Staying Up to Date on Connecticut School Shooting

Newtown, Conn., is a Patch town. Follow our on-the-scene coverage and share your thoughts below.

Twenty-eight people were killed, including 20 children, at a Connecticut elementary school after a 20-year-old man went on a shooting rampage Friday.

The slayings happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a Patch town of about 28,000 people located an hour outside of Stamford. Newtown Police descended on the school around 9:30 a.m. after a 911 call.

At a Friday press conference, authorites said 20 children and seven adults were killed, in addition to the gunman. Other reports have said the school's principal and a school psychologist were among the dead.

The alleged shooter was armed with four guns and a high-powered assault rifle. Authorities are currently searching his father’s home in New Jersey as part of the investigation. The suspect's mother lives in Newtown and was a kindergarten teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which has close to 600 students in kindergarten through fourth grade. She was among those killed, according to several news reports.

Police also have a second suspect in custody. According to eyewitness accounts, police found a man in the woods near the school wearing camouflage pants and took him in for questioning. As the man passed parents gathered near the school, he said, “I didn’t do it,” according to CBS News.

A parent interviewed on CBS News told the network his 8-year-old daughter said she heard an argument and cursing over the school’s loudspeaker, apparently coming from the principal’s office. Her teacher then immediately locked the classroom door as a safety precaution.

A fourth-grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School told Connecticut’s Channel 7 that he and his classmates were “locked in a closet in the gym” to escape the gunman.

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

Authorities said the scene is now secure and there is no longer a threat to public safety. They will be providing more details and holding another press conference on the incident as soon as they notify the families of the victims.

Newtown is a Patch town, so we have editors and reporters on the ground providing constant updates. To follow the developments, visit the main story here. 

Also, here's a link to a stream of photos and tweets from the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Feel free to share your thoughts in our comments section.

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed the wrong age for the apparent gunman. He was 20, not 24.

Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 01:33 AM
'I am disgusted at the authoritarians politicizing today's tragic event in order to further their "nanny state" agenda." So here you are politicizing the "nanny state" agenda, instead. "If you think banning guns will stop the mentally disturbed from injuring or killing other people, then how would you address the stabbings in China? " I see your point, since people will simply use different weapons, all weapons should considered equally lethal. "With kitchen knive laws requiring waiting periods and permits?" Say, there's an idea. Yes, the same ones that are required to carry one in the Capitol shall be required to carry one on a school campus. To ensure that all permits are being carried,all laws complied, we can have the same checks in schools as we do at the Capitol. I want the same gun laws and freedoms/restrictions at the Capitol or in the White House to be available in schools, and other public places. Good enough for our duly elected lawmakers, good enough for all of us.
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Well said. If only we had this common sense after we evaluated the risk of hijackers flying planes into buildings. Those are even rarer. And look how much we are spending to guard against it today.
Charles December 15, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Risk is a product of probability and consequence. While school shootings are horrible, they are pretty rare. Your kid is probably more likely to die riding his skateboard or getting stung by a bee than he is getting shot at school. The risk of your kid or other person being a victim of a mass shooting is in the noise compared to so many other forms of death and injury: Drunk drivers, cigarettes, etc. I'm more nervous about my kids riding in a neighbor's small car than I am about a gun man opening fire at the school. It would probably be overreacting to change the priorities of law enforcement and the legal system due to one crazy event every couple of years: The same guy who wants to take away all the guns may be the same guy who jogs in the street with (not against) traffic (when there's a perfectly good sidewalk available) or drives after five drinks or lets his kid ride a bike with no helmet.
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Are you nuts? When the debt is $16 trillion, you want to provide free psychiatric Obamacare to everyone? So twenty kids died, and what's the total this year? 100? 120? That is nothing. More people die from car accidents every day.
TGB December 15, 2012 at 02:07 AM
The leap from guns to knives is absurd. Do you really think a person would run into a school with a knife and kill 25-30 people. The only way a tragedy of this magnitude could occur is with semi automatic guns. With regards to probabilities, you are right, more deaths occur from driving accidents than mass shootings. We do things to prevent driving accidents and drunk driving; we have increased safety equipment in cars and car seats for children and have stricter drunk driving laws. What have we done to decrease gun fatalities? Nothing. We have weakened our laws by letting the assault weapons ban expire. We have weakened safety by allowing unrestricted sales of guns at gun shows. We do not even enforce the laws we have on the books. We have every state with their own laws so that anybody can go to the state with the easiest gun acquisition laws and transport weapons across state lines without any enforcement. It is time for strict federal laws and enforcement of the laws to allow us the freedom to go out in public safely and with confidence that we or our children will not be the next victims of some horrific random event.
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 02:12 AM
"The leap from guns to knives is absurd. Do you really think a person would run into a school with a knife and kill 25-30 people" I suggest that you click on the link before you ask that question. Alberto's argument may be "absurd", but his facts are perhaps not so.
TGB December 15, 2012 at 02:23 AM
There is a significant difference between wounded and dead. Of the 22 wounded, nine were hospitalized and two were serious. But again no deaths. I would greatly prefer to have my children wounded than dead. Much greater likelihood to survive a knife than a gun attack. You are also quoting one knife attack versus how many gun attacks in this country recently? Really?
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Hey TGB, I ask this, because you seem interested in a discussion. What do you think of this? http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/12/the-massacre-in-connecticut/266300/ The author had written another piece just a while back: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/12/the-case-for-more-guns-and-more-gun-control/309161/
Alberto Barrera December 15, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Read the whole article: "No motive was given for the attack, which resembled a string of similar assaults against Chinese schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50."
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Yes, I am aware that "wounded does not mean killed", so would you like to read the whole article, or shall I let you in on the secret that the article also cites this: "No motive was given for the attack, which resembled a string of similar assaults against Chinese schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50." Then we can bicker that 20 is not 25-30. The point being whether or not a knife can kill 25-30 is not a point of absurdity, even if comparing a mildly lethal weapon to a massively lethal AK47 is. "You are also quoting one knife attack versus how many gun attacks in this country recently? Really?" No, I am citing the fact that gun attacks that cause 25-30 fatalities in this country are very rare, and that while comparing a knife to a gun is absurd, so too is the fact that this instance of 25-30 killed by a gun is rare. Don't believe me, check how many such gun attacks we have had this century. Here, http://timelines.latimes.com/deadliest-shooting-rampages/ Check when the last time was when 25-30 were killed by a gun shooting. And no, I am not arguing that gun shootings are to be ignored.
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Alberto, the operative phrase there is "string of similar assaults" (sigh!)
TGB December 15, 2012 at 02:47 AM
I quickly scanned the articles you referenced and agree with most points except the final point in both articles. I absolutely do not think arming more people, allowing more guns in society will decrease gun violence or increase safety. Do you have data from any real world countries that have tried this with success? It reminds me of the difference between homeopathic versus conventional medicine. The former tries to correct a problem by increasing symptoms while the other tries to treat the symptoms by trying to remove or alleviate the symptoms. Adding more guns to the situation seems horrific to me. It is akin to gasoline on a fire. I have read editorials advocating for students on college campuses carrying concealed weapons. All I can in vision is some one opening fire and a whole bunch of students returning fire and a much greater tragedy occurring.
TGB December 15, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Shiri, I just looked at your source of recent mass murders from the LA Times. If I am reading this correctly there were 26 deaths on 2009, 8 deaths in 2010, 14 deaths in 2011 and 60 deaths so far in 2012. This does not include injuries. I am not sure how you define rare. I also noted that the timeline did not include the recent P{ortland mall shootings. I wonder if others were not included that i can not remember. For me this is far to many to be considered rare.
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 03:21 AM
What you are doing is adding up deaths from all mass shootings in a year. my query was different Otherwise, you might as well add up deaths per year from all gun shootings and you will get far more than 25
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Until you provide a response to his final point, as you call it, comparison to countries that do not have the luxury of gun-control only measures is moot Yes I understand that you find it horrific, but that does not take the place of an argument. It is horrific to some, for example, that people smoke pot, but that is NOT an argument to ban it (corrected)
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 04:16 AM
OK, forget about students on campuses carrying concealed guns. Let's say that we have armed security guards (like at banks) to guard schools. We do have crossing guards to help kids cross roads, so surely this is not something one could reasonably object to. Armed guards at banks deter robberies, armed guards at schools would provide some measure of safety. Now, if we can entertain that, can we entertain, instead of guards, some teachers who are licensed/certified and trained in gun defense for this? We allow such training for CPR, and we do have a school nurse to administer medical aid. This would be security aid. Yes, in case of an explosive situation like this Conn. school, it may be that some teachers will duck for cover and hide. But one thing you can be sure of is that if they are not armed, they are useless whether they stand up or hide. So, what would be the argument against that? What I am trying to get at is that we are not in 1791 trying to write the Constitution. We have to work with what we have today. Closing loopholes is good (but Colorado closed its gun show loophole, and Aurora still happened), but not enough. Why? There are 300 million guns out there, and until one figures out how to democratically rid ourselves of them, you are leaving a major portion of the issue unaddressed.
TGB December 15, 2012 at 04:26 AM
"Don't believe me, check how many such gun attacks we have had this century. Here, http://timelines.latimes.com/deadliest-shooting-rampages/ Check when the last time was when 25-30 were killed by a gun shooting." I am not sure what your query was then? I added up the events in the timeline you quoted for each year. Does it have to exceed 25-30 people killed in each incident to be significant or not rare?
TGB December 15, 2012 at 04:44 AM
You are right, part of the problem is the 300 million guns in circulation and we should discuss how to reduce or remove them. However this does not mean we should not discuss how to decrease the exponential growth of gun ownership and specifically assault weapons, semi- automatic and automatic weapons and the huge caches of ammunition that some people have. Every part of the problem should be addressed. It is not an all or none situation. Focusing on one aspect of the problem is only one step. But it is a start. Every effort should be made to decrease gun violence.
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 04:53 AM
There was a gun shooting today in Conn. How many were killed in it? 25-30? There was a gun shooting in a mall ten days or ago. How many were killed in it? 2-3? So, now find a gun shooting where there were 25-30 fatalities. "Does it have to exceed 25-30 people killed in each incident to be significant or not rare?" That depends, you wanted a knifing incident to show you such a massacre. Surely you did not mean the total of knifing homicides in a year. If you did, then it is bad comparison or a poor question, since we know those stats are in a different realm.
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 04:59 AM
But you are the one insisting on only one effort being made, that is to reduce future ownership. The articles does what you advocate *and* it also provides a reasonable defense against the 300 million that are out there. The growth is about 4 million guns entering the market. If you prevent guns that can match the firepower those in circulation, you are creating a lopsided imbalance. Then, you end up with situations like this: http://youtu.be/LrlUsaYlKPs It is fair question: If you come across a person trying to shoot you, would you prefer to be unarmed or have a gun? Ideally I would not prefer that a person tried to shoot you, but with 300 million guns out there, those are not low enough odds to bank on the ideal.
Shripathi Kamath December 15, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Oh, to those who think "this is not the time to talk about this", or "look at the gun control freaks/liberals politicizing this", here's what two prominent spiritual leaders talked about: "We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools, should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" "God is not going to go where he is not wanted and so if school administrators really want to protect students, they will start every school day with prayer" I leave it to Google to determine the respective speakers. Somehow talking about a gun tragedy in the context of what we'd like to do or see done is not responsible, unless you bring a celestial dictator into it, and why he did not *and will not* prevent this.
met00 December 15, 2012 at 07:25 AM
Alberto, I'll make you a deal. I'm 55 years old I have two stents in my heart. I'll give you a knife, we start 10 paces away from one another and let you do your best. If after 5 minutes I'm still standing we start over. This time I get a gun with a full clip from 10 paces away and you get to try to survive. Ignore the undertaker in black standing next to you with a tape measure and keep repeating that "guns don't kill people".
met00 December 15, 2012 at 07:47 AM
Huck-a-moron said one of them. The other one might be Brian Fischer (who makes Huck look like a mensa member). Too many of my facebook "friends" are posting this crap. My simple question is did we also take you G-d out of movie theaters? Malls? Let's get real, we all know what happened. Jesus went over to Moses' place for the Chanukah party, did the old water to wine trick, got blitzed and was sleeping it off when all the children and their teachers were praying to live. [and if you think that was uncaring and sacrilegious, wait until you try to put your myth figures into my public schools.]
Don Peterson December 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Taxing law abiding gun owners is not going to do ANYTHING to stop a deranged nut case from killing people using a firearm, plain and simple! Even saying that is telling a lie... The problem in America is mental health and it has nothing to do with gun ownership... We are never going to be able to tell when some mentally deranged person finally snaps, it is not the fault of guns or law abiding gun ownership... Until we can develop some type of a system that can pinpoint a person who has just went off the deep end in real time allowing us enough time to get to and restrain that person I am afraid we are just going to have to deal with these tragedies as they happen, you could remove every gun of the planet earth and these sad horrific cases are still going to happen... Wanting to blame the gun is understandable, its like blaming the man when the wife or girl friend has an affair instead of putting 100% responsibility where it should be which is on the wife or girlfriend its always much easier to blame the other man because their is less emotion involved... My heart goes out to everyone that has been effected by this tragedy and I pray that the innocent children are softly sleeping in the arms of the lord... One thing we can do is to bring God back into the schools where he should be!
Don Peterson December 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM
The 4 guns were legal and registered to his mother... Blaming the gun is a waste of valuable time and energy... Its an inanimate object... I understand your anger but lets be real here, is the caliber of the gun such a big deal? What if he used a knife? Its a sad truth that we have no real way of combating the deranged mentally unhinged person because it only takes a very short time to cause unspeakable havoc... This is a mental health issue and not a gun issue...
Don Peterson December 15, 2012 at 10:24 AM
"If we make it harder to get assault rifles, huge caches of ammunition, increase waiting periods, restrict undocumented sale of guns at gun shows, licenses gun ownership" None of those things had anything to do with this situation! The 4 guns found were LEGAL and REGISTERED to his mother... This took 1 GUN and 30 BULLETS... No huge cache of ammo etc etc etc etc... Please at least be real about the facts...
Alberto Barrera December 15, 2012 at 08:42 PM
met00, While I don't totally agree with the results of this test, considering that most people already have a gun cocked, you should agree that at ten paces, both weapons can be equally dangerous in the hands of an experienced user. (go ahead and skip to 3:37 in the interest of saving time) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckz7EmDxhtU
Alberto Barrera December 15, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Mexico can be somewhat considered as an example in gun law. Obtaining a gun is nearly impossible to do legally, and yet most murders today are carried out by cartels with all kinds of guns. I said "somewhat" because many of these weapons come from the US, but they also come from the rebels in Columbia and from stockpiles left over from South American regimes. Either way, a government that has exclusive access to guns will in nearly all cases use them against dissidents.
Janet Whitcomb December 15, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Shripathi, please tell us the names of those two spiritual leaders. I think they should be known.
MFriedrich December 18, 2012 at 01:36 AM
The scary thing is that there are hundreds of thousands of Americans right now with identical thinking to Ms. Lanza (mother) - convinced of a soon coming Armageddon-scenario for the United States, where the economy collapses, and law-and-order with it. What's left is a surreal "Walking Dead" scenario. The people with food, assault rifles, ammo and higher ground survive. Everyone else - the criminals, poor, hungry and have nots are the zombies. We are becoming a nation of selfish degenerates who hate and distrust one another more and more. And strangely, it's becoming a self-fulfilling prophesy - We really can't be trusted.


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