Chief Kehoe Tells White House: 'Ban Assault Weapons'

Kehoe said the weapons used in the Dec. 14 shooting were stronger than those his department carries, according to NBC News.


Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe didn't mince words in his message to the White House.

"Ban assault weapons, restrict those magazines that have so many bullets in them, shore up any loopholes in our criminal background checks," he said in an interview with NBC News.

In the interview, Kehoe spoke frankly about what he saw at Sandy Hook Elementary School on the day in December when 20 children and six adults lost their lives in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.

Newtown's Police Chief said the shooter was carrying heavier firepower than his officers. "We never like to think we're outgunned in any situation we're dealing with," he told NBC News.

Since the shooting, Kehoe has taken an active leadership role in his response. A week afterwards, he issued a statement to the community assuring residents schools were safe and police were hard at work.

"Our police, fire, and emergency medical personnel reacted quickly and without hesitation, rapidly responding to Sandy Hook Elementary School," he said. "Their professionalism was heartwarming to witness; our community is proud of them."

More recently Kehoe and the Newtown Police Department have been working to ensure officers have access to health benefits and leaves of absence as they recover from their work on December 14 and afterward.

Kehoe's message comes as the advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise launches a nationwide campaign for change in the wake of the shootings. Gun control remains an option on its agenda, as U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy told reporters.

"We have to fundamentally change our approach," co-founder Tom Bittman told press Monday. "It’s not just what government should do. It’s not just what I should do. It’s not just what you should do. It’s what we should do together."

Tom Joad January 15, 2013 at 08:07 PM
This is a local forum for Newtown. For us, this isn't an issue, this is a tragedy. Please take your lawyering elsewhere.
Freddy January 15, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Jeff is what we will affectionately refer to as a "SHES truther" aka the same kind of person who believes that Obama was born in Kenya, that 9/11 was an elaborate government conspiracy, that JFK was assassinated by government agents and that aliens landed at Area 51. This is apparently a disease suffered by a significant minority of the population who has been harassing various people associated with the tragedy, including the nice neighbor who sheltered the kids from Ms. Soto's class. http://www.salon.com/2013/01/15/this_man_helped_save_six_children_is_now_getting_harassed_for_it/ The name for this disease is malicious, unthinking, hurtful idiocy. There is unfortunately no cure for this particular malady.
NewtownMom January 15, 2013 at 09:06 PM
From what I've read...20mins before police arrived.
Donna S Smith January 15, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Wow, I don't understand why someone is getting berated for asking how long it took the first responders to arrive. I live in a small town myself, so hopefully if something like this were to happen at my child's school, it wouldn't take 20 minutes for the FIRST responders to get there. What is wrong with questioning that? And to attack and say "none of your business"....I can only try and understand the anguish this town is feeling, but finding the TRUTH about events is the goal for everyone, right?
Freddy January 15, 2013 at 09:36 PM
The reason he is getting berated is because he allows himself to believe that it really took 20 minutes for the police to get there when if he did a little research there is abundant evidence to show otherwise. The correct answer is that police were there within 3 to 5 minutes. Here is a transcript of dispatch from 12/14 that is available on numerous sites: 0935 Sandy Hook School. Caller is indicating she thinks there's someone shooting in the building. 0936 Units responding at Sandy Hook School. The front glass has been broken. We're unsure why. 0937 All units, the individual I have on the phone is continuing to hear what he believes to be gunfire. 0938 All units responding to Sandy Hook School at this time. The shooting appears to have stopped. The school is in lockdown. 0940 I will need two ambulances at this time. 0940 The shooter is apparently still shooting in the office area. 0941 Take exit 10... continue on Riverside Road, Dickerson Drive. Make sure you have your vest on. 0942 Last known shots were in the front of the (inaudible) 0943 We have one fatal in room one... (inaudible) received a wound to the foot... 0946 I got bodies here.
Donna S Smith January 15, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Freddy, thanks for the info. Can you tell me exactly what gun(s?) was used by the killer. I have not been able to find precise info on that. If you have it, will you link to that also? Thanks again.
Freddy January 15, 2013 at 10:02 PM
@Donna - the Bushmaster (AR-15) assault rifle was used to kill everybody, but himself. For himself, he used a handgun. So says Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance. http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/18/us/connecticut-lanza-guns/index.html
Freddy January 15, 2013 at 10:08 PM
So to recap here - our police did nothing "wrong." They got there quickly and saved a lot of kids/staff. This guy with a high powered weapon designed to kill lots of people really quickly, did just that. So, needless to say, I get really angry when I see things like this: http://www.inquisitr.com/469181/noah-pozners-mom-describes-newtown-victims-body-and-why-we-should-all-listen/ http://www.salon.com/2013/01/15/this_man_helped_save_six_children_is_now_getting_harassed_for_it/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/29/gun-sales-surge_n_2380738.html?utm_hp_ref=business
Donna S Smith January 15, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Thanks Freddy.
Marilyn January 15, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Berated because he has no clue! It didn't take 20 minutes....that was my point! THIS town is MY town, and those that were intimately involved know what happened and the timing.
Marilyn January 15, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Thank you!
Tired of idiots January 15, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Do you miss your time there Sheila?
James Lee January 16, 2013 at 01:45 AM
Chief Kehoe, lets go further, these "legally" purchased weapons are very often not stored properly. It's too easy for someone to get their hands on these killing tools. Multiple weapons should be stored in gun safes. There should be trigger locks, the ammunition should also be locked up separately from the weapon. These are common sense measures. If these weapons cannot be stored properly, maybe the police station can store them for the owners.
GuildsfordBrothers January 16, 2013 at 01:57 AM
More than 40,000 brand new AR-15 pattern black rifles have been manufactured and marketed since the Newtown tragedy. Hopefully, both sides of the gun control debate will reach consensus that continuing to manufacture AR-15 pattern black rifles isn't helpful. http://blackriflecounter.tumblr.com
yoda January 16, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Nice break down!!!!!!!
Brenda Lobdell January 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM
knock it off...the driveway to the school was flooded with parents and folks who rec'd the emergency call that there was a shooting...and by the way, what that sick and crazed young man did in 5 minutes wasn't going to be "fixed" by first responders. They are extraordinary, as are the teachers and parents...and noone should ever experience what anyone there that day did...go back to your timeline and calculator.
Brenda Lobdell January 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Thank you Freddy!
Brenda Lobdell January 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Thanks again, Freddy.
Brenda Lobdell January 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM
It didn't take 20 min. for them to arrive...the whole thing was OVER in under 20 minutes...there was so much misreporting at the outset...it would be respectful and helpful for everyone to stop the armchair quarteracking and "why didn't they..."; guess that is human nature when looking for an explanation for such a tragedy, but come on, get a grip and have some empathy! I'm pretty sure if it were your small town and your friends and neighbors, that you would hope for some compassion instead of criticism...maybe not.
anon January 17, 2013 at 12:16 AM
i can completely see your point ... all deaths are sad and important and deserve respect ... but, when you have such a tragedy as what happened in Newtown, it's understandable that the focus is still there ... they were just babies
anon January 17, 2013 at 12:21 AM
this kid was obviously sick ... had severe mental issues ... yes, if he was hell bent on hurting someone he maybe could have found another way ... but when you give a mentally ill person access to such powerful weapons, that can only equal tragedy ... really? ... you're going to compare weapons designed for assault to automobiles designed for transportation???
Vincent January 17, 2013 at 02:05 AM
I got a call from the school emergency system at about 9:45 am I have also spoken with someone who was in the school on the phone with 911 and they said it took 9 minutes for the SWAT team and police to arrive.
David Marchetti January 17, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Tom Joad 3:07 pm on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 This is a local forum for Newtown. For us, this isn't an issue, this is a tragedy. Please take your lawyering elsewhere. A highly intelligent comment and post indeed NOT.. last I looked my license states my address is in Newtown :) so take your diatribe elsewhere, Newtown is not yours by any means, it's ours...
G January 17, 2013 at 03:49 AM
Sheila - thanks for your distasteful comment. I don't believe any of us Sandy Hook/Newtown residents will ever forget where that person lived. I would never consider him "one of (y)our own". Nor do I consider you or most of the Patch commenters on the Newtown Patch for the past month, "one of our own". Believe it or not, many of us in Sandy Hook/Newtown are still trying to come to grips with what happened. The Newtown Patch is one of very few online resources that we have to share our thoughts. Since Dec. 14, the comments section has been deluged with comments from people from all over the country. Most have been well-intentioned. Some have been malicious. Others just come from people who are either ill-informed or who have their own agenda. I certainly appreciate all the support we've received from all over the world. And while I don't speak for my town, I would certainly hope we can return to a new normal soon. Our town, and its' leaders, are on top of the situation and we will do what's right. Please give us a break - if you have services to offer, we welcome you - please direct your offerings to the appropriate people. If you have an agenda to follow, please find a more appropriate forum to voice your opinion. Respectfully, G
G January 17, 2013 at 05:39 AM
Time to remove your tin hat, Sheila.
G January 17, 2013 at 05:59 AM
Sheila - the problem is that you are not dealing with facts. You're dealing with rumors, innuendos, and false statements. There is no reason for anyone to feel sorry for me - i did not personally know any of the victims. I had a business relationship with a member of one of the victims' family members a number of years ago. I am not a victim and certainly not a hero. I'm just asking you to take your agenda elsewhere at this time. If your organization sincerely wishes to help the victims of Sandy Hook, please contact the appropriate authorities in Newtown. The Newtown Patch is not the forum for you to overwhelm us with your "point of view". With all due respect, I hope you are not the spokesperson for your organization.
GuildsfordBrothers January 17, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Everyday we wait, another 1,400 black rifles are manufactured in the U.S. We need to move faster: http://blackriflecounter.tumblr.com
Darrell January 17, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Thank you for time line Freddy. I didn't realize that one had been released. What these conspiracy theorist fail to rationalize is that police, especially State Police, do not sit in their barracks all day long. They are out in the community on patrol. Those that do no live in Newtown do not realize just how large a town it it. So his statement of the barracks only being x miles away means nothing. The fact that the police were able to respond not only as quickly as they did but realize it was more than local officers could handle and call out for help is a testament to our local law enforcement professionals. They should be commended in how well they responded to an incident that has no could have ever imagined.
Darrell January 17, 2013 at 08:20 PM
John I believe the idiot that got lead away in cuffs was a reporter that was hiding in the woods with a camera trying to take pictures of kids and staff leaving the school. He was taken into custody very fortunate he didn't get shot by the police. Fortunately for him they are professionals. CT Police are taking their time and doing a complete investigation before they release what happened. Quick judgements and conspiracy theories are not what they do. That is left for others that enjoy the attention.
Darrell January 17, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Hey Jeff, maybe in your town the police sit around at their barracks all day but in my town (Newtown) and my state (CT) police are out patrolling. If you were from town, and I'm guessing you are not, you would know that it is a very large town size wise and Sandy Hook is in one small corner. I have no clue where you are getting 20 minutes from because as far as I know the police have not released a time line yet so any information you are getting is from media or worse some conspiracy theorist. Please do not lessen the job that our brave officers did on that day. There is not a doubt in my mind that they did everything they could and did so in the most professional manor.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something