and they are searching his father’s home in New Jersey,” according to WABC Channel 7. The hometown was not immediately identified. According to Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said the gunman was found dead inside the school.

WPIX Channel 11 is reporting that a second suspect is in custody and being questioned by police.

Meanwhile, Friday afternoon distraught parents continued to wait to be reunited with their children. After meeting with parents of the students, Gov. Dannel Malloy is now at the school. Authorities said much information will not be released until the relatives of the victims are notified.

Channel 7 also is reporting the President Obama has telephone Malloy to express condolences and to offer any federal assistance needed in the investigation of the shooting that was first reported to Newtown Police just before 9:30 a.m. Friday.

A fourth-grade student at Sandy Hook Elementary School said  he and his classmates were “locked in a closet in the gym” to escape the gunman. In an interview with Channel 7, the student said, “the police came  and …. We ran to the firehouse.”

Updated 1:25 p.m.

Press conference is still at least an hour away, an official just told Patch.

Updated 1:20 p.m.

The community is in "sheer shock." Read our interviews with Newtown residents as they try to make sense of the violence.

Updated 1:00 p.m.

Citing an anonymous official "with knowledge" the Associated Press is reporting 27 people dead including 18 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The shooter is believed to be a single adult and is now dead.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is in Newtown and a press conference set for 1 p.m. but hasn't yet begun. Patch is there. 

Original Story

Officials in Newtown say they're trying to reunite parents with their children in the wake of a shocking multiple shooting at an elementary school in the town’s Sandy Hook neighborhood.

First Selectman Pat Llodra told Patch that there is no information being released about the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — only confirming that there was a shooting.

"I'm horrified, saddened and shocked that this happened in Newtown," Llodra said. "Our priorities right now are making sure everyone safe and reuniting parents with their children."

A reverse 911 call went out to all Newtown public school parents, NBC is reporting. Parents are converging all around the school seeking information about their children.

One mother of an 8-year-old girl at the school, Brenda Lebinski, told Patch that her daughter is safe thanks to one teacher's decision to move all kids into a closet when a gunman had entered the building.

Lebinski said that she had spoken to her daughter's teacher as well as a volunteer who was in the school at the time of the shooting, and that a masked gunman had shot adults in the school.

"My daughter's teacher is my hero," Lebinski said. "She locked all the kids in a closet and that saved their lives."

According to Lebinski, the school had been on lockdown but police started leading out children and faculty members by class, and several children had blood on their clothing as they were led out. It isn't clear how many kids are still inside the school. Parents continue to surround the area, seeking news of their children.

Christine Wilford, a parent of a seven-year-old boy at the school, told Patch that her son was out of the school and safe with her husband. A woman standing next to Wilford burst into tears, saying her own son was still inside.

Danbury Hospital has confirmed to TV reporters that three patients have been transported by ambulance.

The Hartford Courant is reporting multiple injured parties, saying a shooter had been in the building’s main office and an individual in one area had “numerous gunshot wounds,” police said.

State police reported shortly after 12 p.m. that officials from the state Medical Examiner's Office were en route to the scene.

At a fire station near the school that's serving as a staging area, a woman was being wheeled on a gurney as a helicopter circled overhead and armed officials from multiple state and federal agencies moved beyond a cordoned-off area swarmed by parents. Dozens of parents could be seen walking to the school as motor vehicle traffic snarled the area of Dickinson Drive.

Marilyn Gudsnuk, 52, of nearby Southbury said she heard 10 to 12 gunshots around 9:40 a.m. Gudsnuk, who attended the elementary school herself as a childhood, said she is taking care of a 91-year-old resident who lives across the street from the school.

"I took off running into the house," she said. "I didn't know what was happening. It was scary."

Asked whether she imagined a shooting could happen at her former school, Gudsnuk said, "Never in a million years."

"I just pray for these people," she said. "The anguish they are goin gthrough. And all because someone's not right in the head."

One man who identified himself as a cable worker and declined to give his name, told Patch that he was up on a utility pole at the time of the shooting. When he heard shots, the man said he thought they it was hunters, but then in a few minutes emergency response vehicles sped beneath his ladder.

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Keri Brenner December 14, 2012 at 08:19 PM
This is so shocking and sad it's beyond belief. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and communities of the victims. Sending love and comfort....
SophieII December 15, 2012 at 06:52 AM
I believe that our children are growing up in a war and violence-loving society that teaches them that one way to solve problems is to kill. This country has lost its way. Blaming only guns is not going to solve anything. While I personally think the relative ease of accessibility to guns is part of the problem (and I am for more gun restrictions) - it is only one part of a whole layer of issues. We live in a culture of violence. It’s interesting that 20 years after mass consumption of increasingly more violent media, that we’re seeing more mass shootings, predominately committed, oddly enough, by members of that generation. We need to talk about gun laws that don’t get enforced, and a mental health system that works only for those with money. We need to talk about parents that are raising monstrously selfish children. We need to talk about school systems that have their hands tied when it comes to disciplining problem kids. We need to talk about children being drugged with Ritalin and Adderall because it is easier to drug them, than parent them. I own guns, I support the Second Amendment. But I also believe there are ways to get guns out of these whack-jobs’ hands. I can assuredly surmise that this shooting incident will turn out to be a mental health issue. I don’t believe in taking away the right to own guns, from the millions of responsible gun owners, because a nut job gets hold of a gun.

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