This afternoon, our panelists went live on Radio and Google + to discuss the tragic murders that took place this morning in Connecticut. The details of the news story are below, and you can watch and listen to a recording of our discussion above.
NEWTOWN, Conn.—A gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked, killing 26 people, including 20 children, law-enforcement officials said, in what could be the worst mass shooting at a U.S. elementary or high school.
The shooter was found dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, a community of about 27,000 located about 65 miles northeast of New York City. State police said another victim was found dead elsewhere in Newtown, putting the total toll at 28.
Law-enforcement officials identified the suspected shooter as 20-year-old Adam Lanza. Officials said the alleged shooter’s mother was a teacher at the school, and she was believed to be among the victims. Earlier, a law-enforcement official incorrectly identified the suspect as Mr. Lanza’s brother, Ryan. Authorities didn’t identify a motive.
The attack at Sandy Hook, a historic village lined with colonial homes in Newtown, began at about 9:40 a.m. and was concentrated around a single classroom, a school bathroom and a hallway, an official said.
Diane Day, a therapist at the school, was sitting with the principal, Dawn Hochsprung, other staff members and a parent in a routine meeting around 9:30 a.m. when she heard gunshots. “We were there for about five minutes chatting and we heard, ‘pop pop pop,’ ” she said. “I went under the table.”
Ms. Hochsprung and school psychologist leaped out of their seats and ran out of the room, Ms. Day said. “They didn’t think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on,” she said. Ms. Hochsprung was killed in the massacre.
Without a lock on the door, the school’s lead teacher pressed her body against the door to hold it shut, Ms. Day said. That teacher was shot through the door in the leg and arm. “She was our hero,” Ms. Day said.
In response to these events, President Obama made these remarks.
This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.
We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news, I react not as a president, but as anybody else would as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.
The majority of those who died today were children — 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. Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
So our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost.
Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors, as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early and there are no words that will ease their pain.
As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight, and they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans, and I will do everything in my power as president to help, because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need, to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories, but also in ours.
May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
During our panel discussion, here are some of the key questions answered.
Are new gun laws the answer to the Connecticut school shootings?
Did God plan the Connecticut School Shootings?
Will the Children Killed in Connecticut go to Heaven?
What would you say to a parent whose child was killed?
“Daddy, why would anyone kill his mommy?”
In this video, I answer my nine your old son’s question to me when he learned the CT shooter killed his own mother.