14th December 2012Sandy Hook ElementarySchool in the SandyHook village of Newtown,Connecticut
Key Points Twenty children and six adults have been killed in a shooting attack at a primary school in the US state of Connecticut. US media identified the gunman, who killed himself, as Adam Lanza - not his brother Ryan as initially reported. The school shooting occurred after he shot and killed his mother, a volunteer at the school, at their nearby Newtown home. It was the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. After shooting his mother, Nancy Lanza, age 54, Adam drove her car to the school. The killing of Nancy Lanza brought the number of victims to 27. President Obama says our hearts are broken today as he pays tribute to the victims
Background of Sandy HookElementary School The school had a total of 700 students in grades K–4. According to a letter sent to parents at the beginning of the year, the school had recently upgraded its security protocol, requiring visitors to be individually admitted after visual and identification review over a video monitor; the doors were locked at 9:30 am each day after morning arrivals
Shooting A troubled 20-year-old loner with a history of autistic behavior is the monster behind a horrific shooting Adam Lanza may have been admitted to the school by the principal because he was recognized as the son of a colleague. He was described as wearing black military-style gear, including a bullet-proof vest and a mask during the shootings. A troubled 20-year-old loner with a history of autistic behavior is the monster behind a horrific shooting He started shooting at about 9:35 a.m., approximately half an hour after the school day began. Some of those present reported that initial shots were heard on the schools intercom system, which was being used for morning announcements. Most of the shooting took place in two first-grade classrooms and lasted only a few minutes, during which time witnesses said the shooter did not say a word. He then shot himself. The children killed were between 5 and 10 years old. A custodian also ran through hallways alerting classrooms in person. First grade teacher Kaitlyn Roig, age 29, hid 14 of the schools approximately 450 grade K-4 students in a bathroom and barricaded the door, telling them to be completely quiet in order to keep them safe. Authorities recovered two 9mm handguns from the scene: one a Glock, and the other a SIG Sauer. A .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle (favored by deer hunters) was found in the back of a car in the parking lot. Police sources said a “mind numbing” number of spent cartridges littered the floor of the school. The guns were owned by and legally registered to Lanzas mother. As Adam Lanza was under 21 years of age at the time of the incident, he could not legally have obtained or possessed either handgun in Connecticut. Connecticut is ranked as having the fifth-toughest gun-control laws in the country by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, with a score of 58 out of 100 points.
Response by authorities The state police received the first 911 call at 9:41 am and responded immediately. They and Newtown police soon recognized the gravity of the situation, and local K9 and tactical units, the bomb squad, and state police helicopter were quickly mobilized. Police began to evacuate the locked-down school room-by- room, escorting groups of students and adults away from the school. The school was swept for additional shooters at least four times by the police. No shots were fired by the authorities. Three injured victims were evacuated; two were later declared dead of their injuries. The New York City medical examiner dispatched a "portable morgue" to assist with the aftermath
Photos from the scene showed young students - some crying, others looking visibly frightened - being escorted by adults through a car park in a line, with hands on each others shoulders. "It was horrendous," said parent Brenda Lebinski, who rushed to the school where her daughter is in the third grade. "Everyone was in hysterics - parents, students. There were kids coming out of the school bloodied. I dont know if they were shot, but they were bloodied." Television images showed police and ambulances at the scene, and parents rushing toward the school. Parents were seen reuniting with their children and taking them home. A girl interviewed by NBC Connecticut described hearing seven loud "booms" as she was in gym class. Other children began crying and teachers moved the students to a nearby office, she said. "A police officer came in and told us to run outside and so we did," the unidentified girl said on camera.
TIMELINE OF A MASSACRE: HOW THE INVESTIGATION UNFOLDED Friday morning Adam Lanza leaves his home in his mothers car after shooting her dead 9.30am Classes begin at Sandy Hook Elementary School 9.35am First 911 calls that a shooting is underway; police arrive within minutes 9.40am Shooting underway at the schools main office and a kindergarten class 9.45am SWAT team arrives; checks building 10am Reports of deaths begin to trickle out; Obama is briefed 10.30am Police announce the shooter is dead; later revealed he died from a self-inflicted gun wound 12.10pm First reports mistakenly naming killer as Ryan Lanza, 24 2.47pm President Obama orders flags to fly at half-mast 1.08pm Reports that the death toll is at 27; at press conference, police say deaths include staff and students 2pm Authorities announce a body was discovered at killers Newtown home 2.40pm Reports of investigation at Ryan Lanzas home in New Jersey; he writes on Facebook that he was not involved and is later led away for questioning 3.17pm President Obama addresses the nation and struggles to contain his emotions 5pm Adam Lanza is named as the shooter 7pm Prayer vigil held at St Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown; hundreds attend, including Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy
A TROUBLED LONER: EMERGING PORTRAIT OF ADAM LANZA Ryan Lanzas high school classmates always knew something was different about him. He almost never spoke in class, but made good grades and was an honors student. And he always seemed profoundly uncomfortable in social situations. A portrait is emerging of the alleged shooter who killed 26 people and himself during a rampage at the elementary school where his mother taught kindergarten. It was widely understood that he had mental disabilities - either Asperger syndrome or more severe autism. A former babysitter told the Washington Post he was rambunctious as a teenager and prone to temper tantrums. He had to be medicated to control his moods. Olivia DeVivo, a student at the University of Connecticut who went to high school with Lanza, said that when it emerged that he was suspected of gunning down 20 small children - none of her classmates were surprised. They said he always seemed like he was someone who was capable of that because he just didn’t really connect with our high school, and didn’t really connect with our town, she told the New York Times Lamza, 20, lived with his mother Nancy in a quiet, upscale subdivision in Newtown, Connecticut. Before his alleged rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, he reportedly shot his mother in the face at her home. He then took her car and three guns registered registered to her and went on a killing spree - starting with her kindergarten class, police say. Students described being ushered from their classrooms hand-in-hand, with their eyes closed, to the safety of a nearby fire station as police converged on the school.
The family of alleged shooter Adam Lanza, including his father,Peter, second left
President Obama’s Speech http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIA0W69U2_Y&list= PL8C61A61D646F0865&index=1
ABC news coverage of the shootingshttp://abcnews.go.com/US/27-people-dead-children-connecticut-elementary-school-shooting/story?id=17973836#.UMyVA2_ZaSoUSA Newshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Pe3murLF4whttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XfEpWCqwbc
Queen Elizabeth’s Response toShootings The Queen has sent a message to US President Barack Obama, saying she was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the US school massacre that left 28 people dead, in a rare public response to the tragedy. In a message beginning "Dear President Obama", the 86-year-old monarch said: "I have been deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the dreadful loss of life today in Newtown, Connecticut; particularly the news that so many of the dead are children.“ The queen, who never gives interviews and normally restricts her public comment to events in Commonwealth nations, added: "Prince Philip joins me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to you and the American people at this difficult time. "The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth are with the families and friends of those killed and with all those who have been affected by todays events.“ The message was signed Elizabeth R. Her words echoed those of Prime Minister David Cameron, who earlier said he was "shocked and deeply saddened to hear about todays horrific shooting".
On the day of the attack, Google paid tribute to the victims by displaying an image of a candle on its homepage accompanied with the line "Our hearts are with the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut.
Dawn Hochsprung, School principal Dawn led the almost 700-pupil school according to the values she had long espoused: inclusiveness, creativity, and academic ambition. As confirmation that she was among the dead circulated in the small community of Newtown, where the school that she had led for the past two years is one of the central pillars, there was an outpouring of emotion from the parents of her charges and friends. "Dawn Hochsprung touched many of our hearts with her professionalism and love for her students," said someone Dawn Czaplicki, who had known the principal since their own high school days, remembered her as "a mature and very smart young lady full of life and always had a smile on her face that could only warm your heart." In the two years that she led the Sandy Hook elementary, Hochsprung, 47, had emphasised its strong community role. When she sent memos to parents she would address them to the "Sandy Hook family". Hochsprung was ambitious for her students and for herself. On top of running the school, and being mother to her own two daughters and three stepdaughters, she had enrolled in a post- graduate programme at Esteves School of Education in New York – a prestigious course for an educator. She was actively introducing the latest teaching techniques into Sandy Hook classrooms – she recently brought together 30 teachers before the start of the school day for an "Appy Hour" in which they shared notes about the best iPad apps to use with students. But she also believed in the power of imagination and fun. The New York Times recorded that she had introduced a tradition of Wacky Wednesdays, when students came to school wearing clothes Hochsprung took a close interest in education policy, and would often circulate speeches by the education secretary, Arne Duncan. Her most recent activity on Twitter was the day before she died, when she retweeted a nine- point programme on how to relieve stress. Point one was "Have self-compassion."
Victoria Soto, First Grade Teacher A young teacher displayed astonishing bravery and sacrificed her life saving as many children in her first grade class as she could after she came face-to-face with gunman Adam Lanza. Victoria Soto, 27, had worked at Sandy Hook Elementary for five years. Her final moments were spent ushering her students into closets and cupboards. When Lanza entered her classroom Ms Soto said that her class was in the gym hall and then Lanza took a gun and shot her. All of Ms Soto’s class survived. Soto was a highly regarded young teacher who was popular with her pupils. One young student, Jacob Riley, told Mailonline that Soto was known for chewing gum in class - something not usually allowed for teachers. He said he had often teased her about her habit and she had playfully teased him back A deeply distraught 10-year-old boy who is a former student of Miss Soto described her as really nice and funny.