Horrified Parents Await News
Terror swept through a small community and shock gripped the nation as a gunman opened fire Friday, December 14 on the most innocent of innocents - young children ages 6-7 at the Sandy Hook Elementary school near Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter has been identified by authorities as Adam Lanza, 20, whose mother was initially reported as an employee at the school.
The lone gunman, who family members said suffers from a form of autism, died inside the school as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
Photos and videos from the scene showed horrified parents waiting to find out of their child happened to be one of those who survived, while heavily armed law enforcement personnel surrounded the school complex and searched the grounds with canines.
As Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance conducted the final press conference of the day at 7:53 p.m., there were still many unanswered questions surrounding the shooting rampage that left 28 people dead, including the shooter and 20 young elementary school students.
School Staff Heroes
Families of the victims had been notified, but the names of the victims were not released by Lt. Vance. Two of the adult victims included school principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47, and school psychologist, Mary Sherlach, 56.
Witnesses said when Hochsprung and Sherlach heard shots from the office, they jumped up and ran toward the gunfire, not hesitating to put themselves in harm's way to try to protect the children in their charge. They were gunned down in the hallway.
Police said, 18 children died at the school and two more died after being transported to a hospital. No reports have been released concerning other students who may have been wounded, but not killed.
Nancy Lanza Killed at Home
Another victim was killed before gunfire broke out at the school. Police reports said the shooter's mother, Nancy Lanza, who worked as a teacher's aide at the school, was killed at her home after which Adam Lanza took her car and her firearms and drove to the school.
Authorities said Lanza was armed with two 9mm semi-automatic handguns and a Bushmaster .223 assault-type rifle, all of which were legally purchased by Nancy Lanza.
The media coverage of the shooting was instant, massive and remains on-going. Following are links to articles and photo galleries from press sources:
Sandy Hook Articles
Twenty Schoolchildren, 8 Others Dead
Tales of Sandy Hook Heroism, Young and Old
Connecticut Shooter Adam Lanza; 'Obviously Not Well'
'Shock' in Connecticut That 'Nice Kid' Could Be Responsible
Family, Friends Remember the Brave, Caring Legacy of Vicki Soto, 27