Police: Safety of All CT Schools Being Examined in Wake of Sandy Hook Shootings

Connecticut State Police Lt. Vance said during a Sunday morning press conference that parents should be confident that law enforcement is doing everything they can to make sure all schools are safe.


Updated, 1:05 p.m.

Newtown Police Lt George Sinko told reporters that there is a tenative plan to resume classes for Sandy Hook students, but that the department and the Superintendant of Schools wants to "move forward very slowly and respectfully."

When asked whether Sandy Hook staff and students could ever return to the building one day, Sinko said it was too early to say, but that he "would find if very difficult for them to do that."

Updated, 12:53 p.m.

Lt. Vance told reporters that safety for all schools in Connecticut is being examined by Gov. Malloy.

"There are many plans for emergency purposes in place to ensure the safety of all schools in Connecticut," he said. "All of them are being reexamined and certainly all parents in Connecticut should, in fact, be confident that law enforcement—state police, local police, the educators, the leaders of the school system—are doing everything they can to make sure that the schools in Connecticut are safe."

Updated, 12:33 p.m

Vance stressed to reporters during Sunday's press conference that the police do not have plans to release a timeline of the shooting while the investigation is ongoing because it would be "inappropriate."

Vehicles parked within the secondary crime scene outside of the school are beginning to be released their owners as that portion of the investigation comes to a close, Vance said.

Updated, 12:22 p.m.

Lt. Vance told reporters that although there is nothing new to report, the investigation is "moving forward" and that evidence has been collected is currently being analyzed.

Vance said that the weaponry recovered from the scene is being traced all the way "back to the work bench when they were being assembled."

He added that autopsy results from the Chief Medical Examiner's Office of the last two victims of the shooting could possibly be released Sunday afternoon.

Updated, 12:03 p.m.

Police said Sunday morning warned that misinformation about Friday's deadly shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary is being posted on social media web sites.

Vance said there have been instances of people posing as the shooter on Facebook pages, with "threatening and inaccurate" information.

Vance said these actions are a possible violation of state and federal laws, and people behind these messages could be prosecuted.

Updated, 12 p.m.

During a press conference Sunday morning, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance told reporters that officers are still at the scene actively working to collect evidence, but that there is nothing new to report that is relative to the investigation. 

Original Story

Though officials released some harrowing details of the nightmare that six adults and 20 first-graders endured before they were killed inside a Newtown elementary school Friday—how, when, with what and where they were shot and whether the victims suffered for long—many expect that on Sunday they’ll start to get an answer one question that’s eluded investigators: Why?

Regarding the shooter’s motive, state police have said that they collected “good evidence” at Sandy Hook Elementary School as well as at the neighborhood home of suspected gunman Adam Lanza. He's the 20-year-old who is said to have shot and killed his mother before blasting his way into the school at about 9:30 a.m. Friday, fatally shooting 26 people and then himself.

Multiple media outlets have reported the three guns carried into the school by the gunman as legally registered to his own mother—another piece of this unfolding tragedy that police are expected to address Sunday.

At a media conference late Saturday where some reporters pressed the head of the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for details, a gruesome vision emerged about where the children and six adults were shot, how many times and even what the kids wore to school that tragic day.

Dr. H. Wayne Carver II, the office’s chief, said he expected to finish autopsies on the shooter and his mother early Sunday. State police have said doing so would allow them to confirm the gunman already widely identified in the media. At least as importantly, police have said they’re using evidence collected at both scenes to piece together a “puzzle” that may address the difficult question of motive.

Jack Hornak, a Newtown resident for 35 years and member of St. John's Episcopal Church, told Patch that his questions include: How come here? How come now? Why?

"You run the gamut of crying, anger," Hornak said as he welcomed fellow supporters into the church for a special prayer at noon Saturday.

Asked to describe the emotions he is feeling, Hornak said, "Numbness. I find myself just staring." 

"Right now I'm crying," he added, tearing up. "In 20 seconds I'll want to hit a wall."

Parents such as Margaret Keayes, a mother of five, are grappling with questions about what caused the tragedy. Keayes, whose children attend a different Newtown school, came to Saturday’s press conference, saying she looked into her own kindergartener’s face and thought of those that had perished.

“It's hard to understand that,” Keayes said of the shooting. “I don't think we ever will, and I don't think we have to. But we do need to help those families that are in need right now.”

Keayes described Newtown’s response to those affected by the tragedy as “incredible,” including an offer of counseling sessions to all community members.

Late Saturday, the White House reported that President Barack Obama would travel to Newtown to meet with victims’ parents and to thank first responders.

Parents in town had mixed reactions to that news.

Lorraine Chappell said that though she doesn’t think any one person really can help, “I guess it might help that he does care. He was visibly upset.”

Meanwhile, Brian Cummings, an electrician who has lived in Sandy Hook since 1977, said that a visit by Obama wouldn’t mean much to him.

Roy Low, a father, said he would have liked Obama to come to town Friday.

“I don’t think it’s going to do anything [for the community],” Low said of the president’s visit. “It’s going to be a long time before this community can get back to where it belongs. If it ever gets back.”

COSMO P December 29, 2012 at 07:49 PM
RONALD M GOLDWYN 2:12 pm on Friday, December 21, 2012 If it means that there we be no repeat of what just happened then the banning of military style weapons and high volume clips is a small price for my fellow gun owners to pay. My suggestion for making our schools safer has gone by without comment so far. I proposed replacing wooden classroom doors with steel doors found in apartment buildings but with electronic deadbolts activated by a central office switch so that all classrooms are locked while the PA system announces a Code red so that all teachers know what is happening. In the high schools the lock can be on a short time delay to allow students to enter the nerest classroom. All I'm doing is giving our police time to arrive and catch the criminal in the halls. I don't want to see administrators charging an armed person. Let all hide behind locked doors while waiting for help. What a load of garbage. So prey tell how do you secure a school bus and or recess. Shouls we also transport our kids home in prison wagons. Clearly once again i find it very disturbing you Sir poses a pistol permit. And relies on law makers to institute gun laws when they keep saying an AR15 is a Automatic gun. Clearly these law makers do not know a gun from a broom stick. Or are lying on purpose to fool people like you. And just for the record an AR 15 is a 22 CALIBER.
yinyang December 29, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Joe- you're making something simple sound complicated. Aside from all the issues you mingled together, the facts are that fewer guns obtained legally means fewer guns getting in the hands of criminals. Most gun crimes are committed with legally purchased guns, either through straw purchases or at gun shows, with a few being stolen. Either way, fewer legally obtained guns means fewer guns in the hands of criminals, and fewer guns in the hands of criminals means decreased likelihood of 6 year olds being shot and killed. Personally, if the strictest gun laws pissed off a million gun enthusiasts but saved one 6 year old...well I don't really give a flip about your "right to own" if we can save even one 6 year old. The very first rights mentioned by our founders includes a right to life.
COSMO P December 29, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Personally i dont give a flip about your BS statement and it violates not only state law but it trashed the second amendment. Now do some research because your statement is BS and no facts to back that up. Now read some real stats on gun ownership and you will find MILLIONS of lives are saved by legally owned guns. And i think the numbers are like 2.3 million a year. Now stop posting BS
COSMO P December 29, 2012 at 09:38 PM
And those people in that school were deprived of their constitutional right to defend themselves. If they were allowed under the second amendment to have guns they might very well be alive including some of those kids if not all of them. By the way the shooter went to the High school and chose not to do his deed their, Reports claim he saw the cop their. So keep up spouting off BS. But i would suggest the facts would be best!
Ying Ling December 29, 2012 at 09:46 PM
cosmo, when you learn the difference between THEIR and THERE, someone beside other idiots might listen to your blathering. ps: do you sleep with your guns tommy boy?
yinyang December 29, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Cosmo....lucky for us, our Constitution and Bill of Rights were intentionally made "elastic", meaning that it can be changed. In fact, it has been changed (for example, white men no longer have all the power). Apparently our founders were smart enough to know that the world would change in ways they could not conceive of, and so guess what? We can change that whole 2nd Ammendment thing! Or at least curtail many of the gun " rights" we currently allow...but if you want town a musket or two, I'm cool with that. Nothing else though:) As far as all the research and statistics which prove everything I said previously...well I have a feeling it would be a waste of time to post any of it because you aren't interested in facts which may force you to change your position. Of course if I'm wrong, and you really want to see the research, ask nicely and I will oblige.
sebastian dangerfield December 29, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Ying ling When you pay a nickel in taxes, or when you work for a living rather than sponge off those who do work, someone will listen! Actually they wont. As white trash is rarely listened to. And liars usually dont have people listening you cowardly creep
yinyang December 29, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Ok can't resist, even though you haven't asked nicely Cosmo...regarding those "millions of lives saved by legally owned guns", this study done at Harvard was just meant for you: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/research/hicrc/firearms-research/gun-threats-and-self-defense-gun-use/index.html
COSMO P December 30, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Ying Ling Well there were no guns to fight off this guy and we all know how well that worked out!
yinyang December 30, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Ha Cosmo, just as I suspected you have no interest in facts because your mind is shut as tight as a drum. No need for further conversation with the likes of you, there are plenty of thinking people out there preparing to make the world a better place in spite of you.
COSMO P December 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html I know the type like you liberals begging for congress to violate you constitutional rights. It is so sad what this country has become. Clearly you are the one with the closed mind as to give up any rights. By the way i don't see you yelling and screaming about David Gregory. Oh that's right he is a big liberal and beyond the law. It fascinates me how you liberals do not have a thing to say about that do you. Well what else is new. Since when does a liberal make sense. You know their are study's that claim liberals have sereyous mental deficiencies. I definitely believe that. It's funny how the politicians closed Fairfield Hills. By the way it is in Newtown. Fancy that!
COSMO P December 30, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I would suggest that all you liberals watch this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyoLuTjguJA
sebastian dangerfield December 31, 2012 at 05:17 AM
Cosmo, You keep making the same mistake (lie, bull) mrs lanza was heavily armed. So muxh ao, that she was killed with one of them. If someone en5ers your home while youre asleep takes one of your guns ..you too will be another gun collector who arms a lunatic. If mrs lanza didnt own a gun she wud be alive along with 27 others. When are u gonna stop pretending to misunderstand?
Ali Abdulah January 03, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Is this a 2nd Amendment violation of a "responsible" gun owners rights? http://www.ctnow.com/hc-gun-sentence-sandyhook-0104-20130103,0,873636.story
COSMO P January 04, 2013 at 02:46 AM
sebastian dangerfield 12:17 am on Monday, December 31, 2012 Cosmo, You keep making the same mistake (lie, bull) mrs lanza was heavily armed. So muxh ao, that she was killed with one of them. If someone en5ers your home while youre asleep takes one of your guns ..you too will be another gun collector who arms a lunatic. If mrs lanza didnt own a gun she wud be alive along with 27 others. When are u gonna stop pretending to misunderstand? Actually she was not heavily armed. With that out of the way if you feel you can open my South African Diamond safe feel free to do so. But it is guaranteed not only fire proof it is almost impossible to break in to. So please don't assume that responsible gun owners have Guns laying around in their homes. Do you know for a fact if the shooters mother had a safe? And that has not been publicized or printed either way. Also any responsible gun owner should have a safe. By the way what would banning a pistol grip shotgun or a flash hider or establishing a 50% tax on ammo or having a permit to obtain ammo or getting ammo on line have to do with the fact all those guns were legally purchased as well as the ammo. And furthermore stored improperly and stolen. So bottom line is the guns were not stored correctly and the owner paid with her life and made 300 Million law obiding people bad guys.
COSMO P January 04, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Also a good quality safe can be purchased at Home Depot Lowe's or at Tractor Supply. reasonably priced at or around 600 dollars. So for an investment of 600 dollars would have saved the lives of 26 people and we would be talking about the snow other than this. So i have not heard one politician say that gun owners have to have safes of a good quality for storage. All i hear is nonsense and any laws they pass wont do anything other than their lust to grab guns from honest people. Just a question do you leave you keys in your car when it is parked? I don't think so. So you properly lock your car and take the keys. Simple! So why then did this women leave guns around with a nut for a son. And just for the recors a good safe has a combination not a key. And no one should know the combination other then the gun owner. Fair enough!!
Tom jones January 04, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Rubbish, Not one mass shooting has has happened in Australia since they banned assault weapons in 1996, In addition, firearm homicides have dropped 59% with no corresponding increase in non-firearm murders, And hunters and target shooters were not made to take up knitting, their guns were not confiscated, and their activities were not deemed illegal..
Tom jones January 04, 2013 at 03:29 AM
Amen, as in "freedom" from the 2nd Amendment..Freedom from those who stockpile weapons, against a doomsday scenario, most Americans wish to be free from armed thugs. The NRA would strip you of the right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, the first and third amendments , by redefining the 2nd.
Dan DePass January 04, 2013 at 03:38 AM
A thought or two for Ms. Gemmell--(1) Amnesty is a legal remedy for resolving issues with lawbreakers. Owning a firearm in the U.S. is a Constitutionally-protected right. If criminals (felons) who possess firearms unlawfully relinquish them voluntarily, then amnesty would apply; (2) As a retired police officer, I can assure you that criminals will continue to have little or no problem obtaining guns; wholesale gun bans would not solve the problem of either criminal homicide nor will it prevent the mentally ill from obtaining them either--just like under-age drinkers can obtain beer from older friends, etc., the mentally ill or marginally mentally ill with basic social functioning will get them if they work at it. I have responded to man or woman-with-a-gun calls in both cases. I support banning assault weapons from the general public, but I do not support a wholesale gun ban, and support concealed weapons permits. Having lived along the AZ-MEX border at one time in my life, and with the mayhem MEX drug cartels have caused there in the last 2-3 years, I can't fault anyone there owning a gun for self-protection. As a personal choice, I do not own a single weapon, nor do I belong to the NRA, etc. However, if the area in which I lived had a high frequency of gun-related crime/violence, I would. There are valid issues to consider before broad-brushing a 'gun ban' on law-abiding citizens. Thanks.
COSMO P January 12, 2013 at 05:59 PM
@Tom Jones In 2002 -- five years after enacting its gun ban -- the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. In fact, the percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006 (16.3 percent), Even Australia's Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research acknowledges that the gun ban had no significant impact on the amount of gun-involved crime: In 2006, assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent. Sexual assault -- Australia's equivalent term for rape -- increased 29.9 percent. Overall, Australia's violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent. where no gun-ban exists -- both experienced similar decreases in murder rates: Between 1995 and 2007, Australia saw a 31.9 percent decrease; without a gun ban, America's rate dropped 31.7 percent. During the same time period, all other violent crime indices increased in Australia: assault rose 49.2 percent and robbery 6.2 percent. Sexual assault -- Australia's equivalent term for rape -- increased 29.9 percent. Overall, Australia's violent crime rate rose 42.2 percent. At the same time, U.S. violent crime decreased 31.8 percent: rape dropped 19.2 percent; robbery decreased 33.2 percent; aggravated assault dropped 32.2 percent. Australian women are now raped over three times as often as American women.
COSMO P January 12, 2013 at 06:04 PM
So Mr Jones you dont like facts just as well as liberals never do as till it effects them. Better think twice Mr Jones we don't live in the Black Forest With little elves. The world is mean and the nut jobs are roaming with the liberals like yo protecting them to the fullest. This tragedy is a direct effect of liberal policies and agenda. Not guns. So deny all you want the stats are in our favor. just saying you liberals do not have a clue. and show it time after time.
Tom jones January 12, 2013 at 07:03 PM
@DBJr Agreed, but not my words, was cut and pasted, AND dated Thursday the 3rd, a week ago, I do have a long way to go to get up to speed on this issue, as I told you,I never cared one or the other about guns UNTIL december 14th, and am trying to educate myself about many complex issues at once.
Tom jones January 12, 2013 at 07:15 PM
@DBjr Would have to say I no longer stand by that copy and paste, by the way, "funny" how are minds can be educated in only 9 days time. I feel you are a little concerned most of my links come from Huff Post, etc,, please supply some other websites for me, so as I can view this issue with an open mind.I can only be as "educated" as the sites I read from allow me to be.
Tom jones January 12, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Well ,with all due respect I never got a chance to reply, I 've been doing chores. I don't consider myself a liberal, I do agree with you, these stats are intriguing.My question, however is what type of guns were banned?This study shows a small decline- “A 2003 study published by the Brookings Institution, found homicides “continued a modest decline” since 1997. They concluded that the impact of the National Firearms Agreement was “relatively small,” with the daily rate of firearms homicides declining 3.2%.” http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/12/28/will-banning-guns-stop-homicides-stats-from-england-and-australia-show/
Tom jones January 12, 2013 at 07:43 PM
@Cosmo Stats are funny, for every stat to defend your beliefs,one can find a stat for the other side of the argument- I am not a liberal - i don't advocate gun control- IF you have read my posts you would know they are overwhelming about the need to gain better mental health care and getting all type of weapons, not just guns, out of the hands of dangerous people hands- Homicides involving firearms dropped by 59 percent in the decade following Australia’s gun-law reforms, Harvard University researchers reported last year in an analysis of the Australian statistics. “In the 18 years prior to the 1996 Australian laws, there were 13 gun massacres (four or more fatalities) in Australia, resulting in 102 deaths,” Howard noted. “There have been none in that category since the Port Arthur laws.”
COSMO P January 12, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Ok so the drug dealers and gang bangers will continue to shoot each other that represents 80% of the shootings in this country. With that something like 16% are justifiable so do the math as i am tired of trying to tell you the guns were stolen they were not stored properly under CT law and you want more laws. Be it as it may all you gun grabbers are the same no facts just BS and want more laws that dont work. Friday a kid shot a student with a shot gun. Is shot guns in your sites as some more guns you hate and want to ban. You Liberals beat all.
Tom jones January 12, 2013 at 10:48 PM
@ Cosmo I feel you don't even read my posts? You just ramble on and on in an unconnected fashion, I told you I don't consider myself a liberal, but you continue to label me since it suits your needs. Here I'll throw you a bone, some "facts" that support your argument: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/011113-640383-liberals-gun-control-obama-violence-massacre.htm
Tom jones January 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM
@cosmo, et al Don't you see, i am just playing devil's advocate, and highlighting the extreme's. I think both "sides" have great points, however, there needs to be some kind of middle ground, compromise, there are much greater minds out there than me. i am only looking for a collective brainstorming to reduce violence, without infringing on the right of people who respect guns.
COSMO P January 13, 2013 at 02:06 AM
Well just wanted you input as no one satisfied an answer to the issue as to what to ban or what law needs to be changed and if it is up to the liberals we are screwed. By the way i do not drink never have. Also the Danbury news times quotes Malloy as saying the owner of the AR15 purchased it falsely as a single shot gun. This governor is brain dead and is going to sign in any gun law that comes down the pike. Be it as it may keep up the garbage posts and i will refrain from embarrassing people with facts. Sorry for clouding the issue with facts i should have known better. With that continue on boys and girls the humor is fascinating at best. When you have a plan i will respond other than that ban away as i don't give a dam. But remember this never bring a cell phone to a gun fight. All this does is make the crime scene tape manufacturers RICH. You win i will be silenced by the liberals until election day.
COSMO P January 13, 2013 at 02:15 AM
Donald just for the record why the don't tread on me logo and bashing my posts. Are you truly on our side. You Win you are in the drivers seat from now on. Just like all the gun owning people posting for more restrictions. Don't wish so hard Donald you just might get your wishes. Aan away pilgrims till you nees a gun then go pound salt!!


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