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.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    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



    by: andrewborovskikh@gmail.co
    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.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.