Connecticut School Shooting: 20 Children, 6 Adults, Gunman Confirmed Dead

Local, state and federal authorities responded to Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning after a suspected gunman entered the school and fatally shot 20 children and 6 adults members. As night dawns, mourners have poured into vigils to honor those killed.

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Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

People grieve outside the overflow area of a vigil at the Saint Rose of Lima church for victims of a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, 2012. See more photos from the scene here.

Local, state and federal authorities responded to Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning after a suspected gunman entered the school and fatally shot 20 children and 6 adults. As night fell, mourners poured into vigils to honor those killed. This page is no longer being updated with additional details, but check for news and analysis from the scene in Newtown.  

7:00 p.m.: Several vigils have started around the Newtown area to remember the victims of today’s shooting. Hartford news station WFSB has rounded up many of the remembrance ceremonies happening in the vicinity of the school. Instagram user rueby posted this photo of mourners walking into St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown, located a mile away from the scene of the tragedy.

6:45 p.m.: Adam Lanza allegedly killed his mother at their Yogananda St. home early Friday morning, the Associated Press reports. He then headed to Sandy Hook Elementary to carry out his shooting spree.

6:40 p.m.: Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy has ordered U.S. and Connecticut flags flown at half-staff in mourning for shooting victims until burial services.

The Associated Press reports that Lanza drove to the school in his mother’s car. Police found three guns at the scene: a .223 caliber rifle, and Glock and Sig Sauer pistols. NBC News reports that a rifle used in the shooting and two pistols were legally purchased and registered to the gunman’s mother, Nancy Lanza. But in a public records search, TIME was unable to find any firearms or weapons permits under Nancy Lanza’s name.

6:10 p.m.: Authorities say that Ryan Lanza, 24, the brother of shooting suspect Adam Lanza, 20, is now not believed to have any involvement in the mass shooting on Friday, according to the Associated Press. He had earlier been questioned by police.

6:00 p.m.: “Evil visited this community today,” said Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy at a briefing Friday evening. “As you know there area a number of victims, teachers, beautiful beautiful children who had simply come to school to learn. Their days ended a different way than any of us can possibly imagine.”

5:45 p.m.: Earlier this afternoon, the CBS affiliate in New York City showed video of a man said to be Ryan Lanza being taken into police custody in Hoboken, N.J. Ryan Lanza, 24, is reportedly the brother of shooting suspect Adam Lanza. Ryan Lanza was raised in Newtown, Conn. but currently lives in Hoboken, N.J., according to public records obtained by TIME.


5:30 p.m.: The principal of Columbine High School, site of one of the deadliest school shootings in history, sounded off to the AP about the tragedy of recent shootings in America. “You go to a movie theater in Aurora and all of a sudden your life is taken,” Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis said. “You’re at a shopping mall in Portland, Ore., and your life is taken. This morning, when parents kissed their kids goodbye knowing that they are going to be home to celebrate the holiday season coming up, you don’t expect this to happen. I think as a society, we need to come together. It has to stop, these senseless deaths.”

5:20 p.m.: In an e-mail sent Friday afternoon to staff members, sports network ESPN is changing its weekend coverage plans. Staffers have been asked to cease all tweeting about sports, out of respect for the victims, until noon on Sunday. Additionally, anchors and reporters have been asked to “acknowledge the tragedy” as soon as they come on-air and start broadcasts with reactions from players and coaches before moving into sports-centric news. The network has banned the work “shooter” and other inappropriate terms in the aftermath. ESPN is based in Bristol, Conn., 30 miles northeast of Newtown.

5:10 p.m.: Stories of the day’s heroism are beginning to emerge. Robert Licata told the Associated Press that his 6-year-old son was in a classroom when the suspected gunman barged in and, without uttering a word, shot the teacher. “That’s when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door,” Licata said. “He was very brave. He waited for his friends.”

5:00 p.m.: Lt. Paul Vance said at a Friday evening press conference that in addition to the 26 fatalities, one person was injured but did survive.

4:45 p.m.: More than a dozen police cars responded this afternoon to 36 Yogananda Street in Sandy Hook neighborhood of Newtown, Conn. (map) The 3,000-square-foot home was built in 1998 and is owned by Peter and Nancy Lanza, according to property records obtained by Patch Newtown.

4:35 p.m.: Watch President Obama’s tearful speech to the nation given on Friday afternoon, in which he expressed his grief for the victims and their parents.

The school recently installed a new security system at the school, including visual monitors at all the entryways, according to CNN.

Jessica Hill / AP

A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

4:30 p.m.: TIME’s Christina Crapanzano reports from a fire station in Newtown, Conn., near the scene of the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school:

Outside a firehouse bedecked with wreaths and Christmas trees earlier today, a woman in khakis and a red hooded sweater was being escorted to her car by police. Glassy-eyed she shook her head, saying, ” I can’t believe they’d do this to children.” Another young woman was carrying a neon yellow stuffed animal with her.  The back seats of at least 3 patrol cars were filled with women of varied ages, apparently from their 30s to their 50s. In one patrol car three women sat in the back seat, eyes fixed forward, no one talking to each other or looking at each other. One woman collapsed in the street outside of the fire house into another woman’s arms, screaming “Oh my God,” and “Why did they take my baby?” The firehouse’s flag stood at half mast.

President Obama ordered all federal flags lowered to half-staff to honor the victims.

4:20 p.m.: A law enforcement official confirms Adam Lanza, 20, is the suspect in the shooting, the Associated Press reports. Ryan Lanza, 24, of Hoboken, N.J., is currently being questioned by police. The AP says an earlier report “mistakenly transposed the brothers’ first names.”

4:15 p.m.: With the death toll standing at 26 plus the shooter, this incident has become the second deadliest shooting in U.S. history. The deadliest shooting, the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, claimed the lives of 32 plus the gunman.

4:07 p.m.: (UPDATED) The Associated Press is reporting that the suspect in the shooting is a 20-year-old son of a teacher at the elementary school. The AP initially reported the shooter as 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, citing law enforcement officials. His brother is being held for questioning, the agency is reporting, saying he could have been a possible second shooter in the incident. The official also told the Associated Press that Ryan Lanza’s girlfriend and another friend are missing in New Jersey.

4:02. p.m.: Lt. Paul Vance said the shooting took place in one section of the school in two rooms. A secondary crime scene is set up in Newtown and “there is an adult deceased at that location.”

3:53 p.m.: Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy confirmed that the suspect is dead as well as a person that he lived with. “You can never be prepared for this type of incident,” he said at a press briefing. “What has happened will leave a mark on this community and every family impacted.”

3:45 p.m.: In the shooting, “18 children were pronounced dead at the scene, 2 were transported to area hospitals and later pronounced dead. There were 6 adults pronounced dead at the scene,” according to Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police,. “The shooting took place in one section of the school in two rooms.” One other person was also injured, said Vance. The six dead adults do not include the shooter who was also dead at the scene, he said.

3:30 p.m.: Police cars are currently surrounding an address in Hoboken, N.J., in connection with the shooting according to the Hudson Reporter. The paper says the shooting suspect may live there.

3:20 p.m.: An emotional President Obama, himself the father of two daughters, wiped away tears as he spoke at a briefing on the mass shooting.  “We have endured too many of these sorts of tragedies in the past few years,” he said. “Each time I learn the news I react not as a president but as anybody else would as a parent…There’s not a parent in America that does not feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.”

3:09 p.m.: U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has ordered flags on Capitol Hill to be flown at half mast in mourning over the shooting in Newtown, Conn., according to the AP.

3:01 p.m.: The suspect in the shooting is 24 years old, the Associated Press has reported. His younger brother is being held in custody, the AP says.

2:56 p.m.: The AP reports that 27 people were killed in the gunman’s rampage this morning. A law enforcement official told the AP that the gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Another person was found dead on Yogananda St. in Newtown, near the school, the Hartford Courant reported.

2:51 p.m.: President Obama is scheduled to speak on the Connecticut school shooting at 3:15 PM, reports TIME’s Adam Sorensen.

2:41 p.m.: Just after the shooting, police raided a home in the Sandy Hook area of Newtown, Conn., in connection with the shooting, according to Newtown Patch. At least 15 police cars are at the scene.

2:30 p.m.: The Newtown Unified School District just recently initiated new safety procedures to prevent dangerous incidents of this nature, WCBS reports.

2:05 p.m.: Sandy Hook School did evacuation and safety drills only two months ago. “Safety first at Sandy Hook…It’s a beautiful day for our annual evacuation drill,” Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung tweeted with a photo of the drill on October 17.

Many of the shootings happened in a kindergarten classroom, according to the Hartford Courant. One entire classroom is unaccounted for.

“I saw policemen — lots of policemen in the hallway with guns. The police took us out of the school. We were told to hold each others’ hands and to close our eyes. We opened our eyes when we were outside,” 9-year-old fourth grader Vanessa Bajraliu told the Hartford Courant.

2:00 p.m.: Brenda Lebinski, parent of an 8-year-old at the school, credits a teacher at the school with protecting the children while the shooter was in the building. “My daughter’s teacher is my hero,” Lebinski told Newtown Patch. “She locked all the kids in a closet and that saved their lives.”

Shortly after the shooting, the school was swamped with parents rushing to pick up their children. Photo from mscheunemann / Instagram

1:55 p.m.: Of the 12 deadliest shooting attacks in U.S. history, six have occurred since 2007, including Newtown, if the AP reports are correct, according to the Washington Post.

1:50 p.m.: The alleged shooter is dead inside the building, Vance said.

1:45 p.m.: Both students and staff were among the dead in the school shooting, according to Lt. Paul Vance, spokesman for Connecticut State Police. Vance just wrapped up a brief press conference revealing a few minor updates on the situation. “There were several fatalities at the scene, both students and staff, but there is no information relative to the incident until proper notification is sent out,” Vance said. Upon arrival, police began a complete active shooter search of the building. “Our main objective was to evacuate the entire school,” Vance said. “Students and staff were moved to a staging area outside of the school, then were subsequently reunited with their parents.”

The New Jersey State Police are searching a location in the state in connection with the shootings, according to the Associated Press.

1:35 p.m.: Sandy Hook Elementary is located in the small town of Newtown, Conn., a community of 27,000 in the southwestern part of the state. The town is located near Danbury, 50 miles southwest of Hartford. [googlemaps,+newtown,+ct&fb=1&gl=us&hq=sandy+hook+elementary+school,+newtown,+ct&hnear=sandy+hook+elementary+school,+newtown,+ct&cid=0,0,12853916142175655259&t=m&iwloc=A&ll=41.420096,-73.278727&spn=0.006295,0.006295&output=embed&w=425&h=350%5D

(PHOTOS: Connecticut Elementary School Copes After Shooting)

1:30 p.m.: Details about the alleged shooter are starting to trickle out, with the Associated Press reporting that he is a 20-year-old man with ties to the school. A law enforcement official said that a gun used in the attack was a .223-caliber rifle.

1:25 p.m.: If the death toll is officially confirmed, Newtown would instantly become the most deadly K-12 shooting in history, surpassing the 15 killed at Columbine High School in 1999.

1:20 p.m.: State police sent a “platoon of troops” to the scene at about 9:41 a.m., according to Lt. Paul Vance, spokesman for Connecticut State Police. According to the Hartford Courant, officials set up triage area with ambulances behind nearby fire station. The students in the above photo were escorted to the fire station by state police officers. After initial reports of the shooting, the Newtown Unified School District went on emergency lockdown, according to school officials

1:10 p.m.: 27 people have been killed, including 18 children, according to the Associated Press, citing an anonymous official with knowledge of the situation. NBC News is reporting a death toll of 26. Around 600 students attend the school.

1:00 p.m.: (NEWTOWN, Conn.) — A shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday left the gunman dead and at least one teacher wounded and sent frightened pupils into the parking lot. (Above photo of children being escorted is provided by Shannon Hicks, of the Newtown Bee newspaper)

The shooter was killed and apparently had two guns, a person with knowledge of the shooting said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way. It wasn’t clear how many people were injured at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

A dispatcher at the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps said a teacher had been shot in the foot and taken to Danbury Hospital. Andrea Rynn, a spokeswoman at the hospital, said it had three patients from the school but she did not have information on the extent or nature of their injuries.

Stephen Delgiadice said his 8-year-old daughter heard two big bangs and teachers told her to get in a corner. His daughter was fine. “It’s alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America,” he said.

The superintendent’s office said the district had locked down schools in Newtown, about 60 miles northeast of New York City. Schools in neighboring towns also were locked down as a precaution.

State police said Newtown police called them around 9:40 a.m. A SWAT team was among the throngs of police to respond.

A photo posted by The Newtown Bee newspaper showed a group of young students — some crying, others looking visibly frightened — being escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line, hands on each other’s shoulders.

The White House said President Barack Obama was notified of the shooting.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.