A horrific shooting Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killed 27 people including 20 children in the worst non-college school shooting in U.S. history.
Here’s what you should know know.
1. 20 Young Children Are Dead
Sandy Hook Elementary serves grades K-4. Twenty children are among the fatal victims, including many kindergarten students. The surviving children were subjected to unspeakable trauma, first hearing screams over the school’s PA System and then being told to close or cover their eyes as they were rushed out of the building. Some survived as a heroic teacher barricaded them in a closet.
— Liz Dahlem (@lizdahlemNBCct) December 14, 2012
2. The Killer Was ID’d as 20-Year-Old Adam Lanza
Adam Lanza, 20, who may suffer from personality disorder or autism, was ID’d as the gunman who wielded two handguns and fired some 100 bullets in the massacre.
3. In a Major Mixup, Adam’s Brother Ryan Was First ID’d as the Killer
Adam may have been carrying his 24-year-old brother’s identification, which led to Ryan Lanza being named as the killer. Most major media outlets incorrectly reported Ryan as the shooter and published or broadcast his Facebook photo (above). Ryan was taken into custody and questioned, but police now believe Adam acted alone.
4. The Killer Murdered His Mom
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 14, 2012
Before driving her car to the school, Adam killed his mom, Nancy, with a gunshot to the head. Her death brings the total toll to 28. Early reports had her as a kindergarten teacher killed at the school, and when a body was found at her home in Newtown, many reports said Lanza’s father was dead in this separate shooting. But now it is known that the father is alive. The guns Adam used — two handguns he brought in the school and a rifle he left in the trunk — were all legally purchased and registered to the mom.
5. He Killed the Principal & School Psychologist
Parent says the Principal was killed in the Sandy Hook, CT school shooting. So sad. Prayers please; ppl say they’ve seen children bleeding.
— Maureen Wolf (D) (@MaureenWolf1) December 14, 2012
Adam began the school-killing spree by murdering the school principal, Dawn Hochsprung. His early victims also included the school psychologist, Mary Sherlach. Hochsprung and Sherlach were in a meeting and ran out to confront the killer rather than hide from him.
6. The Killer Died of a Self-Inflicted Gunshot
Adam Lanza, who entered the school wearing all black, killed himself when his rampage was over. Police never fired a shot.
7. It’s the Worst Non-College School Shooting in U.S. History
With 27 dead, the Sandy Hook Massacre is larger than Columbine or any other school shooting in American history — not including college shootings. In the 1999 Columbine disaster, 12 students and one teacher died. The Virginia Tech shooting of 2007 killed 33 people.
8. It Has Ignited the Gun Control Debate
Another school massacre pressures Obama on U.S. gun control reut.rs/UGTUjG
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) December 15, 2012
9. Flags Will Fly at Half-Staff
President Obama, in a teary address to the nation, said the tragedy hits him hard — as a parent more than a president. He also said flags will fly at half-staff nationwide through Tuesday, December 18.
10. Newtown Was the 4th Safest Place to Live
Newtown, Connecticut, is a quiet, upper middle class town of 27,000, within train-commuting distance of New York City. It’s ranked as one of the nation’s safest places to live.