News / USA

After School Massacre, Mourning and Calls for Action

A U.S. flag flies at half-staff on Main Street in honor of the people killed when a gunman opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.A U.S. flag flies at half-staff on Main Street in honor of the people killed when a gunman opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.
x
A U.S. flag flies at half-staff on Main Street in honor of the people killed when a gunman opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.
A U.S. flag flies at half-staff on Main Street in honor of the people killed when a gunman opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.
Carolyn Weaver
Police have not yet released all the names of the victims of a mass shooting at an elementary school in the northeastern state of Connecticut, but some reports have emerged on school staff slain as they tried to protect the children. The massacre has renewed calls for stronger gun control laws in the U.S.
 
Hundreds of Newtown, Connecticut residents attended an evening vigil for the 20 young children and six adults killed Friday at a local elementary school.  

The suspected gunman, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, shot and killed himself. He had earlier allegedly shot to death his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their home in Newtown.

  • A boy is comforted outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012.
  • A police officer keeps guard from a hill top over looking Sandy Hook Elementary School. At least 20 people, including children, were killed on Friday when a shooter opened fire.
  • Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
  • This satellite image provided by Google shows the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • The scene at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012.
  • White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that President Barack Obama is receiving updates on the situation in Connecticut during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington.
  • Family members embrace each other outside Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung and a school psychologist, Mary Sherlach, were among the dead. A witness said the two had rushed to the aid of children when gunfire was heard in the hallway.

First-grade teacher Victoria Soto, who reportedly tried to shield her children with her body, also died. Other teachers, including Kaitlin Roig, were able to barricade children behind locked doors.

“I’m thinking I have to almost be their parent, like I have to tell them -- so I said to them, ‘I need you to know that I love you all very much, and that it’s going to be okay,’ because I thought that was the last thing they were ever going to hear," said Roig. "I thought we were all going to die.”

Q&A with Peter Fedynsky on Connecticut School Shooting
Q&A with Peter Fedynsky on Connecticut School Shootingi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

The massacre of young children renewed calls for gun control in the U.S., where more than 10,000 people are murdered with guns each year. Police said the school killer had three assault-style guns, all legally registered to his mother.

President Barack Obama pauses as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, in the White House briefing room in Washington, December 14, 2012.President Barack Obama pauses as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, in the White House briefing room in Washington, December 14, 2012.
x
President Barack Obama pauses as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, in the White House briefing room in Washington, December 14, 2012.
President Barack Obama pauses as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, in the White House briefing room in Washington, December 14, 2012.
At the White House, President Obama wiped away tears and said that “as a country, we’ve been through this too many times.”  

“These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children," said Obama. "And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

Protesters outside the White House, and several politicians, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chair of a gun control advocacy group, demanded immediate action. In a statement, Mayor Bloomberg said, “We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership - not from the White House and not from Congress.”

A pro-gun group, The National Rifle Association, is a major contributor to many members of Congress. Political observers say its power is the primary reason for the absence of strong gun-control laws in the U.S. The NRA contends that laws limiting guns infringe on citizens’ Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs