State police release overview of shooting; victims names to be released later today

Connecticut State Police have released an overview of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and Public Information Officer Lt. Paul Vance has indicated that the names and birth dates of the victims will be released later today.

According to Connecticut State Police, on Dec. 14, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Newtown police received a 911 call reporting a possible shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School located at 12 Dickenson Drive in Newtown. Newtown officers immediately responded and requested assistance from Connecticut State Police. Surrounding police agencies also sent assistance to the scene. Troopers, both on-duty and off-duty, responded to the scene.

Upon arrival, teams of troopers and officers formed “Active Shooter Teams” and immediately entered the school. Teams performed rescues of students and staff, removing them to a safe location as they searched for the shooting suspect within the building. The building was evacuated, and students walked hand-in-hand out of the school to a safe location.

Teams encountered several students and staff suffering from gunshot wounds. The building was secured, the shooter was located deceased and Newtown EMS personnel entered to provide emergency care for the wounded. Eighteen children were pronounced dead at the scene, two children were taken to Danbury Hospital and later pronounced dead. Six adult victims were also pronounced dead at the scene. Teams located the shooter on scene; he was also pronounced dead. The perimeter was also searched and secured by responding law enforcement.

The building was secured and at the request of the Newton police chief and Danbury State’s Attorney, two Connecticut State Police Major Crime squads responded to conduct the investigation into this crime. Troopers are assisted by Newtown police detectives, Danbury State’s Attorney, and many federal, local and states law enforcement agencies.

The processing of the scene began immediately with documentation of the crime scene and identifying and gathering both physical and forensic evidence. The urgent focus of the major crime investigators was to work with the Office of the Chief State’ s Medical Examiner to establish the identity of all the deceased victims. This was accomplished overnight, and the next of kin were all notified that positive identification was made.

The family of each victim was assigned a trooper or officer to establish and maintain an open line of communication. This was put into place so families of the victims could have immediate contact related to any questions they may have and to also provide state police investigators the ability to communicate with families without delay.

The families have requested no press interviews, and Connecticut State Police are asking that this request be honored.

The deceased victims have been taken to the Office of The Chief State’s Medical Examiner where a post mortem examination will be conducted to determine the manner and cause of death.

State police major crime investigators are continuing to process the school crime scene, gathering evidence and documenting the entire facility. State police detectives assisted by Newtown detectives processed the interior and exterior crime scene. Teams of investigators flooded the community and followed each lead, developing extensive information.

A second crime scene was located by investigators at a residence on Yogananda Street. A female was located deceased inside the residence. This scene was secured and an additional State Police Major Crime Squad responded to this scene to investigate this incident. Preliminary information determined that the deceased was a relative of the shooter at the elementary school.

Presently, the school scene is still being processed by detectives and is anticipated that this process will take several days. In addition, troopers are continuing to follow any and all leads in this case utilizing law enforcement in-state as well as out of state as required.

Crisis counseling teams are on-site to provide support to the families of all of the victims.

The investigation is continuing.

In a press conference this morning, Lt. Vance said investigators at the school and home “did produce good evidence we can use” and said he hoped it could be used to find “a complete picture how and, more importantly, why this occurred.”

Lt. Vance also said the gunman did “force” his way into the school and was not let in, but did not provide any further details.

Greenwich-post.com will have more details as they become available.

 

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