Police Provide New Details on Newtown, Conn. School Shooting
During a Sunday news conference, police said the gunman in Friday’s school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. possessed much more ammunition in addition to the rounds he used to kill 20 children, seven adults and himself. Authorities also responded to a phoned-in threat at a church near the scene of the tragedy which has left the small New England town shaken and in a state of solemn mourning.
A day after releasing the names of the victims, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance officially identified Adam Lanza, 20, as the assailant who shot his mother, Nancy, four times in the head before taking her guns to the school and carrying out the horrific carnage. He said Lanza emptied ‘several magazines’ from a high-powered Bushmaster AR-15 rifle at his victims. Vance said police found ‘multiple’ 30-round magazines and hundreds of additional bullets at the school. Vance indicated that Lanza used a Glock 10 mm to take his own life as authorities arrived at the school, preventing further bloodshed.
Earlier in the day, authorities evacuated a Roman Catholic church roughly a mile from Sandy Hook when a threat was called in during services. Police searched the St. Rose of Lima church and its rectory after clearing the people who had assembled for the noon Mass.
Msgr. Robert Weiss said a parishioner who answered the church’s phone heard a man say ‘I’m coming to kill, I’m coming to kill.’ Police were then called to the scene to conduct the evacuation and search.
During the news conference, Vance noted that the individual who called in the threat — and others who have made terrorizing comments or engaged in deliberate misinformation via phone or social media — ‘will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.’
Prayers and support from around the world have been sent to Newtown. President Barack Obama arrived late Sunday afternoon and planned to meet with families of the victims, first responders and speak at a 7 p.m. interfaith service. Players from the New England Patriots, New York Giants and New York Jets football teams wore special stickers on their helmets to honor the memory of the victims.
The Newtown school district will be closed Monday, but is scheduled to reopen Tuesday. School officials have revealed no plans to reopen Sandy Hook. According to a Monroe Courier report, when the district decides students from Sandy Hook are to begin attending classes again, students will be sent to Chalk Hill Upper Elementary School, 7 miles away.