EVELOPING: Twenty-seven people, including 20 children, were killed Friday when a gunman clad in black military gear opened fire inside his mother’s kindergarten class at a Connecticut elementary school.
The shooter, who sources identified as Adam Lanza, 20, gunned down his mother and her entire class at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., according to sources. Lanza was found dead inside the school, according to officials. Eighteen of the children and six more adults were dead at the school and two more children died later, according to Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance.
Vance would not confirm the shooter’s name, and earlier in the day there were conflicting reports over the gunman’s identity. Law enforcement sources told FoxNews.com the shooter was Lanza. His brother, Ryan Lanza, 24, was in custody, but it was not sure if he faced charges.
“It is not a simplistic scene,” Vance told reporters.
An official with knowledge of the situation said the shooter was armed with a .223-caliber rifle. Four weapons in total were recovered from the scene. The motive is not yet known.
Police are also questioning another person in connection with the shooting. Witnesses told the Connecticut Post that a handcuffed man, dressed in camouflage, was led out of a nearby woods by officers.
Vance said during an afternoon news conference that police arrived at the scene “within minutes” of a 911 call placed shortly after 9:30 a.m.
“Every door, every crack, every crevice of that school” was checked, Vance said. “The entire school was searched.”
Vance did not give details about the number of victims other than to say they included students and staff, pending notification of the families. He said more information would be released, possibly later Friday.
A dispatcher at the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps said earlier a teacher was shot in the foot and taken to Danbury Hospital. Local news outlets also reported that the principal was among those shot.
Parent Lisa Procaccini told Fox News that her daughter was sitting in a classroom when she and others heard gun shots.
“She was in a small class — a reading group and they started hearing bangs,” Procaccini said. “Her teacher, and I’m grateful for this, rushed kids into the bathroom and locked the door. They told kids it was hammering and tried to keep them calm.”
“Children were crying,” Procaccini said. “She did tell me about a little boy that was in a police officer’s arms, bleeding. I don’t know if she gets it.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said two firearms were found at the scene.
President Obama was notified of the shooting around 10:30 am ET, White House officials said.
“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in these past few years, and each time I receive the news I react not as a president, but as a parent,” Obama said in a brief address to the nation on Friday.
“Most victims were children, between five and 10 years old…They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations weddings, kids of their own,” he said, pausing before wiping tears from his eyes.
The elementary school has close to 700 students.
Newtown is in Fairfield County, about 45 miles southwest of Hartford and 60 miles northeast of New York City.
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