Grief, Prayers And A Search For Answers


Timeline Of U.S. School Shootings 1996-2012 (Doesn't include university shootings)

02/02/96

Teacher, 2 students killed, one student wounded by 14-year-old shooter in a trench coat,

Frontier Junior High, Moses Lake, Wash.

02/19/97

Principal and one student killed, two students wounded, by 16-year-old student at Bethel High School, Bethel, Alaska.

010/01/97

Two students killed, seven wounded by 16-year-old student who also killed his mother, Pearl High School, Pearl Mississippi.

03/04/98

Four students and teacher killed, 10 wounded by two students ages 11 and 13, Westside Middle School, Jonesboro, Ark.

04/24/98

Teacher killed, three wounded by 14-year-old shooter, Parker Middle School, Edinboro, Pa.

05/19/98

One student shoots another to death, Lincoln County High School, Fayeteville, Tenn.

05/21/98

Expelled students kills two students, injures 20, a day after murdering his parents, Thurston High School, Springfield, Oregon.

06/15/98

Two teachers wounded by 14-year-old shooter, Armstrong High School, Richmond, Va.

04/20/99

Twelve students, one teacher and two gunmen die in rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado.

05/20/99

Six students injured by 15-year-old shooter, Heritage High School, Conyers, Ga.

11/19/99

One killed by 12-year-old shooter, Deming Middle School, Deming, New Mexico.

12/6/99

Four injured by 13-year-old shooter, Fort Gibson Middle School, Fort Gibson, Okla.

03/05/01

Two students die, 13 other people injured in shooting at  Santana High School, Santee, Calif.

03/22/01

Five people shot by 18 year old student, Granite Hills High School, El Cajon, Calif.

03/21/05

Jeff Weise, 16, kills five students, a teacher and a security guard at Red Lake High School on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Northern Minnesota.  Earlier killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s companion, and took his grandfather’s police cruiser.  After the school shootings, Weise killed himself.

11/08/2005

Fifteen-year-old shoots and kills assistant principal at Campbell County High School in Jacksboro, Tenn., and seriously wounds two other administrators.

08/24/06 

Christopher Williams, 27, looking for his ex-girlfriend at Essex Elementary School in Essex, Vt., shoots two teachers, killing one and wounding another. Before going to the school, he had killed the ex-girlfriend's mother. 

09/27/06

In Bailey, Colo., a man holds six students hostage at Platte Canyon High School and then shoots and kills Emily Keyes, 16, and himself.

09/29/06

A 15-year-old student shot and killed Weston School principal John Klang in Cazenovia, Wis.

10/03/06

Carl Charles Roberts IV, 32, enters -room West Nickel Mines Amish School in Nickel Mines, Pa., and shoots 10 schoolgirls, ranging in age from 6 to 13 years old, and then himself. Five of the girls and Roberts died.

01/03/07

In Tacoma, Wash. Douglas Chanthabouly, 18, shoots fellow student Samnang Kok, 17, in the hallway of Henry Foss High School.

10/10/07

In Cleveland, Ohio, a 14-year-old student at a Cleveland high school, Asa H. Coon, shoots and injures two students and two teachers before he shoots and kills himself. The victims' injuries were not life threatening.

02/12/08

A 14-year-old boy shot a student at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Calif., leaving the 15-year-old victim brain dead.

11/12/2008

A 15-year-old girl was shot and killed by a classmate at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

02/05/10 

A ninth-grader at Discovery Middle School in Madison, Ala., was shot by another student during a class change. The boy, whose name was not released, pulled out a gun and shot Todd Brown in the head while walking the hallway. Brown later died at Huntsville Hospital.     

01/05/11

Two people were killed and two more were injured in a shooting at Millard South High School in Omaha, Neb. Shortly after being suspended from school, the shooter returned and shot the assistant principal, principal, and the school nurse. The shooter then left campus and took his own life.

01/05/11

Two people opened fire during a Worthing High School powder-puff football game in Houston. One former student died. Five other people were injured.

02/27/212

At Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, a former classmate opened fire, killing three students and injuring six. After he was arrested following the incident, the gunman said he randomly picked students.

03/06/12

Shane Schumerth, 28, a teacher at Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, Fla., returned to the campus after being fired and shot and killed the headmistress, Dale Regan, with an assault rifle.


 

NEWTOWN, Conn. (December 15, 2012)--The massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., was inspiring soul-searching around the world Saturday.

(List Of School Shooting Victims)

Authorities say 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother Friday morning at their home in Newton, drove her car to the school, forced his way in, and opened fire.

Eighteen students and six adults died at the scene and two more children died later at a nearby hospital. Their names were released
Saturday.

(List Of School Shooting Victims)

Lanza died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Two handguns, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle were recovered after the massacre Friday.

U.S. Sen Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told CNN Saturday the handguns and the rifle were found at the scene of the shooting.

He said a fourth weapon was found in Lanza's car.

Earlier reports suggested that only the handguns were used in the massacre.

The guns were all legally purchased and were registered to Lanza's mother, authorities said.

Investigators were going to shooting ranges and gun stores to see if Lanza had frequented them.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun said Saturday that investigators have also interviewed Connecticut gun dealers and shoring range employees trying to determine whether there was any training or other behavior that precipitated the attack.

She says investigators have yet to find evidence of that.

Colbrun said the ATF was tracing multiple guns recovered from the home of the gunman's mother.

Authorities are also trying to learn everything they can about Lanza in an effort to figure out what set him on a path leading to the massacre.

So far police have shed no light on a possible motive for the nation's second-deadliest school shooting behind only the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech University.

The toll from the shooting eclipsed the Oct. 16, 1991 shooting at the Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, which left 23 dead and 19 injured, not including the 35-year-old gunman, who killed himself.

A law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation says Lanza is believed to have suffered from a personality disorder and lived with his mother in a well-to-do part of prosperous Newtown, about 60 miles northeast of New York City.

Lanza's parents filed for divorce in 2008.

In his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday, President Barack Obama said the country is "heavy with hurt."

"We grieve for the families of those we lost. And we keep in our prayers the parents of those who survived. Because as blessed as they are to have their children home, they know that their child's innocence has been torn away far too early,” he said.

Mr. Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, "are doing what I know every parent is doing - holding our children as close as we can and reminding them how much we love them."

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner cancelled the weekly Republican address Saturday so Mr. Obama could speak for the nation.

(Newtown Youth And Family Services)

(Newtown Parent Connection)

Friday night hundreds St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown while hundreds of others stood outside, some of them holding hands in circles and saying prayers. Others lit candles and sang "Silent Night."

About 600 students between the ages of 5 and 10 attend the school in kindergarten through the fourth grade.

Anthony Bloss, whose three daughters survived the shooting, says they heard gunshots but they are not talking much about the shooting.

He said he feels completely numb.

Tracy Hoekenga says she wanted to come to the vigil because she is struggling with many emotions.

Her two boys survived the shooting.

Confusion about the suspect’s identity

Media reports Friday first identified the attacker as Ryan Lanza, 24, but in reality, Ryan Lanza was at work in New York City when his brother opened fire at the school some 60 miles away.

An earlier report from a law enforcement official mistakenly transposed the brothers' first names.

Later in the day law enforcement officials said the gunman was actually Adam Lanza and some reports indicated that he was carrying identification bearing his brother's name.

Authorities questioned Ryan Lanza and authorities said he was "extremely cooperative" and was not believed to have any connection to the killings.

The official said Ryan Lanza's computers and phone records were being searched but only "in an abundance of caution."

He said Ryan told authorities he had not been in touch with his brother in recent years.

It sounded like “cans falling"

Frantic parents rushed to the school to check on their children.

One man said his 8-year-old daughter heard two big bangs, and teachers told her to get in a corner.

His daughter was fine.

A woman said it was "the happiest moment" of her life when she found her own 8-year-old daughter safe.

The 17-year-old brother of a 9-year-old girl at the school said he raced to the school, and found that his sister was OK.

He said she heard a scream come over the intercom at one point.

The teenager said teachers were shaking and crying as they came out of the building.

A 6-year-old told his father that he was in his classroom when a gunman burst in and shot the teacher.

Robert Licata said his son "grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door."

Licata said, "he was very brave. He waited for his friends."

Licata said his son told him the shooter didn't say a word.

The father of a 7-year-old student said his son heard a noise that sounded like "cans falling."

He said his son told him a teacher went out to check on the noise, came back in, locked the classroom door, and had the children huddle in a corner until police arrived.

”Our hearts are broken tonight…”

A tearful President Barack Obama, who has been following developments in the shooting since Friday morning, addressed the nation Friday afternoon from the White House, saying “Our hearts are broken tonight.”

He said the country's leaders must "take meaningful action" regardless of politics in response to the mass shooting.

The president teared up, at times using an index finger to wipe at the corner of his eyes, as he spoke, pausing repeatedly as he struggled to keep his composure while speaking of the young children who died and the life milestones they now would miss.

"The majority of those who died today were children - beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them - birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams," the president said.

"So our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors, as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children's innocence has been torn away from them too early and there are no words that will ease their pain."

"This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we'll tell them that we love them, and we'll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight, and they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans, and I will do everything in my power as president to help, because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need, to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories, but also in ours."

Shortly before speaking, Mr. Obama ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff on public grounds through Tuesday.

Earlier U.S. House Speaker John Boehner ordered flags at the U.S. Capitol lowered to half-staff because of the shootings.

In a tweet, the Ohio Republican said he issued the order "in tribute to families and victims" at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Local Districts Respond

The Killeen ISD issued a statement Friday saying the district’s thoughts are with the staff, students and families affected by the shooting.

“The first priority in Killeen ISD on a daily basis is the safety and security of the students and staff,” the statement said.

“Yesterday at our general staff meeting, we reviewed our emergency plans and procedures with district staff and principals. Killeen ISD is continually looking at the district’s emergency plans and procedures to insure they are being followed and are ready to be implemented, if necessary. “

Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain said the district “is horrified and saddened about today’s event in Newton, Connecticut.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the entire Newton community as it begins to deal with the aftermath of this tragedy,” she said.

“Events such as this keep us ever mindful to remain observant and diligent about everyone who accesses our campuses. It also emphasizes the importance of the routine safety drills we conduct as part of our emergency operations plan,” she said.

“The Waco school police department is constantly looking at ways to improve security. All officers undergo yearly training in areas of rapid response and active shooter. Unfortunately, no amount of preparedness training and safety planning can prevent some tragedies from occurring,” she said.

Midway ISD Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas issued a statement in which he said, “We are shocked and grieved.”

“Our hearts go out to the families, loved ones and school communities in Connecticut,” he said.

“Tragic incidents are reminders to continue to be vigilant in our efforts for emergency plans and safety procedures to protect our children.”

In Temple, police said they planned to step up their visibility as schools dismissed students Friday afternoon.

State officials directed all Texas school districts to review their emergency operation plans in the wake of the school massacre.

Gov. Rick Perry, who asked Education Commissioner Michael Williams to direct the reviews, said it's essential that the government ensure all Texas schools are equipped and prepared to execute plans to secure the safety of school students and staff.

The governor also referred districts to the Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University as a resource to assist in developing a plan of response or improving an existing plan.

Other Reaction

“Hold your children extra close tonight and be thankful," the Waco Police Department tweeted".

"Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Newtown, Connecticut.”

Baylor Heisman Trophy winner and Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III tweeted, “I may not be a parent, but I can not begin to imagine how it feels to have my child's life taken away. And no one ever should"

Dr. Thomas McInerny, the president of the American Academy of Pediatricians, called Friday “a day of sadness and grief for everyone who cares for children.”

“Pediatricians and other child health experts strongly recommend that schools and parents avail themselves of resources to help them talk with children about this disaster. As in any frightening situation, young children should not be exposed to the extensive media coverage of the event -- in other words, turn off the TV, computer, and other media devices,” he said.

Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott issued a statement Friday afternoon saying he’s “committed to making sure educators, students and law enforcement are working together to prepare Texas schools for the unthinkable.”

“The senseless and cowardly shooting in Connecticut reminds us all of the vigilance we must maintain to protect our children in their schools. I pray for the victims, their families and the Newtown community as they deal with this horrendous tragedy,” he said.

Saying his state still has painful memories from the mass April 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell extended his sympathies Friday to Connecticut after the massacre.

McDonnell said his thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by Friday's shootings.

O'Donnell said the memories of the Tech shootings have never faded in Virginia and the state continues to grieve for those slain by a lone gunman on the Blacksburg campus.

The gunman also killed himself, leaving 33 dead in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.


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