Shooting in Connecticut: 20, 5-10 age children killed - Mass killings in US happen more frequently
A gunman went on a shooting spree in a Connecticut elementary school Friday, 15 December morning, killing at least 27 people, among them 20 children in what has become one of the deadliest shootings in US history.
The children died when a heavily armed man with three fire arms one of which was an semi-automatic weapon invaded a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school and sprayed staff and students with bullets.
The gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, 20, was found dead in the school. Lt. Paul Vance said 18 children died in the school and two more died later in a hospital. Six adults also were slain, bringing the total to 26. Among them was Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal.
In addition to the casualties at the school, Lanza's mother, Nancy Lanza, was killed in her home.
According to sources, Lanza shot his mother in the face, then left his house armed with at least two semi-automatic handguns, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, and a semi-automatic rifle. He was also wearing a bulletproof vest.
It is the second worst mass shooting in U.S. history, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 when 32 were killed before the shooter turned the gun on himself. The carnage in Connecticut exceeded the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in which 13 died and 24 were injured.
Friday's shooting came three days after masked gunman Jacob Roberts opened fire in a busy Oregon mall, killing two before turning the gun on himself.
World leaders have extended their condolences to the United States for what transpired in Newtown, Connecticut.
"I would like to express my shock at the tragic shooting at the school in Connecticut today," European Union foreign chief Catherine Ashton said.
"This news… horrified me and I wish to express my deep shock and consternation," said French President Francois Hollande.
"I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear about today's horrific shooting," British Prime Minister David Cameron said.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon extended his deepest condolences over the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in a letter to Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy. “The Secretary-General said that the targeting of children is heinous and unthinkable, and extended his thoughts.
In a message of condolence to US President Obama, British Queen Elizabeth II said she was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the shootings in Connecticut, BBC reports.
Mass killings in the U.S., like Friday's schoolhouse slaughter, have become a troubling and recurring fact of life in America.
In the latest carnage, authorities say a gunman killed at least 26 people, including 18 students, inside an elementary school in the north-eastern state of Connecticut.
In July, a troubled graduate student opened fire at a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie at a Colorado theater, killing 12 people. Less than a month later, an Army veteran killed five men and a woman at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
Like Friday's assault, the killings have often occurred in seemingly peaceful settings. A gunman in early 2011 killed six people and wounded 13 others, including a U.S. congresswoman, as she was meeting with voters on a Saturday morning outside a grocery store in Arizona.
In 2009, an Army psychiatrist killed 13 soldiers and civilians on an Army base in Texas.
Two years earlier, a student at a large university, Virginia Tech, killed 32 people on the sprawling campus. In 1999, two students at a Colorado high school killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher.
The Mother Jones news magazine says that since 1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders in the U.S., which U.S. authorities define as an assault in which a gunman kills four or more people, typically in a single location.
After mass killings in the U.S., some lawmakers have called for much tighter gun controls.
But U.S. officials have only occasionally adopted new laws, because the country's Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. Mother Jones said that in the mass murders it cataloged over the last 30 years, gunmen used 139 weapons, with more than three-quarters of them obtained legally.
As the following summary by the New York Daily News shows, both the frequency and severity of recent mass shootings in the US (and globally) have been getting bigger and more acute. Bring on the discussions as to why this is occuring in our day and age.
Oak Creek, Wis.: A white supremacist shoots six people and a responding policeman at a Sikh temple before shooting himself in the head in August 2012.
Aurora, Colo.: Lone gunman kills 12 and injures 58 at a July 2012 screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Oakland, Calif.: A former student at a Christian college fatally shoots seven people and injures three in April 2012.
Copley Township, Ohio: A man in a family dispute uses his handgun to shoot and kill his girlfriend and six others in August 2011.
Geneva, Ala.: Eleven victims, ages 18 months to 74 years old, are killed by a lone gunman in a violent family feud in March 2009.
Omaha, Neb.: A 19-year-old man shoots nine people at a department store in December 2007 before cops kill him.
Blacksburg, Va.: A student at Virginia Tech kills 32 classmates and wounds 25 before committing suicide in April 2007.
Red Lake, Minn.: A 16-year-old boy kills 11 people, including his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend, in a shooting spree in March 2005.
Columbus, Ohio: A deranged fan shoots a Pantera guitarist at a concert as he performs
Wash., D.C.: Two deranged snipers go on a spree, killing 10 people around D.C. and Virginia in Oct. 2002.
Columbine, Colo.:Two senior students invade their school in April 1999, killing 12 students and one teacher and injuring 21, before committing suicide.
Killeen, Texas: An unemployed man drives a truck through a packed cafeteria and fatally shoots 23 people and injures 20 before killing himself in October 1999.
Jacksonville, Fla.: A man angry over a repossessed car storms into the agency in June 1990 and over two days shoots 11 of its 86 employees before killing himself.
(Begin Quote) 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's 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 neighbourhoods are our neighbourhoods, 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. (End Quote)
- Asian Tribune -