As it happened: US school shooting

Key Points

  • Twenty children and six adults have been killed in a shooting attack at a primary school in the US state of Connecticut.
  • US media identified the gunman, who was also killed, as Adam Lanza - not his brother Ryan as initially reported.
  • There is also a dead adult - believed to be the gunman's mother - at a second crime scene near the school.
  • President Obama says 'our hearts are broken today' as he pays tribute to the victims
  1.  
    1825:

    There has been a shooting at a primary school in the US state of Connecticut, which has left as many as 27 people dead, US media is reporting. We will be bringing you live updates on developments.

     
  2.  
    1825:

    Here's what we know so far. The Associated Press is reporting that at least 18 children are among the dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

     
  3.  
    1826:

    Earlier, the gunman was reported to have been killed and at least three people were taken to hospital.

     
  4.  
    1826:

    A news conference is imminent and we will bring updates once it is under way.

     
  5.  
    1826:

    For the full story of what we know so far, look at our news story here.

     
  6.  
    1826:

    Here is our gallery containing pictures from the scene at the Connecticut town of Newtown, where there has been a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

     
  7.  
    1828:

    A law enforcement official says the attacker is a 20-year-old man with ties to the Connecticut school, the Associated Press reports.

     
  8.  
    1830:
    Parents leave a staging area

    Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

     
  9.  
    1831:

    Police arrived at the school soon after 09:40 local time (14:40 GMT), answering reports that a gunman was in the school's main office and one person had "numerous gunshot wounds".

     
  10.  
    1831:

    One witness speaking to CNN said that shots were heard coming from the hall, saying there "must have been 100 rounds" fired.

     
  11.  
    1833:

    Scores of officers at the scene carried out a full search of the site, while schools across the district were immediately put on lock-down as a preventive measure, officials said.

     
  12.  
    1835: Teacher in a nearby school in Tumbull, Christian Witschy,

    emails: This is shocking and terrifying. My boss' wife is a teacher at Sandy Hook. She is safe thank God. No-one knows exactly what has happened. I work at a nearby school. I teach kids of the same age. We had to calm the kids down at our school when we heard about the shooting.

     
  13.  
    1835:

    US President Barack Obama has been informed of the incident and is receiving regular updates, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters. The president has spoken to the state's governor and expressed his condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

     
  14.  
    Paul Adams BBC News, Washington

    For some time, the apparent lack of panic outside the school led networks to report that the death toll was low, including the gunman and members of staff. But over the past hour, an altogether more horrific picture has emerged. With the police still sweeping the school, there are reports that an entire class, possibly a kindergarten, remains unaccounted for.

     
  15.  
    Paul Adams BBC News, Washington

    President Obama is following developments from the White House, doubtless aware that if the latest casualty figures are confirmed, this will go down as one of the worst mass shootings in American history.

     
  16.  
    1840:

    Sandy Hook elementary school, in western Connecticut, is home to some 600 students, between five and 10 years of age. It is described by our correspondents as a highly rated school.

     
  17.  
    1841:

    Watch our video report with pictures and witness reports on the shootings here.

     
  18.  
    1842:

    The governor's spokesman has opened the news conference saying he is "horrified" and is meeting the families.

     
  19.  
    1844: Breaking News

    Police chief Lt Paul Vance says both students and staff have been killed.

     
  20.  
    1844:

    They will not release more information on the numbers of dead until relatives have been informed.

     
  21.  
    1845:

    He says the shooter is deceased inside the building.

     
  22.  
    1847:

    Police are now at several locations related to the gunman, Lt Paul Dance says.

     
  23.  
    1848: Jillian Cruwys, in Newtown,

    emails: My children, aged six and nine go to a school in Newtown. I got an automated call to say their school was in lockdown. I froze. I was so scared. I have since been called by the school's principle to say no children or staff at their school have been hurt. I know many families with children at Sandy Hook. I can't believe this.

     
  24.  
    1853:

    The US has seen several mass shootings in recent years. In 2007 a student killed 32 and injured dozens more at Virginia Tech university, while in 1999 two boys at Columbine high school killed 13 and injured 20, before killing themselves.

     
  25.  
    1854: Alex Rosa,

    tweets: Never thought something like this could happen so close to home. Thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families. #newtown

     
  26.  
    1855:

    One child witness has told US media he heard and saw bullets before a teacher pulled him into her classroom after the gunman walked in. "It sounded like someone was kicking a door," he says.

     
  27.  
    1856: Hartford Courant Connecticut newspaper

    tweets: RT @StephenBus: nine-year-old: "We were told to hold each others' hands and to close our eyes. We opened our eyes when we were outside."

     
  28.  
    1857: Emily Ashbolt, from Newtown,

    emails: I grew up in the area. It is a really sweet and innocent town. We have lemonade stalls out on the streets. It is such a nice place to raise a family. It is a typical New England town. I would have never thought this would have happened here. Everyone I know who used to be in the area are talking about this on Facebook, no-one can believe it.

     
  29.  

    Trending topics on Twitter in the US include #PrayForNewton, #newtown, CT State Police, #CTshooting, #SandyHook, Paul Vance, 27 Dead, NRA, and Columbine

     
  30.  
    1901:

    State newspaper Hartford Courant has written an editorial which provides a little state context on the shooting: "The state still carries the collective memory of the lottery shootings in Newington in March 1998, when a disgruntled employee killed four co-workers, and the 2010 rampage at Hartford Distributors, in which nine people died," it says.

     
  31.  
    1901:

    The editorial concludes: "Americans may argue about whether their country is dominated by a pro-gun culture. But this much is certain, attested to by the Newtown school shooting: It is far too easy in America for a sick mind to find a gun and use it."

     
  32.  
    Dave Altimari in Hartford, Connecticut

    tweets: The crime scene is so large within school that State Police have called in all 3 of their Major Crime Squads to process evidence. #Newtown

     
  33.  
    1903:

    Some more from witnesses at the scene. Richard Wilford, the father of a seven-year-old boy who survived describes how he found out about the shooting. "You get an alert that more or less schools are locked down, there's been a shooting," he says. "So honestly I didn't know what that meant, I called the police department, they did tell me that the shooting was at Sandy Hook, that's when my wife and I rushed down and came to the school."

     
  34.  
    1904:

    Many of the victims have been taken to nearby Danbury Hospital. Doctor Patrick Broderick from the hospital said he wanted to "send our prayers and thoughts to the family members of those that have been affected by this terrible terrible tragedy".

     
  35.  
    1907:

    Dr Broderick says the hospital received three patients, who have been evaluated and managed by the hospital's trauma service. "We had received some pre-notification so we had our teams on standby and were ready to care for those patients," he says.

     
  36.  
    Michael Moore Filmmaker

    tweets: Just 18 hrs ago, those Republicans in the Michigan House rammed thru a bill making it LEGAL to carry a gun into a school or day care center.

     
  37.  
    1909:
    Aerial shot of the scene

    Here is an aerial shot of a scene near the school, courtesy of CBS television.

     
  38.  
    1912:

    Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association cancels a live chat with pro-gun country singer Colt Ford.

     
  39.  
    1915: Breaking News

    CBS News reports that a body has been found in a search of a home linked to the gunman.

     
  40.  
    1919:

    Parent Richard Wilford spoke of a "powerless and terrifying experience" when waiting for details of his child. Read more witness accounts here.

     
  41.  
    Jon Williams BBC foreign editor

    tweets: Truly shocking: in 2009 (latest yr) 31,347 killed by firearms in US. Almost as many as road accidents (via @MicahZenko)

     
  42.  
    1924:

    This attack is the third major shooting in the US in 2012. Twelve people were killed in an attack in July at a premiere of a Batman film in Aurora, Colorado. In August six people died at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

     
  43.  
    1928:

    Marcey Benitez, a hairdresser in the town, said a child had told her they heard shots, their teacher locked the door and threw the children in the closet. The man was kicking the door, saying "let me in", they kept quiet, then police came.

     
  44.  
    1928:

    Ms Benitez adds that the witness saw a couple of adults lying on the ground. "Everybody here is just in shock and disbelief at this terrible tragedy," she says.

     
  45.  
    1928:

    "I've had my shop here for 10 years, I've been cutting their hair for years, their first hair cuts, I know them all. I'm just afraid to find out. It's very surreal," the hairdresser adds.

     
  46.  
    1932:

    On the situation in the town, Ms Benitez says: "Everyone is distraught and walking around as if in a dream, it's so unbelievable and horrific. And just afraid of what is to come."

     
  47.  
    1937:

    Local reporter Christie Olds from the News 12 cable network says it's an "unbelievable situation". She says the school is in a rural community. "It's a very quiet town, it's a very quaint New England town with a giant flagpole in the centre," she says.

     
  48.  
    1938:

    Here's another witness account. Stephen Delgiadice tells AP his eight-year-old daughter, who was unhurt, heard two big bangs, and teachers told her to get in a corner. "It's alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America," he says.

     
  49.  
    1939:

    Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy is expected to hold a news conference in about an hour's time.

     
  50.  
    1942:

    Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman releases a statement saying he is closely monitoring the situation and his family's prayers go out to all those affected. "What is important now is to give the first responders and local authorities the support needed to address the situation as it changes and keep the community of Newtown safe," he says.

     
  51.  
    1947:

    Mark Hertz, a reporter for WSHU Radio, says this part of the US does not have a large gun culture, and there is a particular sense of shock as people are not used to shooting incidents. "This school is incredibly highly rated - people come to these communities for safety and a sense of quiet. It's a feeling of invasion into the feeling of safety they have there," he says.

     
  52.  
    1949: Breaking News

    The gunman is named by US media as 24-year-old Ryan Lanza. He is reported to have also killed his mother, who worked at the school.

     
  53.  
    1952:

    President Obama is due to make a statement on the incident in about 25 minutes at 15:15 local time (20:15 GMT).

     
  54.  
    2000:

    Another witness account here, from Robert Licata who said his six-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 says. "He was very brave. He waited for his friends."

     
  55.  
    2002:

    ABC news correspondent Mark Greenblatt says it is believed the school instituted a new security system recently. "But for a man to walk into an elementary school in this area would have been the last thing they expected," he says.

     
  56.  
    2009:
    Scene in Newtown

    Here's an image from the current scene in Newtown.

     
  57.  
    2013:

    Joe Tartaglia, a bistro owner in Newtown says: "It's pretty devastating around here. There's police, traffic, newscasters everywhere. I'm a schoolteacher one town over and was notified by my principal. My heart bleeds for these parents."

     
  58.  
    2014:

    President Obama orders US flags on the White House, official buildings and at military buildings to fly at half mast to honour the victims of the shootings.

     
  59.  
    2018: Breaking News

    President Obama says "there is not a parent in US who does not feel the same overwhelming grief as I do".

     
  60.  
    2019:

    Mr Obama says: "Our hearts are broken today for the parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and the families for the adults who are lost."

     
  61.  
    2019:

    Mr Obama says there have been too many of these incidents in recent years: "We are going to have to come together and take meaningful action to stop more incidents like these, regardless of the politics."

     
  62.  
    2021:

    Mr Obama says he will hold his children a little tighter tonight. He ends by saying: "In the words of the scripture, heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds".

     
  63.  
    2022:

    Mr Obama had to pause a number of times and wiped tears from his eyes during his statement.

     
  64.  
    2024:
    President Obama

    President Obama was visibly moved as he made his speech.

     
  65.  
    2029:

    BBC Washington correspondent Kim Ghattas says Mr Obama made an oblique reference that action needs to be taken on the issue of gun control. But she says people are very divided and passionate about the issue of guns in the US.

     
  66.  
    Krishnan Guru-Murthy Channel Four news

    tweets: "Meaningful action" on guns says Obama. But so many Americans refuse to accept a link between their "rights" and such shameful killings

     
  67.  
    Ed Henry Fox News Chief White House Correspondent

    tweets: Literally catching breath walking out of WH briefing, never saw a President get that choked up. Very moving. Utter silence after

     
  68.  
    2037:

    Governor Dan Malloy says a "tragedy of unspeakable terms" has played itself out.

     
  69.  
    2037:

    "You can never be prepared for this kind of incident. It will leave a mark on the community and every family impacted," he says. The governor asks for people around the world to remember them in their prayers.

     
  70.  
    David Cameron UK prime minister

    tweets: My thoughts are with those who've been devastated by the Connecticut shootings. The death of so many children is truly heartbreaking.

     
  71.  
    2040:

    Police chief Lt Paul Vance says there is a great deal of work to go and a lot that cannot be discussed yet.

     
  72.  
    2043:

    Lt Vance says there is a secondary crime scene in Newtown where this is a dead adult.

     
  73.  
    2044:

    The shootings took place in one area of the school, in two rooms, Lt Vance says.

     
  74.  
    2044: Breaking News

    Lt Paul Vance says 20 children are dead - 18 at school, two in hospital. Six adults dead, plus gunman, also another adult at second crime scene.

     
  75.  
    Ezra Klein Washington Post columnist

    tweets: Obama was right not to propose policies in that emotional press conference. He was also right to set the stage for policies soon.

     
  76.  
    2059:
    Lt Vance

    Police spokesman Lt Paul Vance updates reporters.

     
  77.  
    2114:

    The Associated Press quotes unnamed law enforcement officials as saying the suspect is actually 20-year-old Adam Lanza, and not his older brother Ryan as has been reported.

     
  78.  
    2116:

    Ryan Lanza, 24, is being questioned by police, the AP reports.

     
  79.  
    2136:

    A flag flies at half mast along Main Street in Newtown, Connecticut.

    Flag flies at half mast along Main Street, Newtown, Connecticut, on 14/12/12
     
  80.  
    2150:

    Ebong Udoma, a reporter with Connecticut radio station WSHU, is in Newtown and says people there are simply stunned by what has happened. "It hasn't sunk in yet," he tells the BBC.

     
  81.  
    2151:

    Mr Udoma has been at the local hospital. He says they had been prepared to treat a lot of casualties and were shocked that only three people arrived, two of whom are now reported to have died.

     
  82.  
    2203:

    Police spokesman Paul Vance confirms one person was injured but has survived.

     
  83.  
    2205:

    Paul Vance has refused to confirm the identity of the gunman. He told reporters that the police have a "tentative identity" and "will identify the shooter at an appropriate time".

     
  84.  
    2207:

    The police spokesman said the "secondary crime scene" was discovered during the investigation into the suspected shooter, but did not give further details.

     
  85.  
    2209:

    Mr Vance said the shooting took place in two classrooms within one section of the school, but he did not say what grade the children were.

     
  86.  
    2238:

    Vigils are to be held in at least two churches in Newtown for the victims of the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

     
  87.  
    2249:

    CNN quotes law enforcement officials as saying that the mother of the suspected shooter was found dead in her son's residence in Newtown.

     
  88.  
    2251:

    No body was found in the house searched by the authorities in Hoboken, New Jersey, the law enforcement source told CNN. A man from that house - believed to be the brother of the suspected gunman - has been taken away for questioning, CNN reports.

     
  89.  
    2256:

    Queen Elizabeth has sent a message of condolence to US President Barack Obama over the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. She told him she was "deeply shocked and saddened" by "the dreadful loss of life".

     
  90.  
    2305:

    In a news conference, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy says: "It's too early to speak of recovery... We'll do whatever we can to overcome this event." He was mayor of Stanford, near New York City on 9/11 and says he could never have imagined another similarly horrific catastrophe occurring again.

     
  91.  
    2307:

    In the latest twist in a contradictory day of news reports, the Associated Press reports that Ryan Lanza, the 24-year-old brother of the suspected gunman, had no involvement in the shooting, according to an unnamed official. Ryan Lanza was earlier mistakenly identified as the gunman by several news outlets.

     
  92.  
    2312:
    The White House flag flew at half mast

    As dusk fell in Washington DC, the flag flew at half-mast over the White House, on orders from Mr Obama.

     
  93.  
    2319:

    None of the many police officers who rushed to the school after the first reports of shooting fired a round, CNN reports. That could suggest the gunman took his own life - but again, police have not yet divulged that detail.

     
  94.  
    2329:

    Shootings and gun control debates often touch a raw nerve in the US. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful, decried the absence of organised prayer in US state schools: "We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be surprised that schools would become places of carnage?"

     
  95.  
    2343:

    In a disclosure likely to be seized upon by gun control advocates, NBC News reports the weapons used in Newtown were purchased legally and registered to the gunman's mother.

     
  96.  
    2344:

    The debate is already playing out online: Politico's Roger Simon tweets: "Accusing people of 'politicizing' tragedy is a gun lobby ploy to keep us from acting against gun massacres. Don't fall for it. Act."

     
  97.  
    Jose in Orange, Connecticut

    tweets: I live/work a half hr from #newtown and I saw a few coworkers panicked cuz their kids were in that school...I can only imagine the fear

     
  98.  
    2352:

    How are the people of Newtown to come to terms with horror of this scale? After the "Batman" shootings in Aurora, Colorado, earlier this year, mental health expert Barbara Becker told the BBC the grief will "catch some people by surprise, where they may be doing just fine and then something triggers them... It's never going to be the same but it will become a new normal for them".

     
  99.  
    0001:

    While investigators search for a motive for the attack - assuming one exists at all - a police official told the Associated Press the gunman had a "personality disorder" and lived with his mother, who is currently presumed dead.

     
  100.  
    0005:

    Some sense of how the killings in Newtown unfolded has begun to emerge this evening. The Associated Press reports the gunman killed his mother at their shared home, then drove to the school about 09:30 local time and began shooting.

     
  101.  
    0007:

    Night has fallen and a large crowd of Newtown residents have gathered at a Catholic church to hold a memorial vigil.

     
  102.  
    0026:

    We have gathered some of the most powerful photographs from Newtown today in a picture gallery.

     
  103.  
    Brady Dennis, Washington Post journalist

    tweets: #aurora shooting victim @scubarton: "now that i've had a moment to ... reflect on what happened today in #Newtown ... i can't stop crying."

     
  104.  
    0034:

    Inside the sombre vigil at the Saint Rose of Lima church, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy says: "In the coming days and in the coming weeks, I will pray that you all embrace one another that you lift one another up, that you understand the difficulties that you collectively will undergo."

     
  105.  
    0035:

    More from Governor Malloy: "Keep in your prayers the children who lost their lives today, keep in your prayers the adults who lost their lives today... May God bless you, may God bless our children, those who are with us today, and those who were taken from us today."

     
  106.  
    0042:

    With those remarks from Governor Mally, we end our live coverage of events in Newtown, Connecticut. Our news story will be updated throughout the night. Thanks for being with us on a dark day in the United States.

     

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.