News reports in the northeastern state of Connecticut say 26 people – most of them young children – were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school.
Connecticut State Police lieutenant J. Paul Vance told reporters the fatalities included students and staff, and that the gunman involved also was dead. The officer did not give a complete report on casualties, saying the priority for authorities at the scene was to notify the children’s parents and other relatives.
An official from the governor’s office says Governor Dan Malloy was “horrified” by the tragedy and rushed to meet with the children’s family members.
President Barack Obama called authorities in Connecticut to express his sadness, and pledged to help with federal resources.
The shooting took place Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Photos and video images from the scene showed children being rushed out of the school, but it took several hours before the full scope of the tragedy to become known.
The White House said President Obama spoke with the FBI director about the case, and was receiving frequent briefings.