Connecticut gun rampage: 28 dead, including 20 schoolchildren

Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:23pm EST
 
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By Dan Burns and Chris Kaufman

NEWTOWN, Connecticut (Reuters) - A heavily armed gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children from 5 to 10 years old, in a rampage at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

The gunman - who according to a media report carried four weapons and wore a bulletproof vest - was dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, state police Lieutenant Paul Vance told a news conference.

Vance said authorities found 18 children and seven adults, including the gunman, dead at the school, and two children were pronounced dead later after being take to a hospital. Another adult was found dead at a related crime scene in Newtown, he said, bringing the toll to 28.

"Our hearts are broken today," President Barack Obama said in an emotional televised address to the nation.

"Evil visited this community today," Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy told reporters.

Two law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation confirmed to Reuters the shooter had been identified as Adam Lanza, 20. Adam's brother Ryan Lanza was "either in custody or being questioned" at this hour, one of the sources said.

The New York Times reported that the gunman walked into a classroom where his mother was a teacher, shot his mother and then 20 students, most in the same classroom, before shooting five other adults and killing himself. One other person was shot at the school and survived, the Times said.

The holiday season tragedy was the second shooting rampage in the United States this week and the latest in a series of mass killings this year, and was certain to revive a debate about U.S. gun laws.   Continued...

 
The families of victims grieve near Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman opened fire on school children and staff in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012. REUTERS/Adrees Latif