All first-graders, kids shot multiple times, Lanza meant to hit hard

Autopsies

JAMES BARRON

The gunman in the Connecticut shooting blasted his way into the elementary school and then sprayed the children with bullets, first from a distance and then at close range, hitting some of them as many as 11 times, as he fired a semiautomatic rifle loaded with ammunition designed for maximum damage, officials said.

The state's chief medical examiner, H Wayne Carver II, said all of the 20 children and six adults gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown had been struck more than once. He said their wounds were "all over, all over".

"This is a very devastating set of injuries," he said at a briefing. When asked if they had suffered, he said, "Not for very long."

The disclosures came as the police released the victims' names. The children — 12 girls and eight boys — were all first graders, between the ages of six and seven. All of the adults killed were women.

On Saturday, as families began to claim the bodies of loved ones, some sought privacy. Others spoke out. Robbie Parker, whose six-year-old daughter Emilie was among the dead, choked back tears as he described her as "bright, creative and very loving". He added, "As we move on from what happened here, what happened to so many people, let us not let it turn into something that defines us."

Other details emerged about how, but not why, the attack had happened. The Newtown school superintendent, Janet Robinson, said the principal and the school psychologist had been shot as they tried to tackle the gunman. One teacher had helped children escape through a window.

Another shoved students into a room with a kiln and held them there until the danger had passed.

First responders described a scene of carnage in the two classrooms where the children were killed, with no movement and no one left to save.

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