Children in Connecticut rampage, all 6 and 7, shot repeatedly

Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:47pm EST
 
Email This Article |

By Ernest Scheyder and Rob Cox

NEWTOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) - Twelve girls and eight boys. One had celebrated her seventh birthday just four days before her death. They were Charlotte and Jack, Noah and Grace.

Dressed in "cute kid stuff," all 20 died when a heavily armed 20-year-old gunman forced his way into their school, Sandy Hook Elementary, and shot them and six women in an act of violence that has shattered their once-tranquil suburban town.

"They were first-graders," said Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver II, before releasing the names of all the victims of the school shootings on Saturday.

Asked to describe the attack, Carver, who oversaw the autopsies of all the victims and conducted many himself, called it "the worst I have seen."

The shooter, identified by law enforcement officials as Adam Lanza, killed his mother Nancy on Friday, then drove to the school where he gunned down another 26 people before taking his own life in one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

He fired a rifle, shooting his victims multiple times. Parents identified their children through pictures, a process intended to minimize their shock, Carver said.

Police did not officially identify Lanza or his mother.

Members of the close-knit community went into public mourning on Saturday as the depth of the tragedy became clear.   Continued...

A couple and their child walk past twenty balloons tied in the front yard of a home, for the twenty children that were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Joshua Lott