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More from News
- The shooter - Ryan Lanza, 24 - is confirmed dead and body still inside the school
- His father was found dead at his home in Newtown
- Younger brother arrested and is in custody
- One teacher said masked gunman started firing out shots from principal's office and then his mom's kindergarten classroom shortly after 9.30am
- One student said there were bullets whizzing by him in the hallway
- At least 100 rounds are believed to have been fired
- Female principal and school psychologist believed to have been targeted
- Moved to tears, President Obama says 'our hearts are broken today'
- Flags on Capitol Hill to be flown at half mast
By Rachel Quigley
PUBLISHED: 10:40 EST, 14 December 2012 | UPDATED: 15:40 EST, 14 December 2012
President Obama openly wept today as he spoke of the mindless shooting of 29 people, including 22 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary school this morning saying, 'Our hearts are broken today'.
In an extraordinary show of emotion at a White House press conference, Obama said: 'I know there's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.'
The President addressed a stunned nation five hours after Ryan Lanza, 24, the son of a teacher, brought terror to the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school.
President Obama openly wept today as he spoke of the mindless shooting of 29 people, including 22 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary school this morning saying, 'Our hearts are broken today'
Ryan Lanza, in the orange jacket in both pictures, shot dead his father, his mother and at least 28 others before turning the gun on himself in Newtown, Connecticut today
Sources say he opened fire first at the principal's office and then his mother Nancy's kindergarten classroom before moving from room-to-room shooting children and teachers.
Police were dispatched to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown after they received reports of shots being fired by a gunman in the principal's office and then a kindergarten classrooms at 9.35am.
Sources have named the gunman as 24-year-old Ryan Lanza whose mother is a teacher at the school. His younger brother is in custody after being arrested in woods near the school shortly after the shooting, according to sources.
Lanza is said to have gone from classroom-to-classroom firing at students and teachers with a .223-caliber rifle and specifically targeted his mother's classroom.
His father was found dead at his Newtown home around 2pm, according to officials.
Lanza is dead but it is not clear if he shot himself or was brought down by officers. His body is still at the scene.
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Traumatized students were seen being led out of the school crying and holding hands
A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following the tragic shooting this morning which has shocked the quiet suburban community
Chaotic scenes at the school as police work to secure the area and bodies are carried out of the school
Young children wait outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, this morning
Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School
A shooter opened fire at the elementary school shooting at least 20 people - more than a dozen children are believed to be dead
A second man who was seen running from the school right after the shooting was taken into custody around 1pm after he was found in nearby woods.
Lanza is believed to have been
carrying four weapons including two handguns and a rifle and was wearing
a bullet-proof vest and black military gear.
One mother told CBS that
her child said there were bullets 'whizzing by' him in the hallway and
that a teacher pulled him into a classroom. It was said to have been
like a 'war zone'.
shooting is the latest in a series of high-profile gun crimes in
American schools and colleges, that is especially shocking given the
age of the students involved
The school principal and psychologist are believed to be among the dead.
A boy weeps as he is told what happened after being picked up at Reed Intermediate School following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting
A woman talks to a state police officer for news about the 29 people believed to have been shot dead at the school
A parent told MailOnline Lanza battered on a closet where 15 children and their teacher were locked inside shouting: 'Let me in! Let me in!'
The mother, in her 40s, who declined to give her name, said: 'I want to thank my child's music teacher. She saved their lives.
'The shooter kept banging on the door screaming: "Let me in! Let me in!" but he didn't get in.
'Now I have to explain to my nine-year-old son that his friends won't be coming back. How am I supposed to do that?'
Alberta Bajraliu 41, got a call from a friend who heard a gunshot at the school and told her to check it out.
Mrs Alberta's nine-year-old daughter Venesa was at the school but her two other children are not.
She said: 'I was one of the first there and they were bringing children out, carrying them out. One girl came out and her face was covered in blood and she had bits of meat from other people in her hair. It was terrible.
'Another girl just looked shocked. They brought one girl out and I thought it was my daughter. They asked me: 'Does she have black trousers?' and I said no as Venesa had jeans.
'When I saw her I just felt so relieved. She has not spoken much about what happened. She said she was in an art class and the teacher closed the door and they were waiting until they could get out.
Miss Bajraliu also paid tribute to the school's principal Dawn Hochsprung who is believed to have been killed. She said: 'She would have done anything for her children'.
Josh Milas, 21, a former pupil at the school, also paid tribute to her and said: 'She loved those kids. She was a great person'.
Hundreds of officers swarmed the building as students were evacuated after a gunman went from classroom to classroom shooting students and teachers
A mother runs with her children, left, as police canvass homes in the area following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and another comforts her traumatized child, right
A black Honda believed to belong to the shooter has been cordoned off
There are preliminary reports a students father, who is believed to be 20-years-old and from New Jersey, was the shooter. He was killed at the scene though it is unclear if he shot himself or was brought down by an officer
Parents pick-up children outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after 18 students and two adults were shot dead this morning
Hundreds of officers, sniffer dogs, and firefighters patrol the streets outside Sandy Hook Elementary School to secure the area
Dawn Hochsprung, 47, has been the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary school since July 2010.
One teacher is confirmed to have been shot in the foot and is being treated at a local hospital.
The mayor said they are not releasing names until next-of-kin have been notified.
Two handguns have been recovered at the scene and police have cordoned off a black Honda with New Jersey plates believed to belong to the dead shooter.
Hundreds of officers and police dogs had the area surrounded as they worked to secure the scene.
and students were said to be in morning meetings when the shots were
fired. The children were locked inside their classrooms until police
came and evacuated them to a nearby fire station.
One child was seen being carried from the school by a police officer, apparently seriously wounded.
A person in one room had 'numerous gunshot wounds', police told the The Hartford Courant.
VIDEO: Aerial view of scene of school shooting at Newtown, Conneticut
Frantic parents rushed to the school to be reunited with their children
A mother desperately holds on to her son outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after she rushed to the scene
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown is in lock down after police were alerted to a number of shots being fired at 9.41am by a gunman who was said to be in the main office of the school
Traumatized students were seen being led out of the school crying and holding hands shortly after the shots rang out.
There were also reports that a bomb squad was being called into the school. A helicopter was flying over the scene.
parents were rushing to the school as they were advised to go to the
nearby fire station with ID to pick up their children.
A witness told News8 he saw one child with a bloodied face and another with a hand injury.
The school has about 600 students from kindergarten through to fourth grade - aged between five and 11.
President Obama was first notified of the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school at 10:30am , White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
The president has been receiving updates and will continue to throughout the day, Carney added.
'If we get more information and as we get more information, we'll certainly provide it to you. The president as a father and I as a father certainly ... feel enormous sympathy for families that are affected and to do everything we can to support state and local law enforcement, to support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event.'
First Selectman Pat Llodra told Patch that there is no information being released about the victims — 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.'
One mother of an eight-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.
Mrs Lebinski said that she had spoken to her daughter's teacher 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.'
Teachers and students were said to be in morning meetings when the shots were fired. The children were locked inside their classrooms until police came and evacuated them to a nearby fire station
As well as police and firefighters, there were reports that a bomb squad was being called into the school. A helicopter was also flying over the scene
There are unconfirmed reports of two shooters, one is believed to be dead and the other still at large
There were reports of frantic parents rushing to the school though officials are telling them to stay at home by the phone
Sandy Hook Elementary School is located on Dickinson Drive in Newtown, Connecticut
SECURITY MEASURES CAN'T PREVENT ANOTHER U.S. SCHOOL SHOOTING
American public schools use a variety of security measures to protect students and staff.
Almost 94 per cent of U.S. elementary schools lock their doors during the school day to restrict access to campuses.
Some 84 per cent of high schools, 73 per cent of middle schools, and 51 per cent of elementary schools use security cameras to monitor their schools, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Increasing numbers of security guards are in place at U.S. public schools as a result of gun crime with metal detectors also in use across the country.
Yet despite security measures school shootings in America are still common place.
On February 10 2012 a 14-year-old from New Hampshire called Hunter Mack shot himself in the face at Walpole Elementary School cafeteria.
Two weeks later student T.J. Lane, 17, allegedly opened fire at Chardon High School, Ohio, killing two and injuring three.
Seven were killed and 10 injured at a shooting at Oikos University, in Oakland, California on 2 April. One L. Goh, 43, a Korean national surrendered to police.
Police arrested 15-year-old Robert Gladden and charged him as an adult after a student opened fire on the first day of school, at Perry Hall High School, Baltimore, in August. The 15-year-old allegedly opened fire before being rushed by teachers.
Teachers again stopped a shooter on September 7 when a 14-year-old was tackled to the floor after shooting at the ceiling at Normal Community High School, Illinois.
On September 26 eight grader Cade Poulos killed himself at Stillwater Junior High School in Oklahoma.