Police find evidence of school gunman's motives
Evidence has been found that could help explain the motives of the lone gunman behind one of the worst mass school shootings in American history, police said today.
Officers found evidence at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot and killed, and at a second crime scene where a woman was found dead, Lt Paul Vance told a press conference.
The gunman is believed to be 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who killed his mother Nancy at their home before going on the rampage at the school, although Lt Vance refused to confirm the gunman’s identity.
“Our investigators at the crime scene, the school and secondarily at the secondary crime scene we discussed where the female was located deceased, did produce some very good evidence in this investigation that our investigators will be able to use in hopefully painting the complete picture as to how and more importantly why this occurred,” he said.
He also revealed the gunman forced his way into the school.
Authorities found 18 children and seven adults, including the gunman, dead at the school, and two children were pronounced dead later after being taken to a hospital.
As reports of the shooting spread, panicked parents rushed to the school searching for their children as students covered in blood were being carried out of the building.
US president Barack Obama, wiping away tears and pausing to collect his emotions in an address to the nation, mourned the "beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old" who were killed.
"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," Mr Obama said, his voice cracking. Hundreds of Newtown residents gathered to mourn last night at St Rose of Lima, the Catholic church just a couple of kilometres from the school.
"(The) important thing is that we're here for the families, and it won't be just tonight. It will be as long as is necessary for them to grieve, for them to come out of their grievance and come back to normal, although I don't see how you can actually come back to normal after something like this," said Kenneth Adams (81) as he entered the church with his wife, Amelia.
Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy and Richard Blumenthal, a US senator from the state, spoke at the service, although the crowd appeared most moved by Monsignor Robert Weiss, who had spent the day at a firehouse consoling victims' families.
"Life has changed forever in Newtown," Weiss said. "We have 20 new saints today. We have 20 beautiful angels." 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 US gun laws.