School shooting in Connecticut casts somber mood across nation
School shooting in Connecticut kills 27 people, including 20 children, marking the deadliest and most shocking primary-school shooting in recent US history.
The rampage inside a Newtown, Conn., elementary school Friday, killing 27 people, including 20 children, marks the deadliest and most shocking primary-school shooting in recent US history.Skip to next paragraph
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Eyewitnesses said they heard at least 100 shots before police reported to an atrocious shooting scene at Sandy Hook Elementary. Among the dead, according to news reports, were the school principal and a school psychologist who had rushed into a hallway when they heard gun pops.
Scenes of police searching local woods only added to a sense of confusion, tragedy, and dread after a span of months where the nation has been jolted again and again as gunmen have entered public spaces and opened fire.
Just this week, a young man opened fire at a packed Oregon mall, killing two people. In July, another young man is accused of opening fire at a midnight showing of a "Batman" film in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 and injuring 58.
President Obama, wiping away tears, said at the White House, "Each time I learn news like this I react not as a president, but as anybody else would, as a parent, and that's especially true today." He added, "As a country we have been through this too many times – an elementary school in Newtown, a shopping mall in Oregon, a temple in Wisconsin, a movie theater in Aurora, a street corner in Chicago. These are our neighborhoods, these children are our children. We have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, no matter the politics."
Indeed, the shooting is likely to throw new focus on post-Columbine school security measures, as well as the knotty issue of gun control. Just this year, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary had sent a letter to parents informing them of a new security protocol. It included staff viewing visitors through a camera before buzzing them in, while parents who weren't familiar to staff would have to show picture IDs.
"With nearly 700 students and over 1,000 parents, most parents will be asked for a picture ID," the principal, Dawn Hochsprung, wrote.