27 Killed in Elementary School Shooting

Isaac Matson

Gunman opens fire at elementary school, kills 27, including 20 students, most of whom perished inside kindergarten classroom.

Tragedy visited American suburbia today.

A lone gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, shortly before 9:40 am this morning, according to CNN. The New York Times is reporting that 27 people were killed at the school, among those 20 children, ages 5-10 years old. The gunman took his own life inside a kindergarten classroom, reports the Times. The kindergarten classroom where the suspect, identified as 24 year old Adam Lanza, opened fire was taught by Nancy Lanza, the suspects mother. She is dead on the scene, according to USA Today. According to the Times, most if not all of the 18 children killed were in Lanza’s classroom.

The school’s principal, Dawn Hochsprung, was also killed in the attack.

USA Today is reporting that police searched the house of the suspect’s parents and there is an unconfirmed report that Peter Lanza, the suspect’s father, was found dead on the scene.

Today is also reporting that the weapons recovered at the scene include a .223 caliber rifle, type unknown, and two handguns, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, exact models and calibers unknown. Some witnesses reported hearing up to 100 shots fired during the attack, according to Today

Early reports indicated the possibility of a second shooter involved in the attack. The Associated Press is reporting that the attack was carried out by a lone gunman and that the suspect’s younger brother is being held in connection with the shooting. The Associated Press is also reporting that the suspect’s girlfriend and another friend are missing.

The number of casualties is still being compiled. State police Lt. Paul Vance is only officially acknowledging “several fatalities” at this time, according to CNN.

NBC is reporting that most of the wounded have been taken to Danbury Hospital, which is currently under lockdown.

All schools in the area are under lockdown as of noon PST, according to CNN.

Sandy Brook Elementary School has approximately 600 students and teaches students up to the 4th grade, according to NBC.

Newtown, Connecticut is a suburban community approximately 65 miles northeast of New York City and is home to many commuters. “People come to Newtown for the schools,” Robert Place, 65, told USA Today

James Alan Fox of Northwestern University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice told Today, "If someone is interested in punishing society where it's most vulnerable, they know that a school is a place where lots of young, innocent children, our most cherished members of society, are congregated and under their gun -- literally."

Earlier this morning President Obama was notified of the shooting by his counterterrorism adviser John Brennan. In a press conference later in the day, the President said of the victims, "These were "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."

Nationwide, flags have been ordered to be flown at half staff.