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UPDATE: Sandy Hook Elementary Shootings; World Joins in Mourning

By: AP
By: AP
Names of victims in Conn. school rampage released... Conn. gunman broke in, shot some victims twice... Conn. dad recalls loving, creative 6-year-old... Obama to travel Sunday to Newtown, Conn... Experts: No link between Asperger

Vigil In Newtown, Conn. over Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) -- Authorities have released the names of the 26 people gunned down in a rampage at a Connecticut elementary school.
All six adults killed at the school were women. Of the 20 children who were shot to death, eight were boys and 12 were girls. All the children were ages 6 or 7.
Investigators are trying to learn more about 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza, who killed himself after the massacre.

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) -- The gunman behind the Connecticut elementary school massacre stormed into the building and shot 20 children at least twice with a high-powered rifle, executing some at close range and killing adults who tried to stop the carnage, authorities said Saturday.
He forced his way into the school by breaking a window, officials said. Asked whether the children suffered, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver paused. "If so," he said, "not for very long."
An official with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press three weapons were found inside the school and fourth weapon was found outside. The murder weapon was a high-powered rifle with a high capacity, popular with law enforcement and the military.
Police shed no light on what triggered 20-year-old Adam Lanza to carry out the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, though state police Lt. Paul Vance said investigators had found "very good evidence ... that our investigators will be able to use in painting the complete picture, the how and, more importantly, the why." He would not elaborate.
Friday's massacre has elicited horror and soul-searching around the world.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the "innocent little boys and girls" were "taken from their families far too soon."
Investigators have questioned the gunman's older brother, who's not believed to have been involved in the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary in prosperous Newtown, 60 miles northeast of New York City.

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) -- The father of a 6-year-old girl killed in the Connecticut elementary school massacre says his deep pain is comforted by the memory of how bright, loving and creative his daughter was.
Robbie Parker says his daughter Emilie was artistic and was always quick to draw a picture or make a card for friends. He says the world is a better place because Emilie was in it.
Parker was among the first parents to speak about the loss of one of the 20 children who died in Friday's shootings in Newtown. He struggled to collect his breath at first, much less to speak. He says he's not mad and expressed sympathy for the shooter's family.
Parker says, "She was beautiful. She was blond. She was always smiling."

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama will attend a memorial service Sunday in Newtown, Conn., the site of Friday's deadly elementary school shooting.
Twenty-six people, including 20 children, were killed when a man opened fire inside the school.
Hours after the shooting, a tearful Obama said he grieved first as a father. In those remarks and later in his Saturday radio address, Obama called for "meaningful action" to prevent such shootings, but did not say what it should be.
Obama's visit to Newtown for an interfaith vigil would be the fourth time he has traveled to a city after a mass shooting.
The president had planned to travel to Maine on Wednesday for an event promoting his positions in "fiscal cliff" negotiations, but the White House canceled that trip because of the shooting.

NEW YORK (AP) -- An official says the gunman in the Connecticut school shooting had Asperger's syndrome, but experts say there's no connection between the disorder and violent behavior.
Asperger's is a mild form of autism often characterized by social awkwardness.
A law enforcement official says Adam Lanza had been diagnosed with Asperger's. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the unfolding investigation.
Columbus, Ohio, psychologist Eric Butter says research suggests people with autism have a higher rate of aggressive behavior than the general population. He says this includes outbursts, shoving or angry shouting, but typically does not include planned, intentional violence.
High school classmates say Lanza was bright but painfully shy, anxious and a loner. Butter says those characteristics are consistent with Asperger's.

SOUTHBURY, Conn. (AP) -- Adam Lanza had trouble relating to fellow students and teachers at Newtown High School, but that was only part of his problem. He seemed not to feel physical or emotional pain in the same way as classmates.
Richard Novia was the school district's head of security until 2008 and served as adviser for the school technology club that Adam and his older brother belonged to. The group offered students a chance to work on computers, videotape school events and produce public-access broadcasts.
Novia says Lanza clearly "had some disabilities."
He told The Associated Press that if Lanza had burned himself, he would not have felt it physically. He remembered that the boy sometimes had "an episode" and completely withdrew from whatever was happening around him.
Another acquaintance, Olivia DeVivo, who is now a student at the University of Connecticut, recalled that Lanza always came to school toting a briefcase and wearing his shirt buttoned all the way up. "He was very different and very shy and didn't make an effort to interact with anybody" in his 10th-grade English class, she said.

LONDON (AP) -- As the world joined Americans in mourning the school massacre in Connecticut, many urged U.S. politicians to honor the 28 victims, especially the children, by pushing for stronger gun control laws.
Twitter users and media personalities in the U.K. immediately invoked Dunblane -- a 1996 shooting in that small Scottish town which killed 16 children. That tragedy prompted a campaign that ultimately led to tighter gun controls effectively making it illegal to buy or possess a handgun in the U.K.
"This is America's Dunblane," British CNN host Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter. "We banned handguns in Britain after that appalling tragedy. What will the U.S. do? Inaction not an option."
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called Friday's attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a "senseless and incomprehensible act of evil."
"Like President Obama and his fellow Americans, our hearts too are broken," Gillard said in a statement, referring to the U.S. leader's emotional expression of condolence.
Australia confronted a similar tragedy in 1996, when a man went on a shooting spree in the southern state of Tasmania, killing 35 people. The mass killing sparked outrage across the country and led the government to impose strict new gun laws, including a ban on semi-automatic rifles.
Rupert Murdoch recalled that incident in a Twitter message calling the shootings "terrible news" and asking "when will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy."
The mass shooting in Connecticut left 28 people dead, including 20 children. The gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed his mother at their home Friday before beginning his deadly rampage inside the school in Newtown, then committed suicide, police said.
Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Union's executive Commission, said: "Young lives full of hope have been destroyed. On behalf of the European Commission and on my own behalf, I want to express my sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy."
British Prime Minister David Cameron, said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of the "horrific shooting."
"My thoughts are with the injured and those who have lost loved ones," he said. "It is heartbreaking to think of those who have had their children robbed from them at such a young age, when they had so much life ahead of them."
Queen Elizabeth II sent a message to President Barack Obama, saying she was shocked to learn of the "dreadful loss of life" and that the thoughts and prayers of all in the U.K. are with those affected by the events.
The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI conveyed "his heartfelt grief and the assurance of his closeness in prayer to the victims and their families, and to all those affected by the shocking event" in a condolence message to the monsignor of the diocese in Connecticut that includes Newtown.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her "deepest sympathy" is reserved for relatives of the victims.
"Once again we stand aghast at a deed that cannot be comprehended," she said in a statement. "The thought of the murdered pupils and teachers makes my heart heavy."
But amid the messages of condolences, much of the discussion after the Connecticut rampage centered on gun control -- a baffling subject for many in Asia and Europe, where mass shootings also have occurred but where access to guns is much more heavily restricted.
In messages to Obama, French President Francois Hollande said he was "horrified" by the shooting while Prince Albert II in the tiny principality of Monaco expressed sadness over the "unspeakable tragedy."
Russian leader Vladimir Putin called the events "particularly tragic" given that the majority of the victims were children. "Vladimir Putin asked Barack Obama to convey words of support and sympathy to the families and friends of the victims and expressed his empathy with the American people," the Kremlin said in a statement.
Father Giuseppe Piemontese -- an Assisi-based official of the Franciscan order, founded to further the cause of peace -- lamented that there are `'so many, too many" tragic shootings that "raise the question about the ease with which you can legally procure arms in the United States, to then use them in a murderous way."
The attack quickly dominated public discussion in China, rocketing to the top of topic lists on social media and becoming the top story on state television's main noon newscast.
China has seen several rampage attacks at schools in recent years, though the attackers there usually use knives and not guns. The most recent attack happened Friday, when a knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China.
With more than 100,000 Chinese studying in U.S. schools, a sense of shared grief came through.
"Parents with children studying in the U.S. must be tense. School shootings happen often in the U.S. Can't politicians put away politics and prohibit gun sales?" Zhang Xin, a wealthy property developer, wrote on her feed on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo service, where she has 4.9 million followers.
Some in South Korea, whose government does not allow people to possess guns privately, also blamed a lack of gun control in the United States for the high number of deaths in Connecticut.
Chosun Ilbo, South Korea's top daily, speculated in an online report that it appears "inevitable" that the shooting will prompt the U.S. government to consider tighter gun control.
In Thailand, which has one of Asia's highest rates of murder by firearms and has seen schools attacked by Islamist insurgents in its southern provinces, a columnist for the English-language daily newspaper The Nation blamed American culture for fostering a climate of violence.
"Repeated incidents of gunmen killing innocent people have shocked the Americans or us, but also made most people ignore it quickly," Thanong Khanthong wrote on Twitter. "Intentionally or not, Hollywood and video games have prepared people's mind to see killings and violence as normal and acceptable," he wrote.
Condolences poured in also from Baghdad.
"We feel sorry for the victims and their families," said Hassan Sabah, 30, owner of stationary shop in eastern Baghdad. "This tragic incident shows there is no violence-free society in the world, even in Western and non-Muslim countries."
Samir Abdul-Karim, a 40-year-old government employee from eastern Baghdad said the attack "shows clearly that U.S. society is not perfect and the Americans do have people with criminal minds and who are ready to kill for the silliest reasons."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his condolences to the American nation at the start of his remarks in Kabul on Saturday about Afghanistan's foreign policy.
"Such incidents should not happen anywhere in the world," Karzai said, adding that Afghanistan frequently witnesses such tragedies and can sympathize with those affected.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed those sentiments in a letter to Obama expressing his horror at the "savage massacre," saying that his country knows the "shock and agony" such cruel acts can bring.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda sent a condolence message to Obama for the families of the victims.
"The sympathy of the Japanese people is with the American people," he said. In Japan, guns are severely restricted and there are extremely few gun-related crimes.
In the Philippines, a society often afflicted by gun violence, President Benigno Aquino III said he and the Filipino people stand beside the United States "with bowed heads, yet in deep admiration over the manner in which the American people have reached out to comfort the afflicted, and to search for answers that will give meaning and hope to this grim event."
Close to 50 people gathered Saturday on Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach to mourn the victims as part of a demonstration organized by an anti-violence group called Rio de Paz, or Rio of Peace.
Twenty-six black crosses were planted on the white sands of the beach -- one for each victim at the school. Messages of solidarity written in English hung from some the crosses.
One of them read: "In Brazil we understand the pain of senseless violence. We grieve the pain at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut."


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