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Connecticut elementary school shooting

State police are responding Friday to reports of a shooting at a southwestern Connecticut elementary school.

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Schools are supposed to be places where children are safe and enjoy their innocence, but the Connecticut school shooting has raised questions about security.

It’s a sad reality that Chicago Public Schools are well versed when it comes to security and dealing with the threat of gun violence.

“All of our schools have a very secure access control strategy,” said Jadine Chou, the Chief Security Officer for Chicago Public Schools. “If that means a metal detector to a hand held metal detector wand, all of our officers are well trained to make sure weapon’s do not enter the schoo.,”

Chou says Chicago’s strategy is proactive. They want to prevent any chance for gun violence.  The bigger challenge for CPS and Chicago police has been protecting children as they head to and from school.

CPS maintains a steady dialogue with police and the community to gather intelligence about conflicts between students to try and head off trouble before it flares up.

As a precaution, the CPS security office sent out email reminders to principals and security people that detailed safety plans and reminded everyone to be vigilant.

Illinois and Chicago area leaders had strong reactions to the mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut Friday morning.

Speaking at an unrelated event Friday afternoon, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel expressed his outrage and concern for the victims.

“I think it’s incumbent upon all of us to remember those children, to remember their families, to remember their community in this time of loss,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I think we all have to take, not just this moment, but rededicate ourselves to our children, their protection and their ability to go to school and it be at a place of learnin,g regardless of where you live.”

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn ordered flags flown at half-staff across the state to remember the victims of the shootings in Connecticut.

The governor also said he intends to push for “strict laws that will protect the children of illinois from gun violence.”

On Friday afternoon, local parents had many more questions than answers.

“I can’t understand what’s going on with people, reaction…they’re huring more than themselves,”  said Tyrone Overton

“I don’t know what’s going on with these kids these days,” said Gary Gurino.

“It just seems like it’s getting worse and worse,” said Holly Barrera. “The morals and everything are just not there,”

“When are we gonna stop it? When are we gonna draw the line and say this proliferation of guns, and this sense of violence has become a norm of American culture?” said Fr. Michael Pfleger, one of Chicago’s most influential advocates for gun control.

Pfleger says he is outraged by todays shooting in Connecticut, and equally outraged that the city of Chicago is closing in on 500 murders for 2012.

“We’ve gotta deal with the gun issue. Assault weapons should be banned. Easy access to guns, those loopholes have to be closed,” Pfleger said.

In one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, a gunman opened fire Friday in a Connecticut elementary school, killing 26 people, 20 of them children, police said.

The suspected gunman, who was not identified by police, also was killed, apparently by his own hand.

One person was wounded.

The mass shootings occurred in one section of Sandy Hook Elementary School and spanned two classrooms, said Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police.

Among the dead were the school’s principal and psychologist, according to a parent who was at the school when the incident happened.

Separately, another adult was found dead at a second location in Newtown, Vance said. A law enforcement source with detailed knowledge of the investigation identified that person as Nancy Lanza, the mother of the suspected shooter, who was found dead at her son’s home. She was a teacher at Sandy Hook, sources said.

Vance described “a very tragic, tragic scene,” noting the carnage first responders witnessed when they arrived.

“I have difficulty putting it into words,” Vance told CNN, adding that he has “seen some horrific things, and this is right up there with them.”

Police recovered three weapons from the scene: a semi-automatic .223 Bushmaster, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, a source with knowledge of the investigation said. Vance said that the medical examiner will determine the cause of death for the gunman, though he noted that police never discharged their weapons.

Meanwhile, authorities in Hoboken, New Jersey, were questioning a man believed to be the brother of the suspected shooter, two law enforcement sources said.

President Barack Obama addressed the shooting in an emotional statement Friday afternoon, saying, “Our hearts are broken today.” Obama, a father to two girls, wiped away tears as he noted the nation has “endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years.”

Police and teachers rushed students from the building as police swarmed the area shortly after the first calls came in, around 9:40 a.m. ET. Officials moved students to a nearby firehouse, where parents frantically sought information about their children.

“Why? Why?” one woman wailed as she walked up a wooded roadway leading from the school.

Third-grader Alexis Wasik said police and teachers barged into her classroom and told students to hide in the corner.

“Everybody was crying,” she said. “And I just heard the police officers yelling.”

Aerial images from CNN affiliate News 12 New Jersey showed police officers armed with rifles following a dog into woods near the school.

Other officers, some in tactical gear, stood around the school with guns drawn, CNN affiliate WFSB reported.

All schools in the city were on lockdown Friday as police assessed the situation, Vance said.

Gov. Dannel Malloy is “horrified” by what happened, a spokesman said. Malloy was meeting with families Friday afternoon, the spokesman said.

Obama ordered flags to half-staff nationwide in honor of the victims.

If the number of fatalities remains at 26, the Newtown shooting would be the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, behind only the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech that left 32 people dead.

In 1999, at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, two students shot 13 people to death before killing themselves.

 

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An update on the adults, children gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

CaptureAccording to reports, at least one gunman opens fire inside a Connecticut elementary school, killing 27 people. WGN is hearing that 18 of those people were children.

It happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. It took place around 9-:40 a.m. Friday Eastern time.

We’re learning most of the shootings took place in a kindergarten classroom. The gunman is among the dead.

The shooter’s body is lying in a classroom, and police found two guns on him. No word on if the gunman took their own life, or if police killed him.

The principal and a school psychologist were killed in Friday’s shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, according to a parent who was at the school during the incident. The vice principal was shot in the foot or the leg, said the eyewitness, who has a second-grader at the school.

 

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A shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school has left at least three people critically wounded Friday, the mayor of a neighboring town where the wounded were taken told CNN.

It was unclear if there were additional injuries or deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but the suspected gunman was dead, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN’s Susan Candiotti.

The three wounded people were in “very serious” condition, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton told CNN. He couldn’t say whether the victims were children. Danbury Hospital confirmed that it was treating three patients from the shooting.

Police have recovered two weapons from the suspect, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, the source said. It’s unclear if police killed the suspect.

The Newtown Bee newspaper said one child had been carried out by a police officer and emergency crews had set up triage facilities, expecting additional patients. The Hartford Courant newspaper said one victim had “numerous gunshot wounds.”

Aerial images from CNN affiliate News 12 New Jersey showed police officers armed with rifles following a dog into woods near the school.

Other officers, some in tactical gear, stood around the school with guns drawn, CNN affiliate WFSB reported.

A photograph published by the Newtown Bee showed teachers and police leading students out of the building across a parking lot.

One student, a third-grader, told CNN affiliate WTNH that she was sitting in her classroom when police flooded the area.

“We saw police officers and we heard them on our roof and in our building,” the girl said.

Some of the children were crying, and others felt they had a stomach ache, she said.

The girl’s father told the station the incident was shocking.

“I was pretty shaken up,” he said.

All schools in the city were on lockdown Friday as police assessed the situation, state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said.

Students were evacuated to a nearby firehouse, the Danbury News-Times newspaper reported.

The first calls came into police around 9:40 a.m., according to media accounts.

Police scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. ET.

Newtown is about 60 miles north of New York.

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Connecticut State Police are responding to reports of a shooting at a Newtown elementary school in southwestern Connecticut, according to police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance.

We’ll bring you more details as soon as we get them.

Our affiliates in the area are saying the school is the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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