GLOBALPOST LIVE BLOG: SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SHOOTING
UPDATE: 12/14/12 7:10 PM ET
GlobalPost is signing off our live blog, but stay tuned for continued coverage of the tragedy tomorrow.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 7:00 PM ET
Activists hold candlelight vigil outside White House
Following the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the White House for a candlelight vigil, demanding that President Obama push for tighter gun control.
Politico reported that speakers from several activist groups spoke, urging the president to include gun control in his State of the Union address.
"The country is with you. Lead us," said one speaker. The crowd chanted, "Now is the time."
UPDATE: 12/14/12 6:32 PM ET
Slain school principal had implemented new security procedures
Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, one of the adults killed in Friday's shooting, recently had a new security system installed to protect students.
CNN reported that Hochsprung outlined the new rules to parents in a letter this fall, saying visitors would be required to ring the bell to enter after the front doors locked at 9:30 a.m. Staff would use a visual monitoring system to determine entry.
"Please understand that with nearly 700 students and over 1,000 parents representing 500 SHS families, most parents will be asked to show identification," she wrote.
More on CNN.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 6:25 PM ET
Politicians on both sides bring up gun control laws
The White House said today that President Obama would consider reinstating the assault weapons ban during his second term.
"It does remain a commitment of his," said White House spokesman Jay Carney, according to CNN. The Clinton-era ban expired in 2004.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York, said in a statement, "If now is not the time to have a serious discussion about gun control and the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our society, I don't know when is. How many more Columbines and Newtowns must we live through? I am challenging President Obama, the Congress, and the American public to act on our outrage and, finally, do something about this."
However, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, the incoming chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, said, "I think we have to be careful about new, suggesting new gun laws. We need to look at what drives a crazy person to do these kind of actions and make sure that we’re enforcing the laws that are currently on the books," according to The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, the debate about gun control raged on social media, with Booker prize-winning author Salman Rushdie in the thick of things. Read our storify.
What do you think? Is it time for the US government to act on gun control? Take the poll.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 6:12 PM ET
People take to twitter to mourn, debate
People took to Twitter to express their outrage, grief, anger and sympathy. Check our storify here.
For all the parents out there -- hold your kid(s) a little closer today. So, so senseless. #sandyhook
— Joey Guastaferro (@JGuastaferro) December 14, 2012
Celebrities also weighed in on the tragedy, with everyone from Oprah to Steve Carell to Lindsey Lohan sending their prayers. Check that storify here.
Hold your kids close today.
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) December 14, 2012
UPDATE: 12/14/12 5:10 PM ET
Guns obtained legally
CBS News reported that preliminary information suggested that Adam Lanza, the shooting suspect who killed himself in the school, obtained the guns he used in the shooting legally.
A law enforcement official told CBS News that the guns found at the scene were a Sig Sauer, a Glock 9 and a Bushmaster rifle.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, the Senate and House have passed a bill that would allow the carrying of concealed weapons in areas including schools, churches, day cares and stadiums.
For more on that, read here.
The Washington Post also has nine facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States.
Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head while campaigning and survived, called on leaders to "do what is right."
He said, "As we mourn, we must sound a call for our leaders to stand up and do what is right. This time our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence. The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about our gun laws - and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America. This can no longer wait."
UPDATE: 12/14/12 5:10 PM ET
Child witness describes scene
The AP posted this video:
UPDATE: 12/14/12 4:58 PM ET
Emotional images from today's tragedy
UPDATE: 12/14/12 4:45 PM ET
America's 10 deadliest shootings
Sandy Hook has been called the second deadliest school shooting in American history, second only to the Virginia Tech massacre which left 32 dead.
"As a country, we have been through this too many times," said President Obama today. "Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children."
GlobalPost takes look at America's 10 deadliest school shootings.
Also check out Connecticut's gun laws.
Is now the time for the US government to address gun control? Take the poll.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 4:35 PM ET
Latest on shooter's identity
The Associated Press reported, "The suspect in the Connecticut school shootings is Adam Lanza, 20, the son of a teacher at the school where the shootings occurred, a law enforcement official said Friday. A second law enforcement official says the boy's mother, Nancy Lanza, is presumed dead.
"Adam Lanza's older brother, Ryan, 24, of Hoboken, N.J., is being questioned by police, said the first official. Earlier, a law enforcement official mistakenly transposed the brothers' first names."
The AP reported that Adam Lanza was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 4:27 PM ET
Shooter's identity changed
There are conflicting reports about the identity of the shooter, with the Associated Press's latest tweet saying:
BREAKING: Official: Police are questioning Ryan Lanza, 24, of Hoboken, older brother of Connecticut shooting suspect Adam Lanza. -SS
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 14, 2012
BREAKING: Law officials: School shooting suspect is 20-year-old son of teacher; older brother questioned. -SS
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 14, 2012
There are unconfirmed theories that the shooter was the previously identified Ryan Lanza's brother, using Ryan Lanza's ID.
[Newtown school shooting] WCBS airing video of man in handcuffs in Hoboken, NJ twitter.com/TheMatthewKeys…
— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) December 14, 2012
UPDATE: 12/14/12 4:07 PM ET
Obama's statement (VIDEO)
"This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.
"We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would -- as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.
"They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers -- men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
"So our hearts are broken today -- for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain.
"As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
"This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help.
"Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need -- to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.
"May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
"The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.
Transcript from the Guardian.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 3:44 PM ET
Connecticut police answer questions
Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said the current death toll was 20 children and 6 adults. Two of the children died in transit to the hospital. The shooter was also killed and there was a secondary crime scene with a deceased adult. Vance said there was one injured person.
Vance said it was a "tragic scene" and asked for the family members to be left alone.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 3:21 PM ET
Pres. Obama tears up as he addresses the nation
President Obama was visibly upset as he addressed the nation, wiping tears from his eyes.
Speaking from the White House press briefing room, he said, "I know there is not a parent in America who does not feel the overwhelming grief that I do."
"Our hearts are broken today," he said, pausing to gather himself. "As a country we have been through this too many times."
"We are going to have to come together to take meaningful action," Obama said. "While nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those of us in need."
Earlier, Obama ordered for flags at the White House and all public buildings and military posts to be flown at half-staff, as "a mark of respect to the victims of the senseless acts of violence."
UPDATE: 12/14/12 3:05 PM ET
President Obama to address nation
President Obama is set to address the nation at 3:15 p.m., according to the AP.
Watch live here:
UPDATE: 12/14/12 2:40 PM ET
Shooter's mother was among dead
NBC News' Pete Williams reported that one of the victims at the school shooting is the mother of the shooter who worked at the school. NBC's Chuck Todd said Williams reported that the class that the shooter targeted was one taught by his mother.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 2:20 PM ET
Gunman identified as Ryan Lanza
CNN reported that the gunman was identified as Ryan Lanza by a federal law enforcement official who spoke to CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti. Lanza was in his 20s.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 2:15 PM ET
Connecticut Post raises death toll to 29 dead, 22 children
The Connecticut Post reported that at least 29 people were dead, including 22 children, citing a source with knowledge of the investigation.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 2:07 PM ET
Body found in gunman's house
CBS News: Second body found in home of suspected Connecticut school shooting gunman
— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) December 14, 2012
There was no report of a first body, so reports at this point are unclear.
UPDATE: 12/14/12 1:58 PM ET
President Obama offers condolences; WH press secretary says gun control discussions should wait
President Barack Obama has expressed his sympathies over the Newtown shooting, Reuters and Politico reported.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama voiced “his condolences and concern for those who have lost loved ones, as well as those who were injured” during a call with Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, Politico reported. Obama learned of the shooting at 10:30 a.m., Carney said.
Meanwhile, Carney told reporters that conversations about gun control should wait for another day, the Washington Post reported. The Post wrote:
“We’re still waiting for more information about the incident in Connecticut,” Carney replied when asked if the massacre raised questions about gun policy. “As we do, I think it’s important, on a day like today, to view this as I know the president, as a father, does, and others who are parents certainly do, which is to feel enormous sympathy for families that are affected and to do everything we can to support state and local law enforcement and to support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event.”
He concluded, “I’m sure [there] will be rather a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I don’t think today is that day.”
UPDATE: 12/14/12 1:40 PM ET
Research shows mass shootings don't change Americans' opinions about gun control: Pew
The horrific Sandy Hook shooting immediately prompted calls on Twitter for greater gun control, but Pew Research tweeted a summary of their past research, which shows that gun massacres don't change Americans' opinions about gun control.
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) December 14, 2012
UPDATE: 12/14/12 1:30 PM ET
Second person in custody
A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that the shooter at the school was a 20-year-old man with ties to the school. The official said one of the guns used in the attack was a .223-caliber rifle.
NBC News also tweeted that a second person was in custody, with a possible connection to the school shooting:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 14, 2012
UPDATE: 12/14/12 1:22 PM ET
School shooting at K - 4 elementary school claims dozens of lives
A shooting reported at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut prompted all schools in Newtown County to go into lockdown on Friday.
CBS News reported that at least 27 people are dead, including 18 students.
The preliminary information suggests the gunman was the father of one of the students, according to CBS News' John Miller. However, NBC News tweeted that a federal law enforcement official said the gunman was a 20-year-old from Connecticut carrying two handguns.
The shooter was dead and reportedly had two guns, according to the Associated Press, which cited a person with knowledge of the shooting. It was unclear whether he was killed or took his own life.
The Hartford Courant reported that multiple people had been killed at the school, located on Dickinson Drive. Police said some of the shooting victims were children, but it was not clear how many were among the dead in addition to the one.
The Courant's Dave Altimari tweeted that a state police source said this could be the worse school shooting in US history. One whole classroom was unaccounted for. The Columbine High School shooting in 1999 resulted in 15 killed, including the two shooters.
President Barack Obama was notified of the shooting at 10:30 a.m., according to ABC's Jake Tapper.
Gov. Dannel Malloy was on the scene to get a briefing from state and federal authorities, according to WTNH.
— Governor Dan Malloy (@GovMalloyOffice) December 14, 2012
Connecticut State Police said they responded to reports of a shooting at the school, which was reported at 9:41 a.m., according to local news channel WFSB.
According to the Newton Bee, police, ambulance and emergency crews were at the scene and there were multiple reports of injuries.
The Courant confirmed that state police sources said one shooter was dead. Earlier reports of a second shooter remained unconfirmed.
"Groups of students — some crying, some holding hands — were being escorted away from the school by their teachers," said The Courant.
A witness told WTNH that she saw two children, one with a bloody face, the other with a hand injury.
A dispatcher at the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps said a teacher had been shot in the foot and taken to Danbury Hospital, according to the AP. Officials at Bridgeport Hospital confirmed that they had treated one woman who was shot, and she was in stable condition, according to WFSB.
WFSB reported that Yale-New Haven Hospital has activated its emergency triage unit which responds to mass casualty incidents.
State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said several troopers responded to the school, but would not confirm what was happening.
Newtown emergency officials told parents to stay by their phones and avoid going to the school.
"We are here to care for any victims and their families in any way they need us. Our hearts and prayers are extended to anyone involved in this terrible tragedy. To date, three patients have been transported to Danbury Hospital from the scene," said a statement from Danbury Hospital.
The Newton Bee posted a picture of children being led through the school's parking lot by a teacher, some looking visibly shaken.
Here are a couple of pictures, posted on Twitter:
— Mike Hayes (@michaelhayes) December 14, 2012
— WTNH News 8 (@WTNH) December 14, 2012
Here is a link to the police scanner.
Here is live video via NBC News: