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Police Decline to ID Newtown Gunman, Citing Investigation

A town once voted the safest place to live in America experiences horrific violence in one of its elementary schools.

Update 5:11 p.m.

State police confirmed that one person was responsible for the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults, saying the gunman has been tentatively identified but declining to identify the shooter.

“We will identify the shooter at an appropriate time,” Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said during a 5 p.m. press conference Friday. “Just for our investigatory purposes it’s not appropriate right now.”

“We will leave no stone unturned as we are looking at every facet of this investigation,” Vance said, adding that police would hold another briefing around 6 p.m.

Vance confirmed that local, state and federal officials responded to the shocking incident in this normally peaceful southwestern Connecticut town, including an FBI crisis team. Counseling has been made available not only to affected families but also to first responders on scene.

“We provided counseling for the first responders, because this was a very tragic, horrific scene that we encountered,” Vance said.

The gunman shot and killed himself, Vance said.

Update: 3:50 p.m.

The actions of one gunman — 27 lives lost. 

"This is an active ongoing investigation" Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said at an afternoon press conference Friday, updating the assembled media about the state of the investigation into the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Vance confirmed the death toll: 20 children, 6 adults, including the shooter, and one adult victim at a "secondary scene" in Connecticut.

But in response to multiple questions from press, Vance said at one point: "There are a lot of things we cannot confirm."

He did offer the beginning of a basic timeline, saying the first call came in at around 9:30 a.m.

"Officers immediately entered the school to search for students, faculty and staff and remove them," he said. "They did search every nook and cranny...Those who were rescued were taken to a staging area."

The school is now secure. Two rooms of the school appeared to be the gunman's focus. 

"It is not a simplistic scene," Vance said. "We will be here through the night and through the weekend. We are not putting a time stamp on this process."

The secondary local crime scene may well be this investigation in the Sandy Hook section, the only other known center of police investigation in Newtown right now.

Vance is expected to give another update in about an hour. 

Update: 3:38 p.m.

Patch exclusive: The man identified in media reports Friday as the shooter has told friends that he thinks his developmentally disabled brother may have committed the crime, Patch has learned.

A close friend of Ryan Lanza who would not be identified told Patch that he spoke to Lanza as Lanza made his way home from work to Hoboken. Lanza also took to his Facebook page to rail against CNN naming him as the suspect in the shooting in Newtown, Conn. 

“I’m on the bus home now, it wasn’t me,” Lanza wrote.

Lanza’s mother, Nancy, a school teacher, is believed to be among the dead. 

Patch was among the media outlets to highlight and link to reports naming Lanza as the alleged shooter. Police haven't yet officially confirmed the identity of the gunman.

Update: 3:18 p.m.

Gov. Dannel Malloy is scheduled to hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Malloy, who met with parents, has received an offer of federal assistance from President Obama.

The gunman apparently went to his family’s Hoboken, NJ home before heading to Newtown, CT where he fatally shot his mother in her kindergarten classroom of Sandy Hook Elementary School,according to NBC.

Original story:

Citing sources, the Associated Press is reporting the gunman who rampaged through the Sandy Hook Elementary School was armed with four guns including a high-powered rifle and is believed to have shot and killed up to 30 people including 18 children. The death toll could rise. 

Investigators have identified the gunman “as a man in his 20s from Connecticut and they are searching his father’s home in New Jersey,” according to WABC Channel 7. The hometown was not immediately identified. According to Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said the gunman was found dead inside the school.

Friday afternoon distraught parents continued to wait to be reunited with their children. After meeting with parents of the students, Gov. Dannel Malloy is now at the school. Authorities said much information will not be released until the relatives of the victims are notified.

Channel 7 also is reporting the President Obama has telephone Malloy to express condolences and to offer any federal assistance needed in the investigation of the shooting that was first reported to Newtown Police just before 9:30 a.m. Friday.

A fourth-grade student at Sandy Hook Elementary School said  he and his classmates were “locked in a closet in the gym” to escape the gunman. In an interview with Channel 7, the student said, “the police came  and …. We ran to the firehouse.”

 

 

Updated 1:43 p.m.

Police just had a very brief press conference. State Police Lt. Paul Vance did not take any questions. There will be more briefings. 

Message they did offer: "Scene is secure. The public is not in danger."

Updated 1:20 p.m.

The community is in "sheer shock." Read our interviews with Newtown residents as they try to make sense of the violence.

Update 1 p.m.

Citing an anonymous official "with knowledge" the Associated Press is reporting 27 people dead including 18 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy is in Newtown and a press conference set for 1 p.m. but hasn't yet begun. Patch is there.

Original Story:
Parent: Children Being Evacuated by Class

Town officials say they're trying to reunite parents with children who remain under lockdown at Sandy Hook Elementary School following confirmed shootings Friday morning.

Officials in Newtown say they're trying to reunite parents with their children in the wake of a shocking reported shooting at an elementary school in the town’s Sandy Hook neighborhood.

First Selectman Pat Llodra told Patch that there is no information being released about the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — only confirming that there was a shooting.

"I'm horrified, saddened and shocked that this happened in Newtown," Llodra said. "Our priorities right now are making sure everyone safe and reuniting parents with their children."

A reverse 911 call went out to all Newtown public school parents, NBC is reporting. Parents are converging all around the school seeking information about their children.

One mother of an 8-year-old girl at the school, Brenda Lebinski, told Patch that her daughter is safe thanks to one teacher's decision to move all kids into a closet when a gunman had entered the building.

Lebinski said that she had spoken to her daughter's teach as well as a volunteer who was in the school at the time of the shooting, and that a masked gunman had shot adults in the school.

"My daughter's teacher is my hero," Lebinski said. "She locked all the kids in a closet and that saved their lives."

According to Lebinski, the school had been on lockdown but police started leading out children and faculty members by class, and several children had blood on their clothing as they were led out. It isn't clear how many kids are still inside the school. Parents continue to surround the area, seeking news of their children.

Christine Wilford, a parent of a seven-year-old boy at the school, told Patch that her son was out of the school and safe with her husband. A woman standing next to Wilford burst into tears, saying her own son was still inside.

Danbury Hospital has confirmed to TV reporters that three patients have been transported by ambulance.

The Hartford Courant is reporting multiple injured parties, saying a shooter had been in the building’s main office and an individual in one area had “numerous gunshot wounds,” police said.

At a fire station near the school that's serving as a staging area, a woman was being wheeled on a gurney as a helicopter circled overhead and armed officials from multiple state and federal agencies moved beyond a cordoned-off area swarmed by parents. Dozens of parents could be seen walking to the school as motor vehicle traffic snarled the area of Dickinson Drive.

One man who identified himself as a cable worker and declined to give his name, told Patch that he was up on a utility pole at the time of the shooting. When he heard shots, the man said he thought they it was hunters, but then in a few minutes emergency response vehicles sped beneath his ladder.

Newtown Patch will post more information here as it becomes available.

Sam Giglio December 14, 2012 at 07:20 PM
This is just so sad, My heart gos out to all the Families for there loss and to the Victims.
grapefruit December 14, 2012 at 07:56 PM
The New York Times is reporting that the killer was the son of a teacher. Apparently he shot and killed his mother in front of her class. A rampage ensued, culminating with his own suicide.
Gene Ruocco December 14, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Hearts have been broken forever today, Oh God, WHY?
Karma December 14, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Horrible. Those poor children....
tiretracks December 14, 2012 at 08:06 PM
My intuition points to a mother/son power struggle. Perhaps drugs or alcohol were involved. Perhaps the mother was practicing "tough love" which never works.... At this time we can only speculate.
Richard Poulton December 14, 2012 at 08:37 PM
SO SO SAD.
Karma December 14, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Shut up. Just just up...
Panosonic December 14, 2012 at 09:09 PM
http://www.nytimes.com
hippocrates December 14, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Can someone shed some light on this story? The New York Times is one of the most credible papers in the country.
Jackie December 14, 2012 at 09:18 PM
@tiretracks tour comment is ridiculous
Starbright December 14, 2012 at 10:39 PM
In the absence of factual information folks will speculate. Perhaps you are privy to information unknown to the rest of us... The New York times is rarely mistaken and patch often is... Can anyone legitimately refute the times article? I simply don't buy the story about Lanza calling Patch.
Register_Opinion December 14, 2012 at 10:55 PM
http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2012/12/14/opinion/doc50cb9be9e4ced809874466.txt
Allen Dusablon December 14, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Officials say 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot & killed 20 small children & six adults at a school in Newtown, Conn.,
Allen Dusablon December 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
Cyberstalker December 14, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Cyberstalker never quits. Even in the face abhorrent tragedy. Man, you haven't a shred of decency, do you? What if your child had been killed? Then would you give it a rest? Nope, you wouldn't. Because nothing is more important that your drive to fill your narcissistic need for ego gratification. You are pathetic. Truly. I feel sorry for you.
I_Am_Obsessed December 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Corey King
tough_love December 15, 2012 at 04:40 AM
http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2011/08/new-bethany-ifb-teen-homes-abuse
ted Aub December 15, 2012 at 01:02 PM
HEAVENLY FATHER , I HAVE SEARCHED MY MIND OVER AND OVER AS TO WHY 20 BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN CREATED IN YOUR IMAGE WERE TAKEN AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITY. I HAVE NOT COME UP WITH A LOGICAL ANSWER SO I ASSUME THAT WE (SOCIETY) HAVE DONE SOMETHING WRONG . i KNOW ITS OUR JOB TO NURTURE AND PROTECT OUR YOUNG , BUT WHY THIS ? I AM READY TO TAKE MY PUNISHMENT FOR MY PART IN NOT BEING ABLE TO PROTECT THOSE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN AND PROMISE TO NEVER ALLOW SOMETHING OF THIS NATURE TO EVER HAPPEN AGAIN . NOTHING DOWN HERE MAKES ANY SENSE SO I AM APPEALING TO YOU ,A HIGHER POWER. PLEASE GUIDE US IN THE NURTURING AND PROTECTING OF OUR PEOPLE . PLEASE OPEN YOUR HEART AND YOUR KINGDOM TO THOSE WHO YOU ARE ABOUT TO RECEIVE . PROVIDE COMFORT TO THOSE WITH LOSS HERE ON EARTH AND PROVIDE OPPORTUNITY TO SOCIETY TO AMEND THIS GREAT LOSS . THANK YOU FATHER

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