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From Reuters – A heavily armed gunman opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, killing 26 people, including 20 children, police said, in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
The gunman – who according to a media report carried four weapons and wore a bullet-proof vest – was dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, state police Lieutenant Paul Vance told a news conference.
Vance said authorities found 18 children and seven adults, including the gunman, dead at the school, and two children were pronounced dead later at a hospital. Another adult was found dead at a related crime scene in Newtown, he said, bringing the toll to 28.
The New York Times reported that the gunman, believed to be in his 20s, walked into a classroom where his mother was a teacher, shot his mother and then 18 students in the room before shooting five other adults and killing himself.
“Our hearts are broken today,” President Barack Obama said in an emotional televised address to the nation.
Chaos struck as children gathered in their classrooms for morning meetings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, a city of about 27,000 in northern Fairfield County, about 45 miles southwest of Hartford and 80 miles northeast of New York City.
The holiday season tragedy was the second shooting rampage in the United States this week and the latest in a series of mass killings this year, and was certain to revive a debate about U.S. gun laws.
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