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Elementary school shooter in Newtown, Conn. reported dead

3:18 PM, Dec 14, 2012   |    comments
  • NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: A woman holds a child as people line up to enter the Newtown Methodist Church near the the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)
    
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NEWTOWN, Conn. -- A lone gunman at the center of a terrifying Friday morning elementary school shooting here has been killed, authorities say.

The Associated Press and local media reported the shooter, an unidentified adult male, had been in the main office at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Two handguns were recovered from the scene.

Its unclear how many victims there were and if there were other fatalities. At least one victim had numerous gunshot wounds.

Mayor Mark Boughton said several victims had been taken to local hospitals. But details were sketchy. The Newtown Bee reported that a police officer carried a seriously wounded child from the building.

Groups of students - some crying, some holding hands - were being escorted away from the school by their teachers. Some students were still in the school at 10:30 a.m., after it was placed on lock down, parents said.

The school is in a residential, wooded neighborhood about 90 minutes north of New York City. It has has 39 teachers and about 650 students. A reverse 911 call went out to parents warning of an incident. Parents were being reunited with children. But, NBC Connecticut reported, police were searching the area behind the school with guns drawn.

Terese Lestik was relieved to find her five year old daughter, Eva, unharmed.

"I heard a boom-boom,'' Eva said of the gunshots she heard earlier.

"I'm horrified,'' said Terese Lestik. "I just pray for whoever is hurt."

Alexis Wasik, a third-grader at the school, said police were checking everybody inside the school before they were escorted to the firehouse. She said she heard shots and saw her former nursery school teacher being taken out of the building on a stretcher, but didn't know if the woman had been shot.

"We had to walk with a partner," said Wasik, 8. One child leaving the school said that there was shattered glass everywhere. A police officer ran into the classroom and told them to run outside and keep going until the reach the firehouse, The Hartford Courant reported.

Dozens of state troopers are on the scene assisting local police. Heavily armed police gathered in front of the school around 10:45 a.m., and a number of stretchers were set up.

The school superintendent's office says the district has locked down schools as a preventive measure to ensure the safety of students and staff. State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance says they have a number of personnel on the scene to assist.

A 1 p.m. press conference has been scheduled.



Contributing: Donna Leinwand Leger, Associated Press

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