News / USA

Obama to Visit Town Shattered by School Shooting

Mourners grieve at one of the makeshift memorials for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, December 16, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.
Mourners grieve at one of the makeshift memorials for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, December 16, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.
Carolyn Weaver
U.S. President Barack Obama travels on Sunday to Newtown, Connecticut, in an effort to comfort a shattered town reeling from a school shooting that left 20 young children and six adults dead.

A White House statement released Saturday said Obama will meet with the families of those who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and also thank first responders. The statement said the president will speak at an interfaith vigil for families of the victims and families from the school.

The announcement came just hours after Connecticut state police identified the victims and provided more information Saturday about their investigation into the mass shooting.

The 20 children killed Friday were first-graders, most of them six years old, according to the state medical examiner. Six women at the school, including the principal and several teachers, also were killed as they attempted to shield children after 20-year-old Adam Lanza forced his way into the building and began firing.

Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver II said he believed the victims had each been shot more than once by a long rifle.  He said the wounds were devastating.

“My sensibilities may not be the average man, but this probably is the worst I have seen and the worst I know any of my colleagues have seen,” he said.

  • Stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer rest at the base of a tree near the Newtown Village Cemetery in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 17, 2012.
  • A student looks for a place to leave flowers at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting at the entrance of Newtown High School December 18, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • Barbara Wells of Shelton, Conn., holds her daughter Olivia, 3, as she pays her respects Dec. 17, 2012 at one of the makeshift memorials for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.
  • First Burials for Newtown Victims Amid Profound Sadness
  • Frank Kulick, adjusts a display of wooden crosses, and a Jewish Star of David, representing the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, on his front lawn in Newtown, Conn., December 17, 2012.
  • Mourners grieve at one of the makeshift memorials for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, December 16, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.
  • Names of victims are displayed on a flag in the business area in Newtown, Connecticut, December 16, 2012.
  • A child's message rests with a memorial for shooting victims, December 16, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.
  • A memorial is seen along the road to Sandy Hook Elementary School a day after a mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 15, 2012.
  • A sign and a U.S. national flag are seen near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, Dec. 15, 2012.
  • This photo posted to the Emilie Parker Fund Facebook page shows six-year-old Emilie Parker, who was gunned down in Friday's school shooting in Connecticut.
  • Robbie Parker, the father of six-year-old Emilie who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, speaks during a news conference on Dec. 15, 2012 in Newtown, Conn.
  • This undated photo shows Adam Lanza posing for a group photo of the technology club which appeared in the Newtown High School yearbook.
  • A man bows his head as he stands at a makeshift memorial, outside Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Connecticut, Dec. 15, 2012.
  • Elizabeth Bogdanoff, left, kisses her daughter Julia, 13, during a prayer service at St John's Episcopal Church on Dec. 15, 2012 in Newtown, Conn.
  • People grieve next to a makeshift memorial of flowers and balloons next to the Sandy Hook Elementary school sign in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Dec. 15, 2012.
  • A woman covers her mouth as others look on stand near candles outside Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church near Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.
  • A young girl is given a blanket after being evacuated from Sandy Hook Elementary School following a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Dec.14, 2012.

Lanza killed himself at the scene. Earlier, he had allegedly shot to death his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their home in the small, wealthy community about 120 kilometers from New York.  

Connecticut police said several assault-style guns were found at the scene. All were registered legally to Nancy Lanza, reportedly a gun enthusiast who also owned several other weapons.

Police also said their investigation was turning up evidence, which they declined to detail, as to why Lanza targeted the school.  His older brother reportedly told police that Lanza had a form of autism or personality disorder. The autopsies on Lanza and his mother have not yet been completed.

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Comments page of 2
by: Hmd Imn from: the planet Earth
December 16, 2012 6:33 PM
So sad. I hate to say this but shame on America!
It's a shame that we have to hear these kind of shocking news from America. It just tarnishes the United States of America's image throughout the world. For example we my family heard the news I felt embarrassed so that I couldn't talk about America. I wonder who and where will be next target! You must consider people's reaction in other countries. What are they thinking of U.S right now?! Please, Do not let a punch of robbers make a mess and cause disturbances.

here is Chris de burgh's point of view on this tragedy:

An interesting selection of differing opinions about guns and gun control;it is,however,pointless to repeat the well known and glib phrase "People kill, guns don't,"which is nonsense,of course,and totally obvious!! However,when a country is awash with guns,anyone with a grudge, a mental disturbance or is just plain angry, can do terrible damage to a lot of people in a very short time. Humans have been killing each other in various ways for thousands of years, but as long as there is easy access to lethal weapons, there will be more and more tragedies, as the relentless interest of world-wide media adds fuel to anyone who wants to seek notoriety, even if they die whilst performing these atrocities.

by: Tom from: Louisbourg NS
December 16, 2012 4:06 PM
Americans and guns, LOSERS

December 16, 2012 9:58 AM
Before having this comment submitted, I had to have read the forum rules and written a code from the test image. I wonder, the gun enthusiast who had purchased the FOUR assault rifles, was she questioned to read or write so much as anything like this to prove their conformity & correspondence? Rather not. Anything to please the arms dealers…

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 16, 2012 4:39 AM
You should be couragious enough to abandon guns. You should be free from fear at the age of independence war. There are no Indians attacking colonists. You should recongnize there are a lot of countires where citizens have no guns and are getting along with each other and manage to protect their properties and lives. You should learn to trust others before suspect them. You shoud make meaningful actions now. I'm sorry but I think no matter how many times you mourn victims heartilly, they no longer revive. You should build up really safty society where no one even a sick person take gun to kill innocent person.
In Response

by: Jake from: Wisconsin
December 16, 2012 5:30 PM
Yes, Winston. The answer is more guns. If only Nancy Lanza had access to a gun in her home. I mean, besides those three her son took.
In Response

by: winston from: NY
December 16, 2012 1:36 PM
Of course we should, but then not absolutely every single thing in this society would be for sale... and we cant have that.
Guns and war!! oooof!! BIIG business.. As a result, they are not going to disappear anytime soon. I wish they would too.
But in a society like ours, people have to have the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones. Just imagine if someone in that school office had been armed..and trained, they might have gotten lucky and ended it all right there. If only. I rather have a gun and not need it than need it and not have it. -at least in USA 2012. Japan is another story. UK is another story.

by: Christina Head from: Jefferson Ga.
December 16, 2012 12:48 AM
I feel for all the kids and teachers and the families that now will have to have christmas without their little one's and their friends or family members. It causes m heart to hurt with tears because I have a 6 year old grand daughter that I have custody of and have raised her for 6 years and when I read that part about a child being 6 and shot and killed, I looked over my little 6 year old and cried and said to myself that one of those could have been her. There is nothing or no one that can bring these kids or people at the school back but this man if he is still alive needs to be put in prison for life and mabye even the electric chair!!!!!! You hear about school shootings alot more now where it was rare at first. But things are just getting worse!!!! Get ride of your guns folks or you may have to start staying at the school with your children all day to increase the protection of not just your child but the others as well.

by: Pearl from: New Delhi
December 16, 2012 12:40 AM
This is absolutely heart-breaking and shocking. Is it so easy to get guns in the US and practically kill anyone? Everywhere else in the developed world, there are no such absolute rights to own arms. When will Americans wake up to this? You dont have to lose a loved one to take action.

by: Oscar
December 15, 2012 11:17 PM
God bless America and all those parents and relatives including the familes of the teachers who lost their lives.

Please give them all the strength to somehow overcome their irreplaceable loss and their grief at such a tragic time.

by: lshaikh from: Wellington
December 15, 2012 11:06 PM
Why would anyone need to buy 4 guns ? !!!!! What are they trying to achieve ? how can someone buy more than one gun and not be questioned or atleast be on someones radar ?
I pray god give this beautiful community and all who are suffering right now the strength and courage to heal and overcome this tragedy

by: KayCT from: connecticut
December 15, 2012 11:04 PM
What needs to be done and done now in Connecticut is to prevent anyone from owning the amount of sophisticated, automatic weapons that the shooter's mother seems to have owned. I do not own a gun nor does anyone in my extended family, but I would not try to end the reasonable ownership of guns. However,being a gun enthusiast, HOARDER, should not be legal and should be part of the information collected at the time of sale of such weapons. One is enough and maybe too many for any sane person.

by: russ from: virginia
December 15, 2012 8:43 PM
You have an article about the police releasing the victim's names and you do not put the names in the article, or even a link to the names. Come on, guys.
In Response

by: Patricia Colaneri from: Albany, NY
December 15, 2012 11:09 PM
We do not need to exploit these little children or their heartbroken families by revealing their names. I applaud all the media so far that have not produced a list of names of the children. Please, let these people grieve privately. It is the one thing that we are all able to do for them.
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