Newtown (Connecticut): The massacre of 26 children and adults at an elementary school in the US state of Connecticut elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised questions about why the gunman, a 20-year-old described as brilliant but remote, would have been driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims, some as young as 5.
The gunman, Adam Lanza, forced his way into the school, State Police Lt Paul Vance told reporters Saturday morning. Investigators were trying to learn more about Lanza, who witnesses said didn’t say a word as he burst into a classroom, shooting, and later killed himself.
The 20-year-old killer, carrying at least two handguns, committed suicide at the school, bringing the death toll to 28, authorities said.
The rampage, coming less than two weeks before Christmas, was America's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre that claimed 33 lives in 2007.
"Our hearts are broken today," a tearful President Barack Obama, struggling to maintain his composure, said at the White House. He called for "meaningful action" to prevent such shootings, saying, "As a country, we have been through this too many times."
Lanza, was believed to suffer from a personality disorder and lived with his mother, said a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation but was not authorized to discuss it.
Panicked parents looking for their children raced to Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, a prosperous New England community of about 27,000 people 60 miles northeast of New York City. Police told youngsters at the kindergarten-through-fourth-grade school to close their eyes as they were led from the building so that they wouldn't see the blood and broken glass.
Schoolchildren — some crying, others looking frightened — were escorted through a parking lot in a line, hands on each other's shoulders.
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