Final Update: A number of things about our previous story are proving to be erroneous as more details about the shooting today in Newtown, Connecticut comes to light. Here is what we know so far:
Adam Lanza, and not Ryan Lanza (his older brother) has been identified as the shooter. His brother Ryan Lanza, who lives in Hoboken, New Jersey is being questioned by police. Lanza's father, who lives in Connecticut, was similarly questioned, one of the law enforcement officials said.
Adam Lanza apparently shot his mother in her Newtown home, then drove her car to the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the early hours of Friday morning. Despite previous reports that the mother, Nancy Lanza, was a teacher at the school, she is not listed as a staff member (some have speculated that she may have served as a substitute teacher at the school, but that has not been completely confirmed). The 20-year-old Adam Lanza took his own life after gunning down 26 people, 20 of them children. Law enforcement officials said that they did not fire a single shot at the scene because the shooter had killed himself.
Police recovered three weapons from the school: a semi-automatic .223 Bushmaster found in a car in the school parking lot, a Glock and a Sig Sauer found with Lanza's body. The weapons were legally purchased and registered to Lanza's mother, the official said.
So far this tragic shooting rampage has claimed the lives of 28 people - 20 children, 6 adults from the school, the shooter (who killed himself), and his mother.
Police still have no motive for Adam Lanza's shooting spree; he did not leave any kind of note, manifesto, or communication.
On a related note Colleen A. Palmer, Superintendent of Schools for the Weston Public School District has released another note to parents and families.
Dear Families of Weston Students,
All of our thoughts and prayers are extended to those in Newtown this evening who face such great loss. The events that unfolded today in a neighboring school district are beyond comprehension.
As I reflect on our district’s response to the emerging news updates during the school day, I want to share with you how proud I am of our Weston team of teachers, support staff, and administrators who came together today to put the safety and security of our students above everything else. Additionally, I also commend the Weston Police Department who were a visible presence on our campus from the moment we heard of the tragedy until every student was home safe and sound. Curriculum, technology, and everything else in education mean nothing, if our students are not safe.
When students return to school on Monday, our schools will each have guidance staff available to work with any student(s) who appear to be struggling with these events. As I craft this message to you, our principals are also preparing a message to the parents of their respective schools to update you on specific information pertinent to each school. Also, the attached link to a posting on our district’s website will provide additional resources to you regarding helpful approaches in discussing these events with your children if they come to you with difficult questions as they try to make sense of these horrific events.
Do not hesitate to call on us if we can assist you and your children work your way through these next difficult days.
We cherish your children and will continue to do everything in our power to keep them safe while you entrust them to our care.
The link, "Tips for Parents in Dealing with Tragedies," can be found here. I would like to reiterate on behalf of GamePolitics and the ECA our condolences to the parents, families, and friends of those who lost loved ones today. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all and we are double sorry for your loss. It is a sad day in America.
Original Story: At least 27 people have died in a fatal school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Currently various media outlets are reporting that of those 27 killed, 18 were children, while the remaining nine were adults. At least three were injured. Details on the motivation of the shooter, who was shot and killed on the scene (CBS is reporting that the shooter committed suicide), are unknown at this time.
Some news outlets are reporting that the shooting rampage began after the unidentified 20 year old male shooter got into an altercation with the principal of the school. Further details beyond that are unknown. The shooter was armed with at least two handguns according to eye witness accounts. Local and state police are on the scene as is the FBI. We will have more details on this story as it develops.
We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the victims in this tragedy and the community of Newtown, Connecticut.
Update #1: Colleen A. Palmer from the Weston School District has informed parents that they have implemented the following safety measures for Newtown Elementary students:
- School personnel will be riding on each of the elementary school buses to ensure that students arrive home safely. We ask that you meet your child’s bus at the bus stop. In the event that you cannot do so, please arrange for another adult to receive your child, if possible.
- We have canceled all after-school activities for grades K-12, including athletic contests at the high school for safety and out of respect for victims of the tragedy in Newtown.
- For the remainder of the day, school personnel will continue to be stationed at the main entrances to our schools. - Police are stationed at both ends of our campus with high visibility and they also have several officers on School Road. - All recess was held inside today.
- We have staff walking the inside of each school checking the exterior doors to ensure that they are fully closed, locked, and remain that way. - Central office administrators have been visiting schools throughout to day to reassure and assist staff, as needed.
Palmer also said that counselors will be available to all students will be available next week for any students who might be experiencing difficulties related to this event. She also urged parents to limit students from exposure to news coverage of this tragedy.
Update #2: The Hartford Courant Twitter feed is reporting that the shooter's name is Ryan Lanza, according to CNN's reporting. NBC News is reporting that the shooter's parents have been found dead in New Jersey.
Earlier reports indicated that a man wearing a black shirt and camouflage pants was taken from the woods near the school by police. He was overheard as saying "I didn't do it" by at least one person according to local news reports. It is not clear if he has a connection to the shooting or not at this time. Local and State Police, and federal law enforcement are apparently getting search warrants to enter locations associated with the shooter.
Update #3: The Associated Press is reporting that the younger brother of the suspected shooter is in custody and being held. Further details are unknown. President Barack Obama is set to address the country about the shooting right now. A live feed can be found here. Connecticut Governor Malloy said that State flags will fly half-staff until all funeral services are completed.
Earlier reports had noted that the shooter's parents were found dead in New Jersey; apparently the shooter's dad was found dead in his Hoboken, New Jersey home and his mother was a teacher in the school. She was also killed. The number of dead is now being listed as 26. We'll update this story as more details come to light.