News / USA

Connecticut Mourns Mass Shooting Victims

A woman puts a photo of a child on a makeshift memorial in the Sandy Hook Village of Newtown, Conn., as the town mourns victims killed in a school shooting, Dec. 17, 2012.
A woman puts a photo of a child on a makeshift memorial in the Sandy Hook Village of Newtown, Conn., as the town mourns victims killed in a school shooting, Dec. 17, 2012.
Carolyn Weaver
Newtown, Connecticut, residents laid wreaths and held prayer services Sunday as officials offered new details to the shooting. They said that 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, shooting her four times in the head, and then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where investigators believe he was once enrolled.

Carrying an assault rifle and two automatic handguns that had belonged to his mother, he shot his way in, firing bullets at school staff in the hallway and then at children and teachers in two classrooms. In less than ten minutes, twenty children, six and seven years old, and six women were killed.

Officials said Lanza brought enough ammunition to kill everyone in the school, but was interrupted. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy told ABC that Lanza committed suicide as police and other first responders arrived on the scene.

"We surmise that it was during the second classroom episode that he heard responders coming and apparently at that, decided to take his own life,” said Malloy.

  • US President Barack Obama speaks at a memorial service for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • A pair of angel wings and balloons stand after being offered at a makeshift shrine to the victims of a elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 16, 2012.
  • Twenty-seven wooden angel figures are seen placed in a wooded area beside a road near the Sandy Hook Elementary School for the victims of a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 16, 2012.
  • Ava Staiti, 7, of New Milford, Conn., looks up at her mother Emily Staiti, not pictured, while visiting a sidewalk memorial with 26 teddy bears, each representing a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, December 16, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • Mourners gather for a candlelight vigil at Ram's Pasture to remember shooting victims, December 15, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • A woman reacts while paying respects for shooting victims at a makeshift memorial at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, December 16, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • A young child points at candles as people pay their respects at a makeshift shrine to the victims of a elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 16, 2012.
  • People gather at a memorial for victims near the school on the first Sunday following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.
  • Residents hold a candlelight vigil outside Newtown High School after President Barack Obama delivered remarks at an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, December 16, 2012.
  • Varinder Singh, of the Queens borough of New York, joins a group of Sikhs from around the Northeastern U.S., in a moment of prayer as a memorial service is broadcast over a loudspeaker outside Newtown High School, December 16, 2012.
  • A young child points at candles as people pay their respects at a makeshift shrine to the victims of a elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 16, 2012.
  • Kate Suba, left, Jaden Albrecht, center, and Simran Chand pay their respects at one of the makeshift memorials in honor of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Sunday, December 16, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut.

The massacre of children, one of 10 mass shootings in the U.S. in just the last two years, has stunned the country. Patty Boswell drove to Newtown from New York to share in the mourning.

"I can’t -- they are babies, they are just babies,” she said.

Recent Mass Shootings in the United States

  • July 2012: A gunman kills 12 people during a showing of Batman  in Colorado.
  • January 2011: A gunman kills six people and wounds U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.
  • November 2009: A U.S. Army psychiatrist kills 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas.
  • April 2007: A Virginia Tech student kills 32 people before committing suicide.
  • April 1999: Two Columbine High School students kill 12 students, one teacher and themselves in Colorado.
"I think something has to be done," said Connecticut resident Yvonne Diallo who echoed the thoughts of many. "Something definitely has to be done. We can't live like this. This is worse than a third-world country. We can't ... they don't do this to their kids anywhere."

Her words were mirrored by President Obama, who came to Newtown Sunday night to participate in an interfaith service for the victims.

 “We cannot tolerate this anymore," he said. "These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change.”

The first funerals for the victims will take place Monday, with others scheduled for later in the week.

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Comment Sorting
by: Canadian from: Canada
December 17, 2012 2:43 PM
It baffles me why Americans don't push for tighter gun restrictions... The shooter used an AR15 rifle, the civilian version of the M16. Why you continue to allow military spec rifles among the general population is beyond any sense of right. It almost sounds like the nuclear missile debate during the Cold War, they have a 10 kt warhead, we need bigger! They now have an 100 kt warhead, we need bigger! The solution is not to add more guns to the mix, remove them. Limit access only for sport shooting or hunting, and make it extremely difficult to have handguns. Times like these I'm glad I don't live in the USA.

by: Phillip Martin, PhD. from: Calgary
December 17, 2012 10:29 AM
Europe, Canada and other civilised nations would never permit any individual to own multiple weapons of this type that have nothing to do with hunting. All weapons at home must have a trigger guard, be locked up and ammunition stored separately.
Loaded assault rifles used to kill these innocent kids laying around a home is completely beyond all rational thinking.
Blaming mental illness is a sidebar issue. Other shooters in other rampages never had that label. Will anything change in USA? Not a hope. USA has more killings in two years than the NTIRE VIETNAM WAR, but nobody cares. NRA has blood on its hands, like the 31 Republicans who refused to go on TV Sunday and talk about GUN CONTROL. Cowards all. Kids are dead for nothing. When is the next one? Jan/Feb/March???

by: Jason He
December 17, 2012 7:53 AM
I feel very regret for the shooting in Newton especially most of them are children. Meanwhile the right in America who have the ability to posses guns is a double-edged sword. It depends on the owner if they can control themselves. I appreciate the authorities who can do their best to comfort their parents who lost their children. maybe it is no appropriate to to compare Chinese and American authorities. There is an accident in china lately cause many children were wound by knife. The official of the education
sector do not care the wounded. The suspect is a little metal incomplete and believing that the world will be ended in 2012. what a pity.

by: Ken Thomas from: Ohio
December 17, 2012 6:28 AM
I am moved by everyone's solidarity of grief over this is tragic event. Why do we not have the same grief for the more than ten times of unborn aborted children killed every day?
In Response

by: Jessica from: Texas
December 17, 2012 1:35 PM
this is just really not the time for you to bring up this in the matter. The people that decide to do that should feel ashamed but this is not a way to express the grief your just putting more problems from a different matter to this... actual kids who were loved by their families and the people protecting them who also their families loved them are in grief
In Response

by: Armstrong Allison from: Bonny, Rivers, Nigeria
December 17, 2012 11:22 AM
pls dnt say dat at least they did not see the world
In Response

by: anonymous
December 17, 2012 10:07 AM
maybe because we are not humans anymore.....we are turning devils and that too insane ones.....maybe because we dont care until it happens to us.....this is unfortunate...this is tragic.....we are destroying our own world ourselves....dreaming of a good world and making it hell ourselves!!!...lets all change for the good guys....for ourselves guys....RIP...

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