A gunman killed 26 people, 20 of them children between the ages of 5 and 10, in a shooting on Friday morning at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., about 65 miles northeast of New York City, the authorities said.
The New York Times reports the gunman, who was believed to be in his 20s, walked into a classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School where his mother was a teacher. He shot and killed her and then shot 20 students, most in the same classroom. He also shot five other adults, and then killed himself inside the school.
Another body related to the shooting was at another scene, the authorities said, declining to provide more specifics.
A law enforcement official identified the shooter as Adam Lanza and that a brother, Ryan Lanza, had been questioned.
The shooting is believed to be among the worst mass shooting in United States history.
“The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old,” a visibly distraught President Obama said during a nationally televised address.
After pausing to compose himself for perhaps five long seconds, Mr. Obama said, “They had their entire lives ahead of them: birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.’’
Then the president wiped the corner of his eye.
Some witnesses described a harrowing scene inside the school with the sounds of gunfire followed by sounds of screams.
State police said the Newtown police called them shortly after 9:30 a.m., according to Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police. “On- and off-duty troopers responded to the school, and with Newtown police immediately upon arrival entered the school and began an active shooter search,” Lieutenant Vance said.
Eighteen of the students were pronounced dead at the school and two others were taken to hospitals where they were declared dead. All the adults were pronounced dead at the school.