Global Politics

Connecticut shooting: Visibly upset Obama reacts to Newtown school shooting

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U.S. President Barack Obama wipes a tear as he speaks about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., during a press briefing at the White House in Washington Dec. 14, 2012. (Photo by Larry Downing/Reuters.)

A gunman stormed into a Newtown, Conn., school Friday morning and killed 20 children and six adults before he died himself, believed to be at his own hand.

According to Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance, 18 children and six adults were pronounced dead at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Another two children were rushed to local hospitals where the died. Another person was wounded.

In addition, Vance said, another adult was found dead at a separate, but related, location — possibly where the shooter lives, in Newtown.

The deceased children are reported to be between the ages of 5 and 10. Vance said the investigation remains ongoing, but so far all of the deaths are confined to two rooms in one area of the school. 

Police patrol the streets outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012. At least 27 people, including children, were killed on Friday. (Photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters.)

See a list of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

In an address to the nation Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama said America has endured too many of these tragedies in recent months and years.

"Each time I hear the news, I react not as a president, but as anyone else would, as a parent. That was especially true today," a visibly upset Obama said. "I know there's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same, overwhelming grief that I do."

The AP identified the shooter as a man from New Jersey in his 20s, with some sort of tie to the school. It's believed that the dead include the suspect's mom, a kindergarten teacher at the Sandy Hook school. Various media reports have also identified the suspect's brother as being taken into custody for questioning in Hoboken, N.J.

Children interviewed on local TV stations reported that police who escorted them out of the building told them to cover their eyes when they passed the office. One 8-year-old boy interviewed on local TV said he was walking through the hall to bring attendance records to the office, when he saw bullets fly past him.

A teacher, he said, pulled him to safety in her classroom.

President Obama ordered all flags at federal institutions across the country to be flown at half-staff. And he said it was time to act.

"We have to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies, regardless of politics," he said. 

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