Police release names of victims killed in US school rampage

The Associated Press
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Published on December 14, 2012

Officials are on the scene outside of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where authorities say a gunman opened fire inside an elementary school in a shooting that left 27 people dead, including 18 children, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.

Published on December 14, 2012

Officials are on the scene outside of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where authorities say a gunman opened fire inside an elementary school in a shooting that left 27 people dead, including 20 children, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.

Published on December 14, 2012

Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 18 children. It was the worst school shooting in the country's history.

Published on December 14, 2012

A mother hugs her daughter following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 18 children. It was the worst school shooting in the country's history.

Published on December 14, 2012

Law enforcement canvass an area following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 18 children.

Published on December 14, 2012

A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. A gunman entered the school Friday morning and killed at least 26 people, including 20 young children.

Published on December 14, 2012

A mother hugs her daughter following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. A gunman entered the school Friday morning and killed at least 26 people, including 20 young children.

Published on December 14, 2012

A young girl cries following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. A gunman entered the school Friday morning and killed at least 26 people, including 20 young children.

Published on December 14, 2012

This aerial photo shows a triage area set up at the Sandy Hook fire station in Newtown, Conn., near where authorities say a gunman opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in a shooting that left 27 people dead, including 18 children, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.

Published on December 14, 2012

A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The victims of the U.S. school shooting were shot multiple times by semiautomatic rifle, the medical examiner said Saturday, and he called the injuries “devastating” and the worst he and colleagues had ever seen. Police began releasing the identities of the dead. All of the 20 children killed were 6 or 7 years old.

The list of victims' names and ages is included at the bottom of this article.

The examiner, Dr. H. Wayne Carver, said he examined seven of the children killed, and two had been shot at close range. When asked how many bullets were fired, he said, “I’m lucky if I can tell you how many I found.”

Police said they had found “very good evidence” they hoped would answer questions about the motives of the 20-year-old gunman, described as brilliant but remote, who forced his way into the school and killed 26 children and adults in one of the world’s worst mass shootings.

Witnesses said the gunman, Adam Lanza, didn’t say a word as he shot children and later killed himself. Police have not officially identified the shooter.

Reaction was swift and emotional around the world, any many immediately thought of Dunblane — a 1996 shooting in that small Scottish town which killed 16 small children and prompted a campaign that ultimately led to tighter gun controls.

Pressure to take similar action built on President Barack Obama, whose comments on the tragedy were one of the most outwardly emotional moments of his presidency.

“The majority of those who died were children — beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old,” Obama told a White House news briefing Friday, struggling to keep his composure. He promised “meaningful action” on the issue of mass shootings, “regardless of the politics.”

Stunned residents and exhausted officials continued Saturday to fill in the details of the attack.

The school’s well-liked principal, Dawn Hochsprung, was killed while lunging at the gunman as she tried to overtake him, town officials said. Board of Education chairwoman Debbie Liedlien said administrators were coming out of a meeting when the gunman forced his way into the school, and they ran toward them.

Asked whether Hochsprung is a hero, the chairman of the town’s Legislative Council, Jeff Capeci, said, “From what we know, it’s hard to classify her as anything else.”

Police said the shooter had no connection to the school in Newtown, a small and picturesque New England community about 60 miles (95 kilometres) northeast of New York City.

Connecticut state police Lt. Paul Vance told reporters Saturday that investigators had found “very good evidence” and hoped it would answer questions about the gunman’s motives. Vance would not elaborate.

Another law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that investigators had found no note or manifesto of the sort they have come to expect after murderous rampages.

Just one person, a woman who worked at the school, was shot and survived — an unusually small number in a mass shooting — and Vance said her comments would be “instrumental.”

A law enforcement official said a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols, and a .223-calibre Bushmaster rifle were found in the school and a fourth weapon was found outside the school. The official was not authorized to discuss information with reporters and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Investigators had not found evidence after talking with state gun dealers and gun ranges that the gunman trained for the attack or was an active member of the recreational gun community, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun said.

Lanza is believed to have suffered from a personality disorder and lived with his mother, said a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation. He attended Newtown High School, and several news clippings from recent years mention his name among the honour roll students.

Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, drove to the school in her car and shot up two classrooms Friday morning, law enforcement officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A custodian ran through the halls, warning of a gunman, and someone switched on the intercom, perhaps saving many lives by letting them hear the chaos in the school office, a teacher said. Teachers locked their doors and ordered children to huddle in a corner or hide in closets as shots echoed through the building.

Maryann Jacob, a clerk in the school library, was with 18 students when they heard gunfire outside the room. She had the children crawl into a storage room, and they locked the door and barricaded it with a file cabinet. There happened to be materials for coloring, “so we set them up with paper and crayons.”

After what she guessed was about an hour, officers came to the door and knocked.

“One of them slid his badge under the door, and they called and said, ’It’s OK, it’s the police,”’ Jacob said.

Lanza’s older brother, 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, of Hoboken, New Jersey, was questioned, but a law enforcement official said he was not believed to have had a role in the rampage. He told law enforcement he had not been in touch with his brother since about 2010. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the unfolding investigation.

The gunman’s aunt Marsha Lanza said her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it.

“Nancy wasn’t one to deny reality,” Marsha Lanza said, adding her husband had seen Adam as recently as June and recalled nothing out of the ordinary.

Catherine Urso, of Newtown, said her college-age son knew the gunman. “He just said he was very thin, very remote,” she said.

Joshua Milas, who graduated from Newtown High in 2009 and belonged to the school technology club with him, said Adam Lanza was generally a happy person but that he hadn’t seen him in a few years.

“We would hang out, and he was a good kid. He was smart,” Joshua Milas said. “He was probably one of the smartest kids I know. He was probably a genius.”

The community also turned its focus Saturday to the young children who had witnessed the attack. Police had students to close their eyes as they were led from the building so they wouldn’t see the blood and broken glass. In a photo by the local Newtown Bee newspaper that quickly became the defining image of the attack, children — some crying, many looking frightened — were escorted through a parking lot in a line, hands on one another’s shoulders.

Robert Licata said his 6-year-old son was in class when the gunman burst in and shot the teacher. “That’s when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door,” he said. “He was very brave. He waited for his friends.”

He said the shooter didn’t utter a word.

Kaitlin Roig, a teacher at the school, said she implored her students to be quiet.

“If they started crying, I would take their face and say it’s going to be OK. Show me your smile,” she said. “They said, ’We want to go home for Christmas. Yes, yeah.’ ’I just want to hug my mom,’ things like that, that were just heartbreaking.”

Hundreds of people packed St. Rose of Lima church Friday night and stood outside in a vigil for the 28 dead — 20 children and six adults at the school, the gunman’s mother at home, and the gunman himself.

Just 10 days before Christmas Eve, people held hands, lit candles and sang “Silent Night.”

“People in my neighbourhood are feeling guilty about it being Christmas. They are taking down decorations,” said Jeannie Pasacreta, a psychologist who was advising parents on how to talk to their children.

Names and ages of the 26 people gunned down at a Connecticut elementary school Friday in the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history:

Charlotte Bacon, 6

Daniel Barden, 7

Rachel Davino, 29

Olivia Engel, 6

Josephine Gay, 7

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6

Dylan Hockley, 6

Dawn Hochsprung, 47

Madeleine Hsu, 6

Catherine Hubbard, 6

Chase Kowalski, 7

Jesse Lewis, 6

James Mattioli, 6

Grace McDonnell, 7

Anne Marie Murphy, 52

Emilie Parker, 6

Jack Pinto, 6

Noah Pozner, 6

Caroline Previdi, 6

Jessica Rekos, 6

Avielle Richman, 6

Lauren Rousseau, 30

Mary Sherlach, 56

Victoria Soto,27

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

Allison Wyatt, 6

Source: Connecticut State Police

 

 

 

 

———

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Pat Eaton-Robb and Matt Apuzzo and videographer Robert Ray in Newtown; Bridget Murphy in Boston; Samantha Henry in Newark, New Jersey; Pete Yost in Washington; Michael Melia in Hartford; and the AP News Research Center in New York.

Organizations: U.S. school, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Legislative Council Glock U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Newtown High School Lima church State Police

Geographic location: NEWTOWN, Connecticut, New York City New England Hoboken, New Jersey U.S. Boston Newark, New Jersey Washington Hartford

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Recent comments

  • jonjon
    December 16, 2012 - 14:25

    I am crying.

  • SG
    December 16, 2012 - 11:59

    My Heartfelt Condolences to all who lost loved ones as a result of this Tragic Act of Violence. Will Gun Laws stop such violence against innocent citizens? Our World has to provide more Safety for all citizens especially our Children. I can't understand why this man's mother had a Glock, another Gun and an Automatic Rifle in her home? The latter being his choice of weapon used in the school. We need to provide more stringent Safety Measures for our students and population.There should be a means that would prevent such a person from being able to enter a School. Guns don't kill. They need a Person to pull the Trigger

  • don
    December 15, 2012 - 23:47

    An unimaginable tragedy. When the he!! are Americans going to grow up in respect to gun laws?

    • janet
      December 17, 2012 - 08:03

      I agree. They also need to have publicly available mental health care.

  • bunny
    December 15, 2012 - 20:14

    It is very sad and shocking to read all the names of the dear children who died in this shooting plus the names of the 5 female teachers plus the gunman. The gunman might have been briliant in school but he certainly did not show it in killing all those people who might have become doctors,etc., including his dear mother. DO YOU THINK SHE WANTED TO DIE? NO,SHE DID NOT ,SAME AS THE REST OF THEM. THEY ALL HAD SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR--NOW THEY DON'T. IF HE DIDN'T LIKE LIVING IN THIS WORLD, HE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN HIMSELF OUT IF THAT WAS HIS CHOICE. I FOR ONE DON'T SEE HIM AS BRILLIANT AND NEVER WILL. MY CONDOLONCES TO ALL THE FAMILIES TOUCHED BY THIS AND THE GUNMAN'S FATHER AND BROTHER.

  • A Mother
    December 15, 2012 - 19:51

    To see that list and those ages...... Absolutely Heartbreaking.....