At least 27 dead in elementary school shooting in Conn.

14 Dec 2012
updated at 18h28
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A shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, in the Northeastern United States, left "several dead" on Friday, including students, said police, which confirmed the suspected gunman was dead inside the building.

"There were several dead on the scene, students as will as personnel (of the school)," said a state police spokesperson Lt. Paul Vance. "The shooter is dead inside the building," he added.

As of 2:30pm EST, CBS News reports at least 27 people, including 18 children, died during the shooting. CNN reports about 20 dead, including 10 children.

The incident took place on Friday morning at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, a city with a population of 27,000, almost 60 miles from New York City. Nearly 600 children from ages 5 to 12-year-old attended the school, according to the local news.

The local police was alerted of the incident a little after 9:30am EST, said vance. The institution asked for immediate assistance from the state police, which also arrived at to help at the scene.

"Our main objective was to evacuate all students and staff at the school as fast and as effectively as possible. The entire school was searched," he added.

All the schools in the surrounding areas were closed immediately, NBC reports. A message posted on the Newtown school district website informs parents 'all after school programs are canceled for the day.' Public shootings happen frequently in the US, and generally come to end once the shooter is injured or commits suicide.

On Tuesday, a man with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire in a mall in Oregon, causing the deaths of 2 people before killing himself.

The most notorious incident of the last few month took place in July, when a 24-year-old male killed 14 people and injured 58 during the opening night of 'The Dark Knight Rises' at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

Last month, a man was sentenced to life in prison for killing six people n Tucson, Arizona in January 2011, where he intended to kill Senator Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head and survived.

Despite the tragedies, there is no unanimous support for tougher guns laws in the United States because many Americans are opposed to restricting their constitutional right to bare arms.

President Barack Obama was informed of the shooting and monitoring the situation, White House reps said.

When asked if the incident will accelerate the debate over gun control laws in Obama's agenda, the White House spokesperson, Jay Carney said: 'I don't think today is that day' to discuss the matter.

"I think it's important on a day like this to see things this way, since I know what the president does as a father, and like a father, and others who are fathers, that I've felt great compassion for the families affected by this tragedy," Carney assured.

Official: 27 Dead in Connecticut School Shooting



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