US shooting: Gunman kills 28, including 20 schoolchildren; pressure on Obama to act on gun laws
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Twenty schoolchildren were slaughtered by a heavily armed gunman who opened fire at a suburban elementary school in Connecticut on Friday, killing at least 27 people including himself in the one of the worst mass shootings in US History. The 20-year-old gunman, who law enforcement sources identified as Adam Lanza, fired what witnesses described as dozens of shots at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which serves children from ages 5 to 10.
Authorities found 18 children and seven adults, including the gunman, dead at the school, and two children were pronounced dead later after being taken to a hospital. Another adult was found dead at a related crime scene in Newtown, bringing the toll to 28, state police Lieutenant Paul Vance said. As reports of the shooting spread, panicked parents rushed to the school searching for their children as students covered in blood were being carried out of the building. President Barack Obama, wiping away tears and pausing to collect his emotions in an address to the nation, mourned the "beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old" who were killed.
"Our hearts are broken today, for the parents, and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of the adults who were lost," Obama said, his voice cracking. "Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early and there are no words that will ease their pain," said Obama, who has two young daughters.
"Evil visited this community today," Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy told reporters.
The New York Times reported that the gunman walked into a classroom where his mother was a teacher, shot his mother and then 20 students, most in the same classroom, before shooting five other adults and killing himself. One other person was shot at the school and survived, the Times said. Other media reports said the gunman's mother was found dead at a house nearby.