A gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults before committing suicide at an elementary school in the small western Connecticut city of Newtown. The shooter's mother was found dead at his family's nearby home.
26 people died after gunman Adam Lanza rampaged through a western Connecticut elementary school. It was the second worst school shooting in U.S. history. Lanza also shot his mother multiple times in the head at their home before starting his mass shooting at the school. He committed suicide as first responders closed in.
Stephen Sedensky, Connecticut State Attorney, said that Adam Lanza killed the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary with an AR-15 rifle in the space of around 5 minutes, before shooting himself in the head with a Glock 10mm pistol. A search of the house he shared with his mother revealed guns, knives and newspaper clippings about school shootings.
On Saturday afternoon, Dec. 15, authorities released the names of the victims. All 6 adults killed at the school were women. Of the 20 children gunned down, 12 were girls and 8 were boys. All of the children were reported to be between the ages of 6 and 7.
All of the 26 victims at the school were shot more than once, according to H.Wayne Carver, CT state medical examiner. The killer used a rifle as his primary weapon and each of the victims was shot 3 to 11 times at close range, he said. "This is a very devastating set of injuries," said Carver.
President Obama was moved to tears as he spoke Dec. 14 about the shootings, which he said involved mostly "beautiful little kids" ages 5 to 10. He referred to the birthdays and other life events that will not take place because of the massacre. And he encouraged everyone to hold their families close.
The victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14: Charlotte Bacon, 6 Daniel Barden, 7 Rachel Davino, 29 Olivia Engel, 6 Josephine Gay, 7 Ana Marquez-Greene, 6 Dylan Hockley, 6 Dawn Hochsprung, 47 Madeline Hsu, 6 Catherine Hubbard, 6 Chase Kowalski, 7 Jesse Lewis, 6 James Mattioli, 6 Grace McDonnell, 7 Anne Marie Murphy, 52 Emilie Parker, 6 Jack Pinto, 6 Noah Pozner, 6 Caroline Previdi, 6 Jessica Rekos, 6 Avielle Richman, 6 Lauren Rousseau, 30 Mary Sherlach, 56 Victoria Soto, 27 Benjamin Wheeler, 6 Allison Wyatt, 6
"We cannot tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change." President Barack Obama
The shooting began in Sandy Hook Elementary's main office and continued in a kindergarten classroom. Children and teachers fleeing the school with their classes told reporters that police said not to stop until they reached the nearby firehouse.
Officials said that Lanza forced his way into the school before the the massacre. "He was not voluntarily let into the school at all," said CT State Police Lt. Paul Vance, who told reporters that investigators were gathering "some very good evidence," but gave few other details about how the tragedy unfolded.
"A lot of children are alive today because of actions the teachers took." Janet Robinson, School Superintendent
Dawn Hochsprung (pictured) is among the dead. Hochsprung, 47, became principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School 2 years ago and recently implemented a new security system for the school, which included a schedule for locking doors during the school day and checking parents' and other visitors' photo IDs.
Candlelight vigils have been organized around the country to mourn the victims of Sandy Hook. President Obama ordered public buildings to fly U.S. flags at half-staff until sunset, Dec. 18. Words of condolences have come in from leaders and citizens around the world.
The ATF has permanently revoked the firearms license from David LaGuercia, the owner of a Connecticut gun shop that sold guns used in the Sandy Hook school shooting in December, including a Bushmaster rifle. The shop also reportedly sold guns used in another mass shooting in 2010.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, on Apr. 4, Connecticut lawmakers passed and Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law some of the nation's strictest gun controls.
In a Nov. 25 report on the investigation of the Dec. 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Connecticut State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky concluded that shooter Adam Lanza acted alone and declared the case closed. Sedensky said the report "does not establish a conclusive motive."
On May 10, a local task force unanimously decided to recommend to the Newtown board of education that the elementary school where the massacre occurred be demolished and rebuilt on the same site. If the school board agrees with the recommendation, it would go to a town referendum.
On May 24, the Dept. of Education awarded a $1.3 million grant to the school district overseeing Sandy Hook Elementary for counseling services "to restore a safe and healthy environment," the department said.
A donations distribution plan approved on July 17 will give the families of each of the 20 children and 6 adults killed during the rampage $281,000 each. Two teachers that were injured in the attack will split $150,000 and the families of 12 other children will each receive $20,000.
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