27 Dead, Including 18 Children, In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

Children are lead away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School (Shannon Hicks/The Newtown Bee)

From The Hartford Courant:

Twenty-seven people, including 18 children, have been killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to the Associated Press.

The report cites an official with knowledge of the situation.

Sources told The Courant that there are at least 20 shooting victims. Many of the shootings took place in a kindergarten classroom, sources said.

One entire classroom is unaccounted for, sources said.

A person believed to be a shooter is dead. Earlier reports of a second shooter are unconfirmed.

This is a breaking story, so stay tuned for updates…

From The New York Times:

Eighteen children were killed on Friday morning in a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., about 65 miles northeast of New York City, according to a person who had been briefed on the shooting. Another law enforcement official said preliminary reports suggested there could be as many as 20 fatalities.

One state official said that an adult gunman was believed to be dead in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman was in possession of at least two firearms, the official said.

…The school, located among wooded hills and suburban tracts in Fairfield County, 12 miles east of Danbury, serves kindergarten through fourth grade. The school has about 700 students.

Reports on Twitter say that the principal and another teacher were killed. The school has locked doors that require visitors to be buzzed in. That would tend to suggest that the shooter had a relationship with someone at the school.

Update: More information on the shooter

CBS News’ John Miller reports there is preliminary information that the gunman was the father of one of the students. Miller additionally reports the gunman is 20 years old and is from New Jersey.

A law enforcement official in Washington said the attacker was a 20-year-old man with ties to the school and that one of the guns was a .223-caliber rifle. The official also said that New Jersey State Police were searching a location in that state in connection with the shootings. That official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak on the record about the developing criminal investigation. It is not known whether the shooter took his own life or was killed.

“The shooter is deceased inside the building,” State Police Lt. Paul Vance said during a press conference, adding that the scene is secure.

CBS News reports that a potential second shooter is in custody and that SWAT is now investigating the home of the suspect.

A witness tells WFSB-TV that a second man was taken out of the woods in handcuffs wearing a black jacket and camouflage pants and telling parents on the scene, “I did not do it.”

Fox Connecticut reports that the shooting began in the kindergarten classroom.

This is just a horrible tragedy….

Update 2: CNN is reporting that the number of dead is closer to 30, though a final number is not yet available. Also here’s a heartbreaking photo from Rueters…

Video from FoxCT

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