20 children killed in Connecticut elementary school shooting

Dozens were shot at  a Connecticut elementary school this morning leaving at least 26 dead, including 20 children, said Connecticut state police.  Earlier reports indicated the shooter’s name was Ryan Lanza, but conflicting reports now say his brother Adam Lanza, 20, was behind the massacre.

The shooting took place at approximately 9:40 a.m. when a man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire near the school’s main office, according to reports. The shooter is dead, said Lieutenant Paul Vance of Connecticut State Police at a press briefing.

According to reports, Lanza’s mother, who worked in the school, is among those killed.  Reports also indicate that his father and brother have also been found dead.

CBS2 reported that a SWAT team is at the suspected shooter’s New Jersey home.  A second suspect is in police custody, according to CBS News.

Police evacuated children and faculty out of the school that runs from kindergarten to fourth grade to a staging area where kids were reunited with their parents. Vance said the public is currently at no risk.

The dozens of injured were taken to Danbury Hospital, which remains on lock down.

An emotional President Barack Obama addressed the nation at 3:15 p.m. saying the country has seen too many of these tragedies the past few years.

“I know there is not a parent in America that does not feel the overwhelming grief that I do,” the president said. “They had their entire lives ahead of them. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”

Obama said something must be done to stop further tragedies from taking place.

“We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” he said.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio commented, “No parent in this country will ever forget the painful images of children being carried out of Sandy Hook Elementary School. This is a terrible day, and it must become a call to action to protect all communities big and small from senseless violence. Our prayers are with our neighbors in Connecticut as they face this appalling loss of life.”

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, along with Councilmembers Jumaane Williams and Fernando Cabrera called for stricter gun control regulations. “This tragedy is an urgent reminder that we must strengthen the call for serious gun control reform. From Columbine to Oak Creek, from Aurora to Newtown, our country cannot and must not live in fear of weapons designed to kill,” they stated. “We pray that elected leaders, regardless of background, can put a stop to this madness and help save lives.”

Congressmember Jerrold Nadler agreed. “Yet another unstable person has gotten access to firearms and committed an unspeakable crime against innocent children.  We cannot simply accept this as a routine product of modern American life,” he said. “If now is not the time to have a serious discussion about gun control and the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our society, I don’t know when is.  How many more Columbines and Newtowns must we live through?  I am challenging President Obama, the Congress, and the American public to act on our outrage and, finally, do something about this.”

Reporting contributed by Denise Romano.

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