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Police: Safety of All CT Schools Being Examined in Wake of Sandy Hook Shootings

Connecticut State Police Lt. Vance said during a Sunday morning press conference that parents should be confident that law enforcement is doing everything it can to make sure all schools are safe.

Updated, 1:05 p.m.

Newtown Police Lt. George Sinko told reporters there is a tenative plan to resume classes for Sandy Hook Elementary School students, but that the department and the superintendant of schools wants to "move forward very slowly and respectfully."

When asked whether Sandy Hook staff and students could ever return to the building one day, Sinko said it was too early to say, but that he "would find if very difficult for them to do that."

Updated, 12:56 p.m.

Lt. Vance told reporters that safety for all schools in Connecticut is being examined by Gov. Malloy.

"There are many plans for emergency purposes in place to ensure the safety of all schools in Connecticut," he said. "All of them are being reexamined and certainly all parents in Connecticut should, in fact, be confident that law enforcement—state police, local police, the educators, the leaders of the school system—are doing everything they can to make sure that the schools in Connecticut are safe."

Updated, 12:33 p.m

Vance stressed to reporters during Sunday's press conference that the police do not have plans to release a timeline of the shooting while the investigation is ongoing because it would be "inappropriate."

Vehicles parked within the secondary crime scene outside of the school are beginning to be released to their owners as that portion of the investigation comes to a close, Vance said.

Updated, 12:22 p.m.

Lt. Vance told reporters that although there is nothing new to report, the investigation is "moving forward" and that evidence that has been collected is currently being analyzed.

Vance said that the weaponry recovered from the scene is being traced all the way "back to the work bench when they were being assembled."

He added that autopsy results from the Chief Medical Examiner's Office of the last two victims of the shooting could possibly be released Sunday afternoon.

Updated, 12:03 p.m.

Police said Sunday morning warned that misinformation about Friday's deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary is being posted on social media websites.

Vance said there have been instances of people posing as the shooter on Facebook pages, with "threatening and inaccurate" information.

Vance said these actions are a possible violation of state and federal laws, and people behind these messages could be prosecuted.

Updated, 12 p.m.

During a press conference Sunday morning, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance told reporters that officers are still at the scene actively working to collect evidence, but that there is nothing new to report that is relative to the investigation. 

Original Story

NEWTOWN, CT -- Though officials released some harrowing details of the nightmare that six adults and 20 first-graders endured before they were killed inside a Newtown elementary school Friday—how, when, with what and where they were shot and whether the victims suffered for long—many expect that on Sunday they’ll start to get an answer to one question that’s eluded investigators: Why?

Regarding the shooter’s motive, state police have said that they collected “good evidence” at Sandy Hook Elementary School as well as at the neighborhood home of suspected gunman Adam Lanza. He's the 20-year-old who is said to have shot and killed his mother before blasting his way into the school at about 9:30 a.m. Friday, fatally shooting 26 people and then himself.

Multiple media outlets have reported the three guns carried into the school by the gunman as legally registered to his own mother—another piece of this unfolding tragedy that police are expected to address Sunday.

At a media conference late Saturday where some reporters pressed the head of the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for details, a gruesome vision emerged about where the children and six adults were shot, how many times and even what the kids wore to school that tragic day.

Dr. H. Wayne Carver II, the office’s chief, said he expected to finish autopsies on the shooter and his mother early Sunday. State police have said doing so would allow them to confirm the gunman already widely identified in the media. At least as importantly, police have said they’re using evidence collected at both scenes to piece together a “puzzle” that may address the difficult question of motive.

Jack Hornak, a Newtown resident for 35 years and member of St. John's Episcopal Church, told Patch that his questions include: How come here? How come now? Why?

"You run the gamut of crying, anger," Hornak said as he welcomed fellow supporters into the church for a special prayer at noon Saturday.

Asked to describe the emotions he is feeling, Hornak said, "Numbness. I find myself just staring." 

"Right now I'm crying," he added, tearing up. "In 20 seconds I'll want to hit a wall."

Parents such as Margaret Keayes, a mother of five, are grappling with questions about what caused the tragedy. Keayes, whose children attend a different Newtown school, went to Saturday’s press conference, saying she looked into her own kindergartener’s face and thought of those that had perished.

“It's hard to understand that,” Keayes said of the shooting. “I don't think we ever will, and I don't think we have to. But we do need to help those families that are in need right now.”

Keayes described Newtown’s response to those affected by the tragedy as “incredible,” including an offer of counseling sessions to all community members.

Late Saturday, the White House reported that President Barack Obama would travel to Newtown to meet with victims’ parents and to thank first responders.

Parents in town had mixed reactions to that news.

Lorraine Chappell said that though she doesn’t think any one person really can help, “I guess it might help that he does care. He was visibly upset.”

Meanwhile, Brian Cummings, an electrician who has lived in Sandy Hook since 1977, said that a visit by Obama wouldn’t mean much to him.

Roy Low, a father, said he would have liked Obama to come to town Friday.

“I don’t think it’s going to do anything [for the community],” Low said of the president’s visit. “It’s going to be a long time before this community can get back to where it belongs. If it ever gets back.”

Anne Normandin December 16, 2012 at 07:23 PM
This school did have safety procedures in place. What do we need now? Bars on all windows and doors and armed guards outside? This person shot and killed all these people in less than 2 1/2 minutes. Each person shot multiple times. It would have been bad enough had he only had single-shot guns, but at least more of them would have had a chance. It's time we take the power away from the NRA and ban assault weapons once and for all. I know a small army is not going to attack me in my home anytime soon, so I have no need for an assault weapon.
EDWARD P.SEROW December 16, 2012 at 07:36 PM
If people think that CONN.is the only place in danger of this sort of tragedy happening again guess what.These crazies are everywhere.Both sexes.Very young to very old.Wake up and smell the coffee people.Complacency is no longer a luxury.Stay alert where ever people gather.
grapefruit December 16, 2012 at 07:38 PM
C, you are wrong.
c December 16, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Grapefruit In what way in hold back the name? You don't think it would decrease the occurences? I am not talking about gagging the press because I firmly believe in the first amendment and all amendments for that matter just the actual name.
grapefruit December 16, 2012 at 09:05 PM
C, The kid is dead. Therefore he is unable to enjoy his posthumous notoriety. The public has a right to know.
S. A. Ross December 16, 2012 at 09:12 PM
First of all I want to convey our deepest sympathy for the families of these innocent victims. I have prayed so often that they would feel the comforting power of the Spirit of God at this time. I am so glad Mary that you commented on the issue of video games. I could not believe my eyes when I say how graphic they are. They do teach violence as a way to solve everything. Please, I hope our elected officials will address this issue. They can pass all the laws they want to do away with evil, but if our media and our enterprises constantly bombard the minds of our youth with this filth and violence; the outcome will always be the same.
Danielle Clarke December 16, 2012 at 09:13 PM
NEWTOWN CT RESIDENTS YOU HAVE THE POWER ===> Re Open the state mental hospital too and don't demand people be suicidal to get in. let every parent or guardian have the ability to have every child evaluated for as long as needed. Stop giving them meds to leave but have them prove they don't need meds to get out. Back in the 60's and 70's we wayward or weird kids were put in state mental hospitals very easy and checked out for sometimes months at a time and well i was one of them and it saved me. Today kids have to try suicide before they get put in and then are quickly pushed out with drugs to take. When i was there we had to prove we didn't need drugs to be able to get out.. Todays its big pharma pushing drugs and parents have no way to force the kids to admit they are depressed etc so this crazy stuff happens. Insurance companies need to pay but actually the STATES NEED TO REOPEN THE MENTAL HOSPITALS and stop with the private hospitals.. its CHEAPER TOO to hospitalize people with problems verse them ending up in prisons making private prison industry rich.. NEWTOWN CT actually closed their STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL IN 1995 please sign my petition.. PLEASE REGISTER AT SITE + SIGN AND SPREAD AROUND ASAP. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reopen-all-closed-state-mental-hospitals-dont-demand-people-be-suicidal-commitment/3CBlV26k the money saved by removing drug users from prisons and putting them in state hospitals will cover the cost to reopen them..
EKay December 16, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Dear Dr. Lieberman: I have been saying this all along, since Friday. I thought I was alone in my thoughts, and in my gut I truly feel that this is a case of divorce gone wrong for a kid already in trouble. Im not so sure they will ever report that information for fear of giving another broken kid the excuse to do the same things . . . I was raised "they are what we teach them" . . . he had to be pretty pissed at his mom to lay out that level of fury upon her, but why the school, and I don't believe we will ever get the real truth, but if we did, it would certainly make more broken families re-think their posturing . . .
Justine Case December 16, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I have a question immediately following this shooting, it was reported that the police were seen leading a man in handcuffs out of the woods behind the school-- who was he, what happened -- why am I the only one asking?
S. A. Ross December 16, 2012 at 11:20 PM
From the second and third verse of the Carol: I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY: And in despair I bowed my head. There is no peace on earth, I said, For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, good will to men.
Pamela December 16, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Justine< I asked that same question on a message post yesterday. There is a picture of a young man in camouflage clothes handcuffed in front of a police car on You Tube. That picture can not be made up. I find it almost impossible that this was done by one person in 2 1/2 minutes. Some victims had 11 bullets in them. It happened in the hallway and 2 classrooms? By one shooter? In 2 1/2 minutes? They even said somewhere that he reloaded the gun . You are not the only one asking!
Sheri Haas December 17, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Oh please, don't start with coverup or conspiracies, this is what automatic weapons do. Concentrate on helping the people of Newtown.
c December 17, 2012 at 01:13 AM
It's hunting season he was probably just a hunter from the near by woods taken in for questioning. Lately when walking in the woods they are everywhere!!!!
Necee December 17, 2012 at 05:06 AM
To all of the families and community grieving in Newtown, Conn. Please know your pain and suffering is being felt by all of the nation. Our tears weep along with yours. As a kindergarten teacher I see every child's face in Sandy Hook as if it were one of my own. I cannot adequately express the depth of the empathy we have for you all. May God wrap his arms around you and ease your pain and suffering. Our prayers are with you. Rest in peace little angels and those heroes that died to protect the rest.
coacach December 17, 2012 at 09:07 AM
Married Bob Blackman, right, MP for http://www.guccicoachchanel.com/ East, allegedly used to http://www.coachfactoryusaoutlete.com/ away from home for illicit encounters with his mistress when they were both Tory councillors. Mistress Carol Shaw, left, said she also had sex with him in his marital bed and at an office where he worked. The 62 year old said she was 'madly in love' with the MP but the affair ended in 2000 when she became frustrated with the relationship. Ministers critical of the plan, backed by David http://www.coachpursessaleusa.org/ , to make retailers sell alcohol for at least 45p a unit said it was 'illiberal' and would punish responsible but cash-strapped drinkers. Less than a year after the operation, Mrs Wederell was dead, killed by cancer which her family are certain came from the donated lungs. Her husband says there is no way that his wife, who died in August at the age of 27, would ever have agreed to the transplant had she known the lungs came from a smoker.
LB December 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM
To Dr Lieberman, How do you know what went on in this family? Were you treating Adam or his family members? If so, you are breaching patient confidentiality. Yes, it is an easy assumption to make about what appears to be anger directed at his mother, especially if it is true that he shot her in the face. Any FBI profiler will tell you that. However, to say he was resentful or angry or jealous over the attention his mother gave to schoolchildren is a stretch. According to reports, she wasn't a teacher there. And for those of you that think divorce leads to violence, how about children who witness domestic violence and verbal abuse on a regular basis? Everyone is jumping to conclusions. For all we know, Adam Lanza could have ingested a mind-altering drug prior to committing this horrendous evil act. How the Newtown community and the survivors of those killed will go on, I don't know...Words can't adequately express what these people must be going through.
Dougla P. Jackson December 17, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I share your exact same sentiments. There might have been multiple emotional impulses in the boy: Mother filing divorce against his father; His father re-marrying; potential deep emotional hurt/anger/fear from an experience at SHE that was a ticking time bomb; possible difficulties at Newton High where he was removed by his mother and attended Western CT. at 16 years of age. Every individual's experiences are completely different from everyone else, coupled with the fact every individual possess a unique skill set to deal with social, emotional, psychological, and mental impulses from their environment that for many is genetically based. It is impossible to generalize the boy's experiences. Anyone who portends these types of tragedies are about guns are offering high advice at a very low intellectual level, and an even lower emotional level.
Paul Michael December 17, 2012 at 03:27 PM
The talks shouldn't be about guns. We need to talk about how all these shooters were on prescription meds and what the connection is with them. (See: youtu.be/UhO0Pul_FcE)
Dougla P. Jackson December 17, 2012 at 03:28 PM
That's because the guns were merely a symptom of a much deeper, fundamental problem that American society refuses to face: The mental health of America is the problem. Every single tragic incident that involves these types of shootings can be clearly linked to mental illness possessed by the assailant.
Tama Flynn December 17, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I would like to suggest that we all put out a small candle on our front steps in memory of the victims of the Newtown, Ct shooting, especially those innocent 6 and 7 year old children. I put one on my front steps, it's a small battery operated candle that can be purchased almost anywhere, including drugstores. This insures no danger from candle flames. I put my small battery operated candle in a small plastic container with its top on to protect it from the elements. Please keep these children in your hearts, which I'm sure is as broken as mine. Tama Flynn
ED December 17, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Many years ago, after the courts ruled that the mentally ill could not be held without their consent unless they were a danger to themselves or others, the custodial care institutions for the insane were closed. They were released into society with drugs to control their violent tendencies. Since they are insane many don't take the drugs. The outcome should not be unexpected.
Sheri Haas December 17, 2012 at 04:53 PM
i find the word insane very offensive. You are an ill informed idiot.
bbbnto December 17, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Here is something to think about: I read or saw an editorial over the weekend, I think it was in the Star-Ledger (NJ). It went like something like this: -Ten years ago, a guy tries to put explosives in his shoe to try and blow up a plane, and now we ALL have to take our shoes off at the airport. ONE GUY caused that! There are currently thousands of murders being committed with guns, and we still have a gun problem. Maybe this is too simplistic. But when there's a will, there's a way.
Bob Andres December 17, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I'm sure it's obvious that they should test the shooter's blood for evidence of drugs for example the "bath salts", salvia and of course anti-depressants which despite their name seem to render people (especially young people) suicidal.
F Sellers December 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM
The man being led to a police car in handcuffs was Ryan Lanza, Adam's brother. Adam Lanza was found dead with his brother's identification with him. As expected, police immediately took Ryan into questioning following the shooting in order to determine if he had any involvement in the crime.
Michael December 17, 2012 at 10:51 PM
As a resident of Sandy Hook, I appreciate the outpouring of support from all sides, but could I ask that people not come into Newtown or Sandy Hook unless they have a reason to be there. The town is choked with cars, reporters, and people. It took me over ten minutes this afternoon just to get out of the parking lot of my office. What the town needs is to be able to return to normalcy. That is the greatest gift anyone could give at this time.
mark edgette December 18, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I took antidepressants before they caused suicidal and homicidial idealations big pharma has murdered more people than all the wars america has ever been in my opion antidepressants do kill and we need a criminal investigan into big pharma and the fda wake people or more human beings will die.
Sara December 19, 2012 at 08:59 AM
So much evil in the hearts of men! Who would wish the president would have arrived on Friday ??? This town must have had karma due based On some evil racist people living there ! You should be glad he came to that dinky dink place . It was for a sincere reason for whites and all human race . You ungrateful idiots! Children lost their life on Friday and all you can think about is evil ! Sick old man
Patsy Dailey December 19, 2012 at 09:58 AM
I know that feeling when all those states came to West Spfld MA for the Big E talk about trying to get to work, a grocery store ugh. Than at Christmas in btwn 2 malls took me 45 mins to go a half a mile to my drs. I am not there just sending condolences. The reporters & investigators fbi etc are congesting it enough. My heart goes out to all that tragedy & than invasion of your beautiful little new england town.
Patsy Dailey December 19, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Sheri It was a word substituted from a worse one lunatic. I know we all must say mentally ill now. It's the proper thing. ED used old language & from Reagan's presidency. Look up the names of the state hospitals ED was politcally correct in " older language" But it's true, they don't take their meds, homeless a lot of them here, Hard to get help for adults. So as of today, " President Barack Obama spoke about gun control with West Virginia Sen. ... He also wants to consider changes to mental-health laws to prevent the mentally ... have said they too want to look at the nation's weapon laws & Safety in Our Schools" Newtown, CT you have just changed laws. that no other shooting could do. I am sure this is a huge political turning point for safety in schools. Columbine, AZ Aurora & the Oregon mall The president has vowed to use "whatever power this office holds" to safeguard the nation's children after Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.The president has vowed to use "whatever power this office holds" to safeguard the nation's children after Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/19/16014584-obama-to-task-biden-to-tackle-gun-violence-after-newtown-shootings?lite Love, Peace, & Healing From Northampton, MA

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