ABC 57's coverage of national tragedy out of Connecticut

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- At least 26 people are dead Friday night after a gunmen broke through Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Of those 26, at least 20 are believed to be children.

Right now, the shooter has been identified by ABC News as 20-year-old Adam Lanza who is now dead.

Officials say Lanza lived with his mom who is divorced from his dad.  It's reported that Adam Lanza shot and killed his mom before going to Sandy Hook Elementary School where she worked as an aide in the past and shot students in the class.

State police got the first 911 call at 9:40 A.M. and immediately sent emergency units to the school and locked down all the schools in the area. At the school, they found 20 kids, just five to ten-years-old, shot and killed.

For parents, the news was especially hard, thinking "what if my child didn't come home from school today?"

The President, who is also a father of two young girls, had the same reaction, sharing words of healing while wiping away tears.

"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," said President Obama.

The President expressed his condolences to the state of Connecticut. He also offered whatever support the governor of the state needs as the investigation continues.

In addition, Governor Dannel Malloy broke his silence late Friday afternoon after meeting with the parents who lost their children. He says, like the rest of his state and country, he is shocked and saddened by the horrific shooting.

"I never thought that in a public career I would have to face these kinds of circumstances or that they would visit themselves upon this community or the people of Connecticut. We'll get through this," said Governor Malloy.

The governor says it is too early to speak about the recovery.  He says they will have to take the coming weeks, one day at a time.

The South Bend School Corporation responded to this heartbreak with a brief message.



"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn the news of the tragedy at the Connecticut school today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families involved,” said Superintendent Carole Schmidt.

South Bend schools went on to say that safety is their first priority and the necessary steps have been taken not to repeat this tragedy.

The President ordered all flags nationwide be lowered until Tuesday.  

Folks took to our nation's capitol to mourn. Events have rocked not only a small community but our nation as a whole. Thousands of people brought candles and said a prayer for the lives lost Friday in Connecticut.

They also gathered at St. Roma's Catholic Church in Newtown where they held a vigil for all of the folks affected by this tragedy. Not only townspeople but first responders and even members of the media said a special prayer to all of those children who lost their lives.

Because of the shooting, politics will be placed on hold. Fiscal cliff talks are canceled through the weekend.  The President will spend the weekend with his family and John Boehner is headed to his home state of Ohio.  The talks will continue Monday.

If you logged onto Facebook or Twitter recently, you noticed about every post referenced the mass murders. Politicians took to their Twitter accounts to pass along condolences. #PrayforNewtown is the number one tweeted hash-tag Friday

Those close to the family say that Lanza suffers from emotional disorders. His 24-year-old brother Ryan, who officials first said was the shooter, was at work at the time of the shooting. He and his father are being questioned by police.

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