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Children, gunman dead in Conn. elementary school shooting - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Children, gunman dead in Conn. elementary school shooting

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Updated at 3:52 p.m. ET:

Police say 27 people were killed in the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, including the gunman, and one person died at another scene. The dead at the school include 20 children.
    
The gunman opened fire Friday morning inside a school where his mother worked. He blasted his way through the building as young students cowered helplessly in classrooms while their teachers and classmates were shot.
    
The gunman killed himself. The state's governor says someone who lived with him also died.

 A teacher's son clad in black and carrying two handguns rampaged through a Connecticut elementary school Friday, killing 20 small children and six adults, including his mother, in the nation's second-worst school massacre, law enforcement officials said.

The gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, 20, was also found dead at the scene, a federal law enforcement official said. Lanza's mother is a kindergarten teacher at the Newtown school.

A second person is in custody for a possible connection to the shooting. Police are reportedly questioning the shooter's 24-year-old brother Ryan Lanza.

Some young survivors, all under age 10, described the terror of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and a massive police response that included SWAT officers going room to room to search for victims.

"I was in the gym and I heard a loud, like seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in the corner, so we all huddled," a student told NBC Connecticut. "And I kept hearing these booming noises. And we all … started crying.

"All the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us," she added. "So then a police officer came in and told us to run outside. So we did and we came in the firehouse."

Authorities in the small bedroom community 60 miles from New York City were alerted to the unfolding carnage by a 911 call around 9:30 a.m. and then reached out to state police and neighboring police departments for help.

Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said troopers who responded fanned out across the school and searched "every door, every crack, every crevice" of the building.

He said only that they found "several fatalities," including the shooter, at the scene.

The 600-student school goes up to the fourth grade. The Hartford Courant, citing unnamed sources, said many of the victims were in a kindergarten classroom.

After the search was over, children and staff were escorted to a staging area outside where they were reunited with panicked loved ones over the next few hours.

 Children are led from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday after a reported shooting there.

Brenda Lebinski, mother of a third-grader, called the scene "horrendous."

"Everyone was in hysterics - parents, students. There were kids coming out of the school bloodied. I don't know if they were shot, but they were bloodied,'' she said, according to Reuters.

One parent picking up his 7-year-old son said the shooting was "the most terrifying moment a parent can imagine" and described the anguish of waiting to find out if his son was a victim and then running to his child.

"It was the greatest relief in my existence," the father said. "I'm just happy that my kid's OK."

Bracing for a large influx of wounded, Danbury Hospital went on lock down and cleared four trauma rooms. It received only three patients, including a teacher shot in the foot, the Associated Press reported.

The motive for the shooting was unknown, and the gunman's name was not released.

Two 9mm handguns were recovered from the scene, an official told WNBC's Dienst. The Associated Press said one of the guns was a.223-caliber rifle.

The FBI was on the scene, assisting with the investigation. "There is a great deal of search warrant activity…in and out of the state," Vance said, without giving specifics.

Connecticut Gov. Dannell Malloy was meeting with families near Sandy Hook.

"As you can imagine, the governor is horrified by what's happened," said aide Roy Occhiogrosso.

 President Obama was told of the shooting at 10:30 a.m.

"I can just tell you that as a father, incidents like these weigh heavily on him, and I think everyone who has children and can imagine the enormous suffering that accompanies an event like this," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

The death toll is the highest from a school shooting in U.S. history since a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007. At Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, two teens killed 13 people and wounded 24 in 1999.

Parent Stephen Delgiadice, whose 8-year-old daughter was not hurt, said he never could have imagined such bloodshed in the quiet town, where the police force has only three detectives.

"It's alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America," he told The Associated Press.

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