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Police Hope to ID Victims, Shooter in Newtown Killings Saturday

Connecticut state police say an investigation is underway to piece together what motivated the gunman that killed 20 children, six adults and himself Friday morning.

Update 8:08 p.m. Friday

Saying officials will identify all victims in the mass killings at a Newtown elementary school — including the shooter, who took his own life — on Sunday, state police called the day’s shocking events “heart-wrenching.”

No parents have been given access to the inside of Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the bodies of 18 children, six adults and suspected gunman Adam Lanz remain, Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said Friday night at a press conference. Two other children died after they were transported to a nearby hospital.

All family members of the deceased have been notified, Vance said.

A press conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, Vance said.

Vance spoke in general terms of the investigation into the shooter, whom multiple media outlets have identified as Lanz, citing police sources.

“At this point we are confident that we have the shooter,” Vance said.

All of that shooter’s relatives have been identified and contacted, Vance said. Lanz’s brother had been detained earlier in the day Friday, within hours of the shooting, which started at approximately 9:40 a.m. Their mother has been confirmed among those killed, as has the school’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung.

“I think what we have got to do is … look at all the history,” Vance said of the police investigation. “We will go backwards and hopefully stumble on answers.”

Update 7:10 p.m.

Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza, whose older brother had been detained by police in New Jersey earlier Friday, has been identified as the gunman in Newtown who killed 20 children, six adults and himself, according to the Huffington Post.

Citing multiple media outlets including CNN, the Huffington Post said many media organizations had relied on inaccurate information to report the shooter as Adam Lanza’s brother earlier in the day. As reported by Patch, the brother — Ryan Lanza — now is grieving not only for his brother but also their mother, a teacher at the school who numbers among those killed.

David Owens, a Hartford Courant reporter, said during a TV interview that police sources say other people outside of the school may also have been killed by the gunman.

Update 6:15 p.m.

Calling Friday morning’s fatal shootings of 27 people at a Newtown elementary school, including 20 children, “unspeakable” and “tragic,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said during a press conference moments ago that it’s too early to talk about recovery.

“What each parent, each sibling, each member of [affected families] has to understand is that in Connecticut we are all in this together to do whatever we can to overcome this event,” Malloy said. “We will get through it.”

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

_________________________________________________________________________________________

More links to Newtown Patch’s coverage here:

  • Shooting Prompts Religious Leaders to Host Special Prayer Services
  • Reaction: Sandy Hook School Shooting
  • Police Raid Sandy Hook Home Hours After Shooting
  • [PHOTOS] Newtown School Shooting

_________________________________________________________________________________________

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 Ryan Lanza as the alleged shooter. Police haven't yet officially confirmed the identity of the gunman.

Meanwhile, saying that parents across the United States will hug their children a little tighter Friday night after the morning’s shocking shooting deaths of elementary school kids in Newtown, President Barack Obama told the nation that it must “come together.”

During a press conference that ended moments ago, Obama said “our hearts are broken” for those that lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School during a tragedy whose cause and suspected perpetrators remain unclear.

“Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivor as well, as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early,” Obama said.

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.”

Update: 1:25 p.m.

Press conference is still at least an hour away, an official just told Patch.

Update: 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: 1:00 p.m.

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

The shooter is believed to be a single adult and is now dead.

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

Officials in Newtown say they're trying to reunite parents with their children in the wake of a shocking multiple 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 teacher 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.

State police reported shortly after 12 p.m. that officials from the state Medical Examiner's Office were en route to the scene.

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.

Marilyn Gudsnuk, 52, of nearby Southbury said she heard 10 to 12 gunshots around 9:40 a.m. Gudsnuk, who attended the elementary school herself as a childhood, said she is taking care of a 91-year-old resident who lives across the street from the school.

"I took off running into the house," she said. "I didn't know what was happening. It was scary."

Asked whether she imagined a shooting could happen at her former school, Gudsnuk said, "Never in a million years."

"I just pray for these people," she said. "The anguish they are going through. And all because someone's not right in the head."

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.

Claire Moses contributed this report.

eatingdogfood December 17, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Pardon me Pat but how would you stop a crazed gunman after he has blown his way into a school building? Ban and restrict all you want. If someone wants to kill they will find a way. Unless they find themselves staring down the barrel of a gun.
Clemona December 17, 2012 at 01:03 AM
After banning the guns. Lets go after the other root causes of this madness. The founding founders never envisioned the damage that could be done by a 24-hour news cycle. The media incentivizes killers by giving them attention, and they put innocent people in danger. Hollywoods constant barrarge of violence has been a main impetus as madman after madman re-inact their favorite scenes. Clearly, we cannot sit by and hope this situation will improve. How many more deaths will it take before someone does something? I know what you're thinking: Free societies are inherently messy. And what about the First Amendment? I'm not suggesting we completely abolish the media. But perhaps we should curtail it. Isn't it time for some common sense media control?
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Gun control and now media control. Like I said, slippery slope. The USSR had these things, and it fell hard, leading to lawlessness, missing nukes, and the emergence of huge criminal syndicates. I definitely don't want to go down that path. Leave the constitution alone. Also, the founding fathers wanted the citizens of this nation to be able to stand up to tyranny, if our government ever went down that road. They envisioned small government and states rights, not the big one we have now in Washington that you want to make bigger with more bans and control. We have the right to bear arms so if we ever needed to "cast out our leaders" that we would be able to do so. Tough to do with bolt action and breach loaded weapons. Brush up on your history, it is well documented, and then you will know what our founders truly envisioned.
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 01:39 AM
And I don't know why everyone is so down on the "Wild West". When everyone was armed, this stuff certainly didn't happen. The most famous gunfight was at the OK corral. Only 3 people died. You know what it was about? The Earps trying to enforce gun control. Molon Labe
Bjorn Olsson December 17, 2012 at 01:47 AM
j335, I don't quite follow, sorry. Would you elaborate? As far as I can make out, you mean that US immigrants bring different views on gun laws and gun use, and a higher rate of homicidal shootings?
The Last Patriot December 17, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Nyack, what you're doing is very typical of Liberals; ignoring facts and debate for more personal attacks. Want to know about me? I grew up in a kiddle class village in Westchester County. I, through my own interest, began reading books written by the founding fathers as a teenager. Books written by men who understood that history repeats itself and that society goes through cycles: good and bad. They had an understanding that government was a nexessary evil, but that the people shold live off of the fruit of their own labors and the riggt to protect your family. You said I, and others like me, are afriad of others and believe that everyone out there is evil. You have it backwards. I have faith in my fellow man/woman. You are the one that are afriad
Issy December 17, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Sorry but you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. Mountain Meadow 1857 140 killed. Spirit Lake 1857, 20 killed not to mention the numerous massacres of Native American tribes.
Bjorn Olsson December 17, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Dear Son, if the best argument you have is to say that "if you don't feel safe, then just leave" isn't that kind of sad? Should I leave you here to get shot all by yourself? I live here, my children are growing up in America (Maybe not in A M E R I C A, but still...) You know full well that there are many, many americans as distraught as I am over the horrific rate of gun violence in this country, so trying to disqualify me for having moved here a couple of generations after your family really will get you nowhere. 2nd amendment does not condone what is going on, and if it does, you change it, or how about this: implement it. If you are not part of a well-regulated militia, you can't own a gun. No change needed. America is special in many ways, and when it comes to gun violence it is special in a very negative way.
The Last Patriot December 17, 2012 at 01:54 AM
You are themone that is afriad. Banning every object that is sharp is nit the answer. Look around you. Look at the reckless road rage, the fact that many folks cannot even say thank you when you hold a door for them, or nobody will even say hellow to their neighvor anymore. What's happening to our country? That is the question that needa to be answered. What changed? Something is happening. What is the cause? We are all to blame in ione form or another.
Bjorn Olsson December 17, 2012 at 02:01 AM
You change laws when they don't serve you well anymore, but in the case of the 2nd amendment you can simply start with requiring that you have to be part of a well-regulated militia to own a gun. Constitution has changed a number of times, for instance to remove the right to own people.
Bjorn Olsson December 17, 2012 at 02:01 AM
True, the Wild West often had much stricter gun laws than we have today.
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Who were the Sons of Liberty, Nyack Rezident? Study your history. It often occurs to me that the ones who hurl insult usually mean it towards themselves, as they have deep seated self disdain. I can tell you I was raised by fantastic parents, in a gun free home, filled with love and tolerance. I was never abused by anyone and was taught to respect others, their opinions, and never to hate, because hate is an emotion easily obtained used by those who are less evolved than we (remember the dark side of the force?). I do not see enemies all around and I'm certainly not afraid of myself. But I do wonder about you and all you are revealing about yourself through your words and your venom, for clearly you were not raised with the same ideals.
The Last Patriot December 17, 2012 at 02:04 AM
I had a fantastic childhood which I am grateful for every day of my life. It's sad that you would attack one's childhood of which you knkw nothing about. I apologize for calling you "sick" before, as I realize I stooped to your level. Your beliefs about gun control are based off of your own opinion and reactionary emotion. My opinions are historical-based and are the foundations of our country. This is why my name is "The Last Patriot," because I find that many people today do not subscribe to the founding principles of the American Republic. You claim to believe in freedom, but do you EXERCISE it? By the way, I nor any of my family memebers have ever owned a single firearm.
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 02:05 AM
I also feel that you have not encountered many people at all, let alone people like me. It's interesting that you make broad statements and mention abuse by a parent. Anything in your past that you need to get off your chest. Maybe you should go talk to someone and stay off the computer for a while. You mention sick and demented minds a lot. I could almost see a fascination there. You poor thing.
Issy December 17, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Leave the Constitution alone, Who are you to determine what the Founders wanted? Does your small government Constitution include women's right and gay rights? The Constitution makes no determination on size of government and we went to war over State's rights and reason prevailed. The right to bear arms must have limitations or should I be able to own a tank? Just as the right to free speech does not allow you to shout 'fire' in a theater. I am thankful that we do have a a Constitution that protects people from people who want to make this country some right wing theocracy where god and guns go hand in hand.
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Ah, more name calling. Running out of steam I see. Maybe I hit a nerve. Seriously, seek help.
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Issy, I believe those were military type actions perpetrated by numerous people, including Militias and the Military. (By the way, 17 children were spared at Mountain Meadow) Those weren't perpetrated by a psychotic lone gunman, which is what we are talking about here. And I said "most famous" which the shootout at the OK corral certainly is. Anyway, shame on me for making an aside anyway.
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Did you not read the last posts? I see, you are ignoring them now. And you are using the word "venom". Nice, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I think I have been very even and fair with you and have not hurled one insult. You haven't hit a nerve at all, at this point my toying with you is strictly entertainment.
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Also, I doubt the local FBI office is concerned with my disagreeing with you as that isn't against any law that I know of. You do know what law is, right? Talk about delusional! LOL You really do need some professional help.
The Last Patriot December 17, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Son, He hasn't addressed one question or issue with which has been brought to him/her. Any sense of reason and logic is alien to him/her.
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 02:48 AM
I have great, beautiful children, they are young, very happy and well protected. I tell them I love them everyday and they return my love with theirs. It's fantastic being a parent. So you're wrong again. You come off like some sort of wanna be psychologist so let me ask you...do you know what projection is. Accusing me of hate speech, venom, of being abused, and having a "diseased mind" speaks volumes about what is going on inside your head. I say again, i have been nothing but fair and even with you, though I have toyed with you a bit. You are obviously unbalanced and off kilter. I just didn't realize that they let the patients at Pomona In-patient services have access to computers. :)
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Nyack Rezident is funny. People like that are really nuts and everyone who knows them personally would probably say the same. (I actually think it's a she, not a he) People like that will never have any kind of influence on anyone because they are so easily shaken and really quick to insult. Clearly unreachable and totally unreasonable. Proud to have you with me Patriot. Keep the faith.
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Now it's "we" So there's more than just one of you bouncing around in that head This gets better and better I'm laughing at you Rezident Not to be cruel but because you are really out there I actually feel sorry for you
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 03:19 AM
And it doesn't matter if you believe me or not I know who I am and you know who and what you are Nothing written in the blogosphere will ever change that
Bjorn Olsson December 17, 2012 at 03:46 AM
How about we all back off the personal attacks?
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 04:47 AM
"All good men wish the entire abolition of slavery, as soon as it can take place with safety to the public, and for the lasting good of the present wretched race of slaves." -Oliver Ellsworth, Original signer of the Constitution Issy, how do you respond when people in this country want a ban on gay marriage, if not homosexuality all together (it actually used to be illegal). They bring up studies on disease, AIDS, and statistical numbers of dead. How about those who want to limit women's rights? (I do not support or defend these opinions by the way, before people go nuts and attack me) Issy, you probably find these things outrageous and hurtful because they affect you on a personal level, right? I feel the same way about my freedoms. Respect that, for I respect the rights of all people. I never told you how to live, or what you can and cannot possess. I only ask the same of you. There are ways to prevent atrocities like Newtown. But they are not found in the "simple" solutions of stripping away the rights of people in this country. It is not an easy answer to find and may be decades before we can fix it.
Issy December 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Rights come with responsibilities. What about the rights of those in Newtown or the next killings? Your rights can not come at the expense of others, your rights are no more valid than those of others. In Newtown the right to life and liberty was taken away at the expense of the right to 'bear arms' You are of course correct there is no quick easy solution but what is clear is that restrictions on the types of weapons people can own must play a part.
Issy December 17, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Son of Liberty.......... Rights come with responsibilities. What about the rights of those in Newtown or the next killings? Your rights can not come at the expense of others, your rights are no more valid than those of others. In Newtown the right to life and liberty was taken away at the expense of the right to 'bear arms' You are of course correct there is no quick easy solution but what is clear is that restrictions on the types of weapons people can own must play a part.
Pat Gharet December 17, 2012 at 12:58 PM
See what I mean?
Son of Liberty December 17, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Unfortunately, Resident, you think everyone but you is deranged To the rest of you who seem pretty normal, for now put the pettiness aside, its time to mourn. Pur trained professionals in and around our schools to keep our children safe or at very least make us parents feel a little better Stop calling for decreases in law enforcement because your taxes are increasing You may get your wish and a limited type of gun ban for new weapons sold But there will never ever be the type of ban where we go around and take people's weapons away That's a pandoras box no one wants to open God bless the victims and people of Newtown

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