Police Hope to ID Victims, Shooter in Newtown Killings Saturday

Connecticut state police say an investigation is underway to piece together what motivated the gunman that killed 20 children, six adults and himself Friday morning.


Update 8:08 p.m.

Saying officials will identify all victims in the mass killings at a Newtown elementary school — including the shooter, who took his own life — on Sunday, state police called the day’s shocking events “heart-wrenching.”

No parents have been given access to the inside of Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the bodies of 18 children, six adults and suspected gunman Adam Lanz remain, Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said Friday night at a press conference. Two other children died after they were transported to a nearby hospital.

All family members of the deceased have been notified, Vance said.

A press conference is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, Vance said.

Vance spoke in general terms of the investigation into the shooter, whom multiple media outlets have identified as Lanz, citing police sources.

“At this point we are confident that we have the shooter,” Vance said.

All of that shooter’s relatives have been identified and contacted, Vance said. Lanz’s brother had been detained earlier in the day Friday, within hours of the shooting, which started at approximately 9:40 a.m. Their mother has been confirmed among those killed, as has the school’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung.

“I think what we have got to do is … look at all the history,” Vance said of the police investigation. “We will go backwards and hopefully stumble on answers.”


Update 7:10 p.m.

Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza, whose older brother had been detained by police in New Jersey earlier Friday, has been identified as the gunman in Newtown who killed 20 children, six adults and himself, according to the Huffington Post.

Citing multiple media outlets including CNN, the Huffington Post said many media organizations had relied on inaccurate information to report the shooter as Adam Lanza’s brother earlier in the day. As reported by Patch, the brother — Ryan Lanza — now is grieving not only for his brother but also their mother, a teacher at the school who numbers among those killed.

David Owens, a Hartford Courant reporter, said during a TV interview that police sources say other people outside of the school may also have been killed by the gunman.

Update 6:15 p.m.

Calling Friday morning’s fatal shootings of 27 people at a Newtown elementary school, including 20 children, “unspeakable” and “tragic,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said during a press conference moments ago that it’s too early to talk about recovery.

“What each parent, each sibling, each member of [affected families] has to understand is that in Connecticut we are all in this together to do whatever we can to overcome this event,” Malloy said. “We will get through it.”


Update 5:11 p.m.

State police confirmed that one person was responsible for the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults, saying the gunman has been tentatively identified but declining to identify the shooter.

“We will identify the shooter at an appropriate time,” Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said during a 5 p.m. press conference Friday. “Just for our investigatory purposes it’s not appropriate right now.”

“We will leave no stone unturned as we are looking at every facet of this investigation,” Vance said, adding that police would hold another briefing around 6 p.m.

Vance confirmed that local, state and federal officials responded to the shocking incident in this normally peaceful southwestern Connecticut town, including an FBI crisis team. Counseling has been made available not only to affected families but also to first responders on scene.

“We provided counseling for the first responders, because this was a very tragic, horrific scene that we encountered,” Vance said.

The gunman shot and killed himself, Vance said.


Update: 3:50 p.m.

The actions of one gunman — 27 lives lost. 

"This is an active ongoing investigation" Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said at an afternoon press conference Friday, updating the assembled media about the state of the investigation into the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Vance confirmed the death toll: 20 children, 6 adults, including the shooter, and one adult victim at a "secondary scene" in Connecticut.

But in response to multiple questions from press, Vance said at one point: "There are a lot of things we cannot confirm."

He did offer the beginning of a basic timeline, saying the first call came in at around 9:30 a.m.

"Officers immediately entered the school to search for students, faculty and staff and remove them," he said. "They did search every nook and cranny...Those who were rescued were taken to a staging area."

The school is now secure. Two rooms of the school appeared to be the gunman's focus. 

"It is not a simplistic scene," Vance said. "We will be here through the night and through the weekend. We are not putting a time stamp on this process."

The secondary local crime scene may well be this investigation in the Sandy Hook section, the only other known center of police investigation in Newtown right now.

Vance is expected to give another update in about an hour.

Update: 3:38 p.m.

Patch exclusive: The man identified in media reports Friday as the shooter has told friends that he thinks his developmentally disabled brother may have committed the crime, Patch has learned.

A close friend of Ryan Lanza who would not be identified told Patch that he spoke to Lanza as Lanza made his way home from work to Hoboken. Lanza also took to his Facebook page to rail against CNN naming him as the suspect in the shooting in Newtown, Conn. 

“I’m on the bus home now, it wasn’t me,” Lanza wrote.

Lanza’s mother, Nancy, a school teacher, is believed to be among the dead. 

Patch was among the media outlets to highlight and link to reports naming Lanza as the alleged shooter. Police haven't yet officially confirmed the identity of the gunman but many are identifying him as Ryan Lanza's younger brother Adam Lanza.


Updated 3:30 p.m.

Police have raided a home in the Sandy Hook part of Newtown, a show of investigative force that comes just hours after a gunman shot students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary today, killing as many as 27.

There were at least 15 police cars at 36 Yogananda St. as of 2:13 p.m. There are multiple armed police officers there, including one with a rifle at his side. 

The 3,000-square-foot home is owned by Nancy and Peter Lanza and was built in 1998, according to property records. 

"When I moved here it was beautiful. Still is beautiful," said neighbor Jim McDade. "When we came up here we found out what quiet was...My wife's at work and wants to come home. She can't concentrate well. ... You hear things like Columbine and all the other tragedies that take place, and say my God... If there's a distance it kind of buffers it a little bit. But then when it hits close to home it's unbelievable."

The death toll from the shooting includes a reported 17 children, making it the worst school shooting tragedy in the country's history.


Updated 3 p.m.

The gunman apparently went to his family’s Hoboken, NJ home before heading to Newtown, CT where he fatally shot his mother in her kindergarten classroom of Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to NBC.

The gunman delilberately went to Sandy Hook Elementary School with the intention of killing his mother who was a kindergarten teacher at the school, according to NBC Channel 4.

It is believed the shooting began near the principal’s office before the gunman went to his mother’s kindergarten classroom and killed her and her students, according to the report.

Gov. Dannel Malloy who is at the scene is scheduled to hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Malloy, who met with parents, has received an offer of federal assistance from President Obama.

Original story:

The gunman who is believed to have shot and killed 27 people including 18 children at the Sandy Elementary School has been found dead inside the school.

Authorities have said the FBI and New Jersey State Police were assisting by searching the New Jersey home of the 20-year-old gunman's mother.


Citing sources, the Associated Press is reporting the gunman who rampaged through the Sandy Hook Elementary School was armed with four guns including a high-powered rifle and is believed to have shot and killed 27 people including 18 children.

Investigators have identified the gunman “as a man in his 20s from Connecticut and they are searching his father’s home in New Jersey,” according to WABC Channel 7. The hometown was not immediately identified. According to Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said the gunman was found dead inside the school.

WPIX Channel 11 is reporting that a second suspect is in custody and being questioned by police.

Meanwhile, Friday afternoon distraught parents continued to wait to be reunited with their children. Gov. Dannel Malloy went to meet with parents rather than attend a brief press conference that concluded just before 1:45 p.m. Authorities said much information will not be released until the relatives of the victims are notified.

Channel 7 also is reporting the President Obama has telephone Malloy to express condolences and to offer any federal assistance needed in the investigation of the shooting that was first reported to Newtown Police just before 9:30 a.m. Friday.

A fourth-grade student at Sandy Hook Elementary School said  he and his classmates were “locked in a closet in the gym” to escape the gunman. In an interview with Channel 7, the student said, “the police came  and …. We ran to the firehouse.”

Updated 1:43 p.m.

Police just had a very brief press conference. State Police Lt. Paul Vance did not take any questions. There will be more briefings. 

Message they did offer: "Scene is secure. The public is not in danger."


Updated 1:30 p.m.

The magnitude of the tragedy is now unfolding: 27 are reported to have died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 18 of those are reported to be children. 

It is reported to be the second worst school shooting in the history of the United States. The Virginia Tech massacre that took place on April 16, 2007, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, killed 32 people and wounded 17 others.

Citing an anonymous official "with knowledge" of the situation, The Associated Press is reporting 27 people dead including 18 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

The shooter is believed to be a single adult and is now dead.

"It hits very close to home I'm devestate for everyone involved," said Hamden Supt. of Schools Fran Rabinowitz. "It's a horrific tragedy.

"It's difficult to understand how anything like this could happen to anyone in our schools," she said.

It would be very hard for something like this to happen here in Hamden, she said. All schools are locked at all times, she said, and guests have to be buzzed in and identified before being allowed into the buildings.

There also are safety plans in place in every school building, she said.

The Newtown community is in "sheer shock." Read our interviews with Newtown residents as they try to make sense of the violence.

Original Story:

Officials in Newtown say they're trying to reunite parents with their children in the wake of a shocking reported shooting at an elementary school in that town’s Sandy Hook neighborhood.

First Selectman Pat Llodra told Patch that there is no information being released about the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting — 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."

But the Danbury News Times is reporting that Danbury Police Chief Al Baker said there are fatalities from the shooting.

A reverse 911 call went out to all Newtown public school parents, NBC is reporting. Parents are converging all around the school seeking information about their children.

One mother of an 8-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.

Lebinski said that she had spoken to her daughter's teach as well as a volunteer 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."

According to Lebinski, the school had been on lockdown but police started leading out children and faculty members by class, and several children had blood on their clothing as they were led out. It isn't clear how many kids are still inside the school. Parents continue to surround the area, seeking news of their children.

Christine Wilford, a parent of a seven-year-old boy at the school, told Patch that her son was out of the school and safe with her husband. A woman standing next to Wilford burst into tears, saying her own son was still inside.

Danbury Hospital has confirmed to TV reporters that three patients have been transported by ambulance.

The Hartford Courant is reporting multiple injured parties, saying a shooter had been in the building’s main office and an individual in one area had “numerous gunshot wounds,” police said.

At a fire station near the school that's serving as a staging area, a woman was being wheeled on a gurney as a helicopter circled overhead and armed officials from multiple state and federal agencies moved beyond a cordoned-off area swarmed by parents. Dozens of parents could be seen walking to the school as motor vehicle traffic snarled the area of Dickinson Drive.

One man who identified himself as a cable worker and declined to give his name, told Patch that he was up on a utility pole at the time of the shooting. When he heard shots, the man said he thought they it was hunters, but then in a few minutes emergency response vehicles sped beneath his ladder.

Newtown Patch will post more information as it becomes available.

Richard Shapiro December 14, 2012 at 06:11 PM
There is no reason on this earth why ANYONE should be allowed to buy or sell an assault weapon. Another victory for the NRA. I hope they're proud of themselves.
Ben Lee December 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Got to love how people think gun laws will keep guns out of the hands of criminals. What makes you think they are going to obey laws passed about the issue? Learn the definition of an assault weapon.
erica vanheerden December 14, 2012 at 08:20 PM
God bless all these families souls and may they loved ones rest in piece its really so sad can't get over this such innocent lives taken away for no reason at all god bless all the families Xxx
Reyn Richard December 14, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Time to rethink our gun laws. If we as a society learn anything from this it's that its time to overturn the antiquated second amendment. Lets get real and address the problem of loose gun laws without which this never could have happened.
James Shaw December 14, 2012 at 09:25 PM
So I guess Richard Chapiro thinks the NRA is responsible. Well Richard imagine for a second guns ceased to exist, if some idiot wanted to harm a bunch of people he could still use bombs. Oh wait those are illegal and yet people still use them, wake up Richard making stuff illegal isn't going to stop this kind of tragedy! It is way deeper than that and narrow minded people like you are willing to give up your rights just to take the easy way out and feel better about yourself. If it was up to you we wouldnt have cars either because more people die in car wrecks every year than gun fights.
terry collins December 14, 2012 at 09:44 PM
fighting between our political leaders, showing disrespect to our president, and total lack of concern for our neighbors & nasty arguments on blogs has communicated to the nations mentally unstable that it is okay to kill children and strangers if you are in a bad mood. we need to start to repair the tone of America & we need to start now.
Reyn Richard December 14, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Bad analogy James, there is not one reason I need to own a gun, on the other hand there are many practical reasons to own a car. The police are here to enforce the law and as such they should be armed, citizens not so much. How many shootings in Hamden this year? were any of them justified? Guns beget violence James, more guns means more violent acts. I may be a dreamer in overturning the second but I'm not the only one. (john lennon, also needlessly gunned down)
Richard Shapiro December 14, 2012 at 10:04 PM
I have no problem with the second amendment as it refers to the right to possess a handgun in one's home. That's far from what we're talking about here.
Thomas Alegi December 14, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Millions of people are walking the streets of our nation with known mental health disorders. Some of these mental health disorders are minor and some are sever. There are different categories of mental disorders, and different facets of human behavior and personality that can force some not all, mentality ill people to become shooters like the one in Newtown today. What can we do as individuals to help the mentally ill, to remove the disarray or confusion from their minds? We need to contact our Connecticut U.S. Congress members and request they expand the mental health treatment provision under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Therefore, everyone living in U.S.A. with health insurance or without health insurance can receive mental health treatment at no cost or minimal cost to them, which would increase the likelihood of preventing innocent Connecticut children from being killed by a mentally unstable person.
James Shaw December 15, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Reyn Richard , this is going to seem tough but I can give you 27 good reasons to own a gun if every teacher in that building had a gun on them then this would have stopped sooner than it did. I'd rather have the gun than the car anyway ever herd of public transportation! With all the crazy people running around these days I will fight to keep the "Antiquated 2nd amendment " as one stupid liberal called it alive. Remember this people the first thing the cops did when they arrived at the scene was draw their guns in order to protect people. It's a double edged sword but it is a necessity!
Larry December 15, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Mexico has one of the most strict gun laws.And look whats happening there.only the drug cartels have guns and the citizens are defenseless getting killed by the hundreds.My opinion is criminals are gonna commit gun crimes no matter how tough the gun laws are.Guns don't kill people,people kill people. If somebody wants to kill mass people they could use a knife,bomb,poison,a car,a baseball bat just to name a few.So the point is passing stricter gun laws is only helping the criminals that are not gonna obey the laws. They will still get there hands on guns in the black market and still commit murder. I agree with you james stricter gun laws is not the answer. i wish i knew what the answer was.
Larry December 15, 2012 at 12:17 AM
By the way James.that was a good analogy.
Larry December 15, 2012 at 12:23 AM
My thoughts and prayers are with the parents that lost there children and the children that lost there life's.
lindseegrl December 15, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Putting gun laws aside, why doesnt someone acknowledge the bigger issue at hand.....mental illness. More attention needs to be given to recognizing and getting help to those who need it. This is a sick story and to say devastating is an understatement. These families and this community needs prayer, i cant help but think of the tragedy these other children have just experienced. I serve a great God and just as He was at that school today so will He be with those effected in the coming days, weeks, and years.
cheryl December 16, 2012 at 02:35 PM
A gun is an inadament object. Does anyone know what that means? Stationary, doesn't move unless energy is applied, So what does that mean? It means people seems to be putting the blame on the inadament object instead of where the blame belongs on the energy ( people). A gun by its lonesome does nothing. It can't load itself, it can't take the saftey off, it can't pull the trigger by itself. But some how people seems to want to destroy the constitution instead of looking at the real problem ( sick people). It really amazes me that for some reason people think they will be safer if guns were gone. The government would love that way of thinking and promotes it. The reason why we have the 2nd amendment was to protect us from a tyrannical government and the way things are going in America we just might need it. As our country goes veers left without God, without prayer, without our founding principles and values that America once stood, collapsing families, and only picking laws that they want to enforce, our society is collapsing. Where does the left seem to want to go? How far left? Is it socialism? communism? big government, bigger government? Just how far cuz it seems people wants huge gov and that is not the America I know and this is what you get when society breaks down. It is terrible what happened to these babies. My heart goes out to all. But put the blame where it belongs. On that derranged person.
cheryl December 16, 2012 at 03:16 PM
We have NO value for life anymore. With new legislations regarding abortion, end of life within Obama care. England now is letting babies born with disabilities or sick are staving them to death as well as the elderly which has been done thru universal healthcare system. We are being conditioned to kill,whether it be the unborn, the sick, or the elderly. Population control. Look up Obama's advisor on healthcare was Rham Emanuele"s brother Ezik Emanuele's COMPLETE LIVES SYSTEM. Read all about that one. It will SHOCK you. Children 1-10 will not get care due to young and can not , 10-40 your productive years and you will get care, 40+ care starts to dwindle due to age and less productive years ahead. Why use $$$ funds to keep you alive only to die later on. This is sick but this is Obamacare. No value for LIFE. Live, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness GONE... THEN WHAT DO WE HAVE?
Larry December 16, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Agreed, Well said Cheryl


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