Flags across the nation are at half staff in mourning for the mass shooting at Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty-six people are confirmed dead in connection with the shooting, 20 of which were children between the ages of 6 and 10. Chaos and confusion ensued as authorities tried to stabilize the situation and locate the perpetrator. Ryan Lanza was initially questioned as a person of interest in the crime, but it was later determined it was in fact his brother, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who was determined to be the gunman who entered the school. Evidently, after the shooting in school, Lanza turned the gun on himself and committed suicide .
Another body related to the case was found at another location and reportedly was identified as Lanza’s mother. Officials report that Lanza also shot and killed his mother before arriving to the school.
Police are still working through the evidence, but what is clear so far is that Lanza was prepared to carry out a mass shooting when he walked into the school. He was equipped with three guns, including two lethal semi-automatic handguns: a Sig Sauer, the type of gun carried by Secret Service agents, and a Glock 9mm, a type of gun used by many police officers and federal agents. He was also carrying multiple rounds of ammunition. A .223 assault rifle was found outside the school in the back of his mother’s car, apparently registered in his mother’s name.
“We were in the gym, and I heard really loud bangs,” said a sobbing 9-year-old boy outside the school with his father. “We thought that someone was knocking something over. And we heard yelling, and we heard gunshots. We heard lots of gunshots. We heard someone say, ‘Put your hands up.’ I heard, ‘Don’t shoot.’”
The attack has triggered a tremendous outpouring of emotion. British Queen Elizabeth sent her condolences to President Obama, saying she was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the massacre. At a press conference, a tearful Obama spoke of the shooting saying, “The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old…We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news, I react not as a president, but as anybody else would as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.”