tv CNN Newsroom CNN December 14, 2012 9:00am-11:00am PST
were set up on this location as well. it's just a very sad developing scene. again, it is an elementary school, sandy hook elementary school, newtown, connecticut. the developments continue to come in, and there's a news conference scheduled for 1:00 eastern time this afternoon. with that, i'm going to hand off the baton to my colleague suzanne malveaux to continue the coverage. suzanne. >> thank you very much. welcome to cnn newsroom and welcome to our viewers around the world as they simultaneous cast this domestically and internationally. we were breaking news out of connecticut. we're following this school shooting. police told us a number of people have been shot at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut, about 60 miles north of new york. first calls coming into police around 9:40 local time this morning. children were being evacuated, the schools in the area all on lockdown. now, we have learned that the shooter is dead. we are also hearing multiple
local reports of fatalities. i want to go to our cnn's jason carroll for the very latest. first of all, outline if you will how many people we know are dead, who has been killed, and who has been injured. >> well, first of all, let's go back to the beginning. we started to receive reports at about 9:40 a.m. that's when police, suzanne, reported that a shooter was in the, quote, main office of the school. at that point we had also heard a report that a person in one room had numerous gunshot wounds. this coming to us from one of our affiliates there. our susan candiotti has confirmed through one of her sources that someone has been shot, the alleged gunman involved in the shooting at the school, and that two weapons were recovered from that particular gunman. we are also getting information in coming from the mayor, the mayor of danbury, connecticut who said that according to him three people taken to danbury
hospital. the nature of their injuries at this point unknown. we did -- as we dipped into local affiliate coverage there, as you see some of the pictures, we did hear reports that one teacher was shot in the foot. that was according to one reporter there. also, another report that a child had an injury to the face and another child with an injury to the hand. a father actually had called into the cnn newsroom earlier today, suzanne, as all was this was developing saying that he saw one child taken away with, quote, serious injuries. i can also tell you that a press conference is scheduled for just about an hour from now. that will be connecticut state police. at that point hopefully we can get more details confirmed, some more information about the alleged shooter in this and more details about all of those hurt. suzanne. >> you had mentioned earlier that there were local media reports of multiple fatalities.
where are these reports coming from? >> are these police officers or officials on the ground saying they're a potential for multiple fatalities? is this coming from the hospitals? where do we suspect this information is coming from. >> one is coming to us from one of the local papers there, the hartford current and another from wabc. the only details they give at this point is that, quote, multiple fatalities. we are still waiting to confirm that particular report. what cnn can confirm at this point is that at least three people taken to local hospitals, danbury hospital, with, quote, serious injuries. >> jason, we want to listen in and dip in if we can to our affiliate wsfb and the latest reporting they have here. >> for a parent to receive not to go there and wait for that information. we know that a message did go out to parents giving them some information. hopefully p if you are a parentn
that area you received that message. the superintendent did immediately put all schools in newtown on lockdown. we heard some private schools in that area went on lockdown as well. in addition to that, our new haven bureau chief is reporting that many neighboring towns also went into a heightened state of security at their schools as well upon hearing this and, of course, one of the big things that we are waiting to hear and that police are working on right now is what possible motive could be behind this shooting at this school? we know at least one person other than the gunman has been shot, and the gunman is dead at this point. >> and as our sister station in new york city is saying, at least three people were injured and two children and one adult. all three have been taken it to danbury hospital, but they say that they're looking for a car. a maroon or red-colored vehicle with the back window blown out. that is go that wcbs out of new york city is reporting. we're trying to give you the
information coming in from so many different sources choosing the ones we know to be the most reliable with the social press and our sisters stations wcbs who say law enforcement officials have confirmed this to them. >> it to give you an idea how chaotic of the scene it is, that is just to the rear of firehouse used as a staging area, probably about a quarter-mile down the driveway from that school. to give you an idea, when robert arrived on the scene near that firehouse where he reported live earlier this morning, he reported that police officers came out of the woods escorting a gentleman telling people he had nothing to do with this. that's the kind of response we're talking about where anyone found in this krar was at least questioned by police and that they want to talk to anyone there. police also just as we are working right now to try to get a handle on exactly what has happened there. it looks like the helicopter pictures are having freeze-up. that's a shot of the firehouse where this took place. you can look at bin point news
tracker to see what that scene looks like. the firehouse is just above that label that says dickinson drive in the middle of the map. you can see that firehouse, and that's where robert has been going livend reporting live this morning. sigh that long driveway. there's the firehouse and the white building there and the long driveway into the school. that's where police have been swarmi swarming. >> police are organizing to have a news conference. that time may be more fluid. they're going about two miles away, and they realize that the public is certainly wanting to know as much as possible, especially parents. a reverse 911 call went out to the residents of newtown informing them of this school shooting at sandy hook elementary. the danbury times is reporting that students started to hear the gunshots during the morning announcements. >> cbs is now reporting that at least one child at the school has died as a result of this shooting at an elementary school, sandy hook lltary
school. at least one child at at that that school has died in this shooting. so, obviously, we had feared that that would be the news that we would be getting, that there was more casualties. we know the gunman is dead. cbs news is confirming at least one child dead as well. >> absolutely heart-breaking. let's go live to robert on the scene. robert. >> there is a lot of tenseness here and a lot of confusion. parents just showed up here, of course, after they started getting information that there was some sort of shooting incident here at sandy hook elementary school. you can see all the emergency vehicles and parents mixed in together. of course, the police try to secure the scene over at the school. we do know that there have been at least several people shot. parents are getting information from emergency officials that one of those people shot may be the principal.
we're trying to confirm that. state police are staging an area about two miles from here where they will be doing a news conference to get out some official information. lieutenant paul vance will be the one leading that in the next 20 to 30 minutes. of course, we will be at that news conference, but right now over at the school parents just confused. we're hearing that. they're very tense. as we were showing up, a lot of parents walked out with their children, very young children, third, fourth graders. they were, of course, very emotional. a lot were crying. one parent telling us that his child told him that someone walked into the classroom and shot the teacher. that's just some of the information. we asked that parent how your child is doing. he was running up the street saying, i don't know at that the point. they're still trying to figure out that. there's just a lot of information that's coming out. again, the news conference will be happening about two miles from here. we have a crew there. we will be getting that
information very shortly. hopefully to shed some light, lieutenant paul vancie telling s this is one of the worst shooting incidents we've seen in the state in a long time. right now newtown police here trying to work with the parents. it seems that state police are the ones that are actually handling the investigation. we've seen federal agents here including from the atf. there's a lot of heavy weaponry that's being used to go into there. we also are hearing reports that at least one of the gunman, if there are just -- if there is one maybe more was shot and killed. we don't know if that was self-inflicted or he was shot during the initial response. excuse me. we're live right now. you can see some of the ambulances leaving the area. they're coming out of the school. we know that several people were injured in this, and right now we're just trying to figure out
who. she said at this point they don't have details on who is shot, but there are some reports that there have been at least two fatalities, maybe more. again, lieutenant paul vance telling us it's one of the worst shootings they've seen in a long time. that news conference is supposed to happen momentarily about two miles from here. we have a crew there and bring that to you live. we're live right now, channel 3 eyewitness news. >> thank you, robert. this picture so telling as the children are crying. we have an eyewitness who was there at the school, and joining us on the phone line. we're just speaking, so if you could identify yourself, sir, or ma'am. >> it's liz. liz, what can you tell us? >> i was bringing my son, devin, to school when all the police cars and emergency vehicles were driving by. so my gut told me that they were headed to the school, and we drove down and confirmed that they were headed to the school.
they were surrounding a dark suv or van with a tooele on top, and there was a strange burning smell and we left. we went home. on the way we learned that there was a shooting at the school. the school puts out a blast, so i didn't bring my son to his school, the high school. we just went home where friends who have children in the school asked us to come to a friend's house that's next door to the school and see p if we could find out anything, if their children were okay. that's where we met lynn and have been helping him. >> liz, about exactly -- >> we're following this breaking news story. we have stunning new details from a eyewitness inside the school. we're going to bring that to you after we take a quick break. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future.
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news story a school shooting that took place at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. we'rablying in the managing editor of cnn.com and just spoke with an eyewitness inside of the school. i have to warn our viewers, i understand that some of the details about what she actually witnessed is pretty gruesome. meredith, what she convey to you? >> hi, suzanne. she conveyed to me that she was in a meeting this morning. she said it was 9:30, 9:35. there were about seven people in the room, and it was a meeting regarding one of her kids. she has children at the school. she volunteers at the school as well. she heard -- she described a pop, pop, pop in the hall. they all heard it. there were about seven people in the meeting room. they heard that sound in the hall. they -- she said three people went out in the hall, the principal, the vice president
and the school psychologist, and to hear her describe it she said three people went out in the hall. only one person came back, which was the vice principal she said, who was shot in the leg or the foot. she came crawling back. she said that she cowers under the table during that moment, and she called 911, as did the other people in the room. she said she never saw the shooter. she said she was under the table. that the shooting happened in the hallway, and to hear her describe it, she said there must have been 100 rounds. i asked her to clarify that, really, truly 100 rounds? she said at least. >> when the vice principal came crawling back, what up happened aat that point? what did she say? how did the vice principal manage to move or escape? did she describe what was the situation as he was crawling
back? >> she described -- she said that -- she said that there was confusion. there was yelling understandably. she said there was yelling until the hallway, and she couldn't -- she couldn't tell for a while if it was the police or the shooter. when i talked to her, she was still inside the school. the school is on lockdown, so she couldn't tell -- she didn't know if the shooter was dead yet or still there. >> what did the vice principal look like when she saw him return? >> i didn't -- i didn't hear her describe that. she said -- you know, she said, listen, this is a nice town. this is not a nice school. these are the kinds of things that don't happen there. she noted this was not so high-powered meeting. it was about my -- about one of my children who is in second grade there.
you know, she's tearful. she's -- you know, just understandably panicked. she said they marched at some point -- i don't have the length of time, but she said at some point aafter the shooting they marched us out in the hallway right past the two bodies laying in the hallway in a pool of blood. >> when she talked about the two bodies, is that of the principal and the school psychologist when she said those two had not returned? are these the two individuals she was talking about? >> that's right, that's right. >> and did she say or describe in any way what their conditions looked like when she passed them in the hallway? >> no, she did not. she did not. she -- we had a short conversation. she's understandably emotional. those are pretty much the gist of -- that's the gist of our conversation. you know, she was wondering how can the -- how could someone get in? it's a locked school. you have to be buzzed in.
>> sure. meredith, i'm sorry. were there any kids in the hallway, any children in the hallway as they had moved past the two bodies? >> she said, yes. she said the children -- she said there was some children still right there in the school right now. some children had to be walked past that pool of blood. past the bodies. >> how long was she in that room when she heard those gunshots before there was silence? >> well, she said she was there -- she said she got there at 9:00 -- she said the meeting started at 9:00, 9:30. she said that she feels like it was right at the start of the meeting, so she said around 9:30, 9:35 they started to hear the pop, pop, pop in the hall. it sounds like she knew what it was. i asked her, i said, a lot of people don't know that's what they're hearing, gunshots. we all knew something was fired in the hall, and three people went out and only one person came back.
so that meeting started at 9:30, and she's stilled locked down in the school. >> does she have any idea how long a time that was when she was hearing all of that popping noise, all that gunfire? >> no. no. she said it went -- it went -- it went quickly, and then she said alternatively, you know, it was 100 rounds that went on seemingly forever. >> was there anyone treating the principal and the psychologist when they were in the hallway? >> she didn't mention that. >> did she see anybody who might have been coming to their aid, or were they just escorted, walked past the two bodies? >> i believe, suzanne, she said that she saw a stretcher or someone coming to their aid. i think she mentioned some kind of assistance, but again, she was -- her main focus at this
point was really to try to tell the story of they were there in that room, seven people, and what happened and how she went under the table and called 911. three people out, and only one came back. that was the gist of the story. >> did she describe at all, meredith, what it was like, the scene? whether or not it was calm or chaotic when they were ushered out of the room and out of the school? >> no, she didn't describe it as either calm or kay yot ittchaot. when i asked her what it was like, she said they're just trying -- i asked if there were any messages going over the loud speaker, if there's -- of what's being said. she said there's nothing like that happening inside the school right now. she said everyone is still on lockdown.
so it's -- so it sounds like they're keeping people, you know, where they are. she said there are still children in classrooms here. >> meredith artley, thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> thanks, suzanne. >> we're going to try to get in touch with some people including the woman you spoke to who experienced just a harrowing experience, those seven people inside of a room hearing the gunfire and then having to walk past those who were shot in the hallway. i want to go back to our aaffiliate, wfsb, for more details. >> i wonder if that person was involved. that person was taken to a police car. we do not know where that person is at this point, and again, we do not know if there was one shooter or more shooters. that will all being sorted out, i think. they were trying to secure this area. they were allowing us a lot closer, but now as they've secured the area, they're expanding the zone as this investigation begins. of course, we have this other information that they're trying to track a van, and they may
have an area over in danbury that they have that van. so we obviously have a crew over there as well, but i think the main information right now is coming from a news conference within the next half hour. cara. >> thank you, robert. >> robert, we appreciate it. obviously, we'll stay on there and bring you that information as soon as that press conference begins. we'll take that live from newtown. sandy hook elementary school in newtown, a k to 4 school with about 600 students, the scene of a shooting this morning. one child confirmed dead, the gunman dead as well. at least one other person was shot, although police say that they do believe that there may be other victims involved in this. at this point the school is completely surrounded by police officers who responded to that area from all around the state of connecticut. 9:41 this morning, about three hours ago, that call came in reporting that shooting and from that time all around the state
of connecticut, state police s.w.a.t. teams and other police resources heading there to the elementary school. you can see the ambulances there. an enormous response to that school, and we did hear reports wcbs reporting that the firefighters were helping to escort children out of the school. they were telling those children to cover their eyes and run as they went by the school office. obviously an ominous warning here. this is a picture from the newtown bee showing children escorted out by state troopers. you can see the huge glut the vehicles that came in there as people came trying to get information. >> very chaotic and horrifying scene for the people who have children in that school. representative john fray is serving his seventh term in the connecticut house of representatives, the minority whip. he said his niece and nephew go to that school, and she witnessed first graders running from the school crying. she among other people took those children, and people have
been assembling at the firehouse. here we see the pictures of adults and presumably teachers taking away distraught children and walking them to a safer place. robert told us that many children have reunited with families, but they are remaining at the firehouse because they're unable to leave this very active scene where they're's a possibility they're looking for a second gunman. >> we have on the phone jessica norton. she's with the group survivors of homicide. they're active in the state of connecticut. jessica, can you give us some idea just from your own personal experience and dealing with your group what these families are dealing with? >> they're absolutely terrified right now, especially at the fact a lot of them don't even know what is going on with their children and whether or not they're safe. >> we lost our affiliate there. we've been following this breaking news story, this school shooting that took place at sandy hook elementary school in
newtown connecticut. cnn confirms that at least two have died, including the shooter. this took place in the morning about 9:40 at this elementary school. we're getting multiple reports of multiple fatalities. that has not been independently confirmed, but we expect a news conference from local police to outline and try to sort out a the lot the details and conflicts stories. we get stories from people inside of the building, eyewitnesses and people who heard the shooting. one eyewitness we just spoke to saying that they heard 100 rounds, and they saw at least two people who had been shot and who were in the hallway bleeding. we're going to take a quick break, and we'll be right back with more details. diarrhea, gas, bloating? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'.
following this breaking news story. we have new details. this is a story we're following at sandy hook elementary school out of newtown, connecticut where a gunman opened fire on this elementary school early this morning at 9:40 local time. we are learning that three people are dead from this shooting including the gunman itself. it's unclear whether he shot himself or he was killed, but we do know and we have from
eyewitnesses their accounts and this is from parents and people inside of the school who tell the story of hearing at least 100 rounds of gunfire inside the school this morning. outside of an office, we have now learned and confirmed that both the principal and the school psychologist have been killed. that they were shot inside of the school, and we have also learned as well a source with knowledge of the investigation that the shooter's body is inside a school classroom. that is the very latest here. there's still a lot of unanswered questions about those who were injured. we have reports, local reports of multiple fatalities. we need to clear that up and find out just whether or not that involved students. we know that there are at least a couple of students who have been injured and taken to local hospitals. a teacher who was shot in the foot, a child who was -- has an
injury to the face and another child who has an injury to a hand. those three, who have been taken to danbury hospital. we also know from an eyewitness who said inside of the school at the time of the shooting that the vice principal was shot in the foot and came crawling back to the office. this is just unbelievable as we hear more of these details, and we'll be getting more information from a local news conference that's going to take place very shortly. we also heard just a few moments ago from a little girl who was inside of the school when the shooting started. >> third grade, aalexis. you told measure you were sitting in class this morning, and you saw a lot of police. tell me how you found out what was going on. >> well, we found like there was all these people, and we found it was because it was like near the window in our classroom. and like we saw a police officer and we heard them on the roof and in our building.
>> was everybody crying, scared, wanting their parents to come get them? >> yeah, they are. some people even got a stomach ache. >> did you hear any gunshots or anything like that? >> well, police officers, they were right out the door trying to find the guy. >> we want to go to news 12, our affiliate news 12 in connecticut for the aerial shot and some of the details that they're getting. >> we have helicopters flying above my house continuously. >> tell us what happened just shortly at 9:30 this morning. were you in your home or what were you doing at the time? >> i'm on the phone. >> okay. i'm sorry. >> that's okay. go ahead. anyway, can you ask that again. i got sidetracked here. >> sure. no problem. at about 9:30 this morning when
this was all -- emergency responders were getting word of this, what was happening at your house? how did you know there was a problem? >> i was taking the dogs out to go to the bathroom, and i thought i heard a noise. they started going crazy, so i put them back in the house because i was on my way to the gym. when i was getting in my car, i heard sirens going off continuously. car after car after car. some of them were flying up past my house and coming back around again and going to the school. this house is three houses away from the school. three houses away from the firehouse. >> okay. >> so then i seen a bunch of children with a couple of adults running up the road. they were going towards treadwell park, which is up from us. as i was getting back in my car again, because i'm trying to figure out what's going, i seen five children running up through our back fields. >> in other words, through your
backyard children are running? >> yeah. because our backyard is adjac t adjacent, the further field is adjacent to the end of the school property. >> were they just running by themselves? >> yeah. i didn't see any adults. >> we should point out these are kids, kindergarten through fourth grade. these are young children. >> little children running through your backyard. it's our understanding what we're reading on the wire and from various sources that the children were told to immediately get out of the building. >> yep. and by god, those poor little guy were running. i want to say they were in fourth grade, because they weren't tiny. >> i want to interrupt. we have a report. this is from abc news, the network news, that they have confirmed through federal and local officials more than a dozen people including children were shot and killed in this school. >> we have not gotten that number at this point. nothing like that.
we've gotten reports of the school principal and of the school psychologist and of the apparent shooter, but this escalates this particular horrific event even further. i mean, after you saw the children running through your backya backyard, colin, what else did you see from that point? >> i stopped -- >> i want to bring by phone a security expert rye tired police officer lou polumbo. why are we hearing conflicting reports, so many different reports from those who are injured and those killed from various affiliates and networks and people who are on the ground? i assume it's a fluid and chaotic situation. >>le we well, the problem suzan the fact that you have people at the site, investigators conducting different tasks. in other words, some people are in there trying to make an accounting for who has been shot. other people are interviewing people. anytime you have any type of incident, even something far more simple than this, it's
difficult to get the same stories straight out of two people. this is nothing inconsistent. the problem simply he stated is they put the pieces of this together as we speak, and that's what has some inconsistencies in reporting. >> with all of your years of experience, what is taking place on the ground now? what are they trying to do? what are the priorities? what is most important? >> the priority right now is to identify anybody that's been injured to get them treated. what they're doing and they do this in a somewhat simultaneous fashion and they respond, they build out a perimeter and employ containment and start to conduct an investigation. they have to facilitate entry. they have to identify who the shooter is, determine if there are explosives. tie in whether or not this could possibly occur in another school, which is why the school districts have been closed. the area has been closed. there's a number of tasks that they're doing. but the most important one is trying to get aid to those
injured or possibly fatalities. >> is it important -- we've heard various reports from people inside the building that there's children in the building and children have been evacuated and adults are still in the building, that the body of the shooter is in a classroom. should these children have been moved? should people be out of the building, on or is it best at this point for everybody to stay put inside of the school? >> i think the most important thing is that everyone follow the instructions of the law enforcement agency that's in charge. there are reasons that children may or mary not be moved. this is a crime scene. they're trying to figure out what happened. some of the children detained at the school may not be able to have some type of facilitation to get them off the property and into a safe environment. you can't second-guess what they're doing there at this point. what you have to realize is this is an immense undertaking, and
it's particularly sensitive because it involves children. they're trying to make as few mistakes as possible and impossible not to make some. there's a method to the madden. moefl a most of all this is a crime scene. they have to determine how many shots were fired and where they were directed. they're trying to recover any casings, examine walls and other materials that have projectiles lodged in them. they're trying to determine what firearms were used. it's a broad undertaking. >> thank you very much. we appreciate it. we'll have many more details after a quick break. ♪ ooh baby, can i do for you today? ♪ [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance? align can help. only align has bifantis, a patented probiotic that naturally helps maintain your digestive balance. try align to help retain a balanced digestive system. try the #1 gastroenterologist
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the school. cnn can independently confirm that the shooter is dead and at least two employees of the school have been killed. we want to dip into the raw coverage from our affiliate. we can't confirm the raw live reporting that they are doing, but we want to get a good look on the ground and get a sense of what they're learning. >> it seems as if that scene has quieted down now. that is the vehicle that they seem to be interested in, that black honda. it was taped off very early on in the whole incident, and you can see a police dog taken over to the car. this is footage from earlier today. i know what's going on. they're looking for a scent, and there is a report from another television station in connecticut that two gunmen were involved, and one was led away in handcuffs. >> so the early report of two gunmen and then now with -- the abc affiliate reporting that that -- that other second gunman
taken away in handcuffs. at this point all the information we've received is that the shooter -- the fatality was an adult. there are no reports of -- >> but there are additional reports from other stations, other news organizations saying as many as 20 children may have been shot. >> i'm talking about the gunman, though. >> this has gotten so much worse as we've been covering it since we've been on a couple of hours. >> let's go to jay carney at the white house briefing. he's talking about the shooting. >> we'll begin to investigate this incident. as i said, the president will receive regular updates as the day progresses. we'll take your questions. >> jay, one follow-up on that. can you relay to us any of the president's reactions or thoughts? obviously, all of shootings are tragic. we're hearing particularly heinous numbers where children are involved.
>> i would rather not relay reactions at this point, because i don't have any confirmation to give to you about what exactly has happened there or potential victims. at this point i'd rather just inform you that the president has been informed about the shooting, was informed at 10:30 and is being given regular updates as more information is available. >> will we hear from him today? >> we'll have to keep you updated as more information becomes available. >> reporter: two other topics. in the abc news interview the president was asked about the legalization of marijuana in a couple of states where voters have sounded off on that and essentially said that it's not a high priority for him, no pun intended, to go after recreational users. obviously, this is a serious issue. states rights versus federal
rights. i'm wondering if there's any concern -- >> they were looking for apparently another shooter. we don't know how many people were involved. >> president obama has been informed of the shooting by his staff. happened about 10:30 or so this morning. it is typical that at a scene like this, a situation that the president would be informed rather quickly. that he would be getting regular updates from his staff, and at some point depending on how serious the situation is, he said certainly the president would release a statement and even perhaps come out publicly to address what has taken place in things of this nature. a national tragedy of this nature. i want to dip back into news 12 connecticut, our affiliate, to listen to some of the things they're hearing. >> taken to danbury hospital. the shooter for the most part has been confirmed. the apparent shooter is dead, an adult. two handguns, two 9 millimeter
guns recovered. students sent running from this school. we heard colleen poundstone, who lives three houses away saying children were running in the fields, which essentially is her backyard. one little boy saying i just want to go home. such a disturbing scene, but unfolding so quickly this morning. as though students are making their way to the sandy hook volunteer fire department, which is not very far from the school. >> no. you've been seeing it. we'll point it again. it's just to the right of that facility, which is the school, is the volunteer fire department, which is where the all the kids were led, those that didn't flee on their own. they were marched over there in line. we actually had a picture earlier of that, of the kids armed on each other's shoulders walking in a line. that's where they were taken and that's where parents went to meet their kids and take them home.
we thought everything was going good. as the story unfolded it sounded like the shooter was shot and then possibly one other person. now this horrible mounting death toll involving so many children and adults. it does give one pause. >> yes. but federal authorities, as we heard earlier from the assistant fire chief. now emergency responders are so carefully choreographed today. so he -- though he said my knowledge on this is limited, but i will tell you that fbi and secret service will be involved in this. at what point i'm not clear. >> the fbi has been on the scene. >> the local authorities hand this over, and maybe atf as well are part of this. >> there have been s.w.a.t. teams. we've seen them. >> police dogs.
>> there is an unconfirmed report that an entire classroom of kids is unaccounted for outside the school. >> but that may be the kids fleeing through the woods. >> that ran on their own. >> right. >> the sad, i think, probably one of the realities from something like this is connecticut school children now will be taking on a whole new kind of -- it won't be just the fire drill from this point forward. a sad reality, but it very much may be part of their school year, training for an evacuation in the event of something as horrific as this. >> cbs news -- this is the network reporting 27 dead. 27 dead. columbine had 15 the producer said, 15 including the shooter. >> this will take us to the worst school shooting in the history of the united states. on a quiet friday, very pretty, chilly, late fall day.
most people go into their friday morning with somewhat more light-hearted thinking here we are, a weekend, a holiday weekend, shopping, santa claus, the final night of hanukkah. coming up this weekend, and then to have a horrific shooting like this take place with such young children. >> cnn cannot independently confirm what you've heard on the aaffiliates. they have gotten second-hand as well what they are hearing in terms of the death toll. i want to bring in susan candiotti following and talking to law enforcement officials on the very latest. i understand we've lost the connection. we're going to get back to susan in a moment. let's dip back into our affiliate, news 12. >> chopper 12 will be back live any minute now, because i'm guessing they fueled up at the danbury airport, which is nearby there. in just about 10 minutes we will have for you live the news
conference from a park not that far. it's that woman we spoke with -- >> colleen poundstone. >> she's going to run up to that park. >> she wanted them on the road, because just running through the woods with emergency police. we saw a photograph earlier of police combing through the woods in that area. she was the wife of a military man, and she had many briefings on terrorism preparedness. >> we'll bring in susan candiotti speaking with law enforcement officials. susan, what have we learned this morning? >> reporter: some heart-breaking news from a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation that close to 20 people have been killed at the school shooting and among them at least 10 are children, suzanne. this is new information coming to you from a law enforcement source with knowledge of the
investigation. we do know that the suspected shooter's body was discovered in a classroom, but we do not know how the suspected shooter died, whether it was by his own hand or by police or in some other way. that information we're still waiting for, and there is a news conference coming up to be held by the connecticut state police. we know that the governor's office has been monitoring this situation throughout. they are in close contact with police as well, but this is, of course, terrible news about the identity of those who are killed, both adults and children. at least 10 of them are children. >> that is just devastating to hear. susan, do we have a sense in this press conference that is going to occur in about ten minutes or so whether or not that number could be even higher? >> reporter: i am hearing that that may be the case. we also have according to
another source that the paschoo principal was among those killed as well. yes. as a matter of fact, here at the site we very recently saw federal, local officials as well, law enforcement officials with guns at their side searching -- continuing to search the area around the school they appear to be looking at various cars. we don't know whether they are searching for someone specifically, but we know from earlier information we had that protectively they continued to look through the area to make sure that everyone connected to the shooting was found. still no kind of motive has been revealed at this time. >> susan, is there any sense from those who you're speaking with whether or not those who were tragically killed, if this took place in one particular part of the school? could it have been one classroom or something where they believe the gunman went from class to
class? >> reporter: we just don't know. it's too early. of course, those are among the details that we hope to learn as well as who the shooter was, what the connection was, if any, between the shooter and the school. those are among so many questions that we all have right now. >> do we have any sense of whether or not the parents of these children have been notified about their children? >> reporter: no information about that either. we do know that when a lot of children were let out of the school, and i'm sure you've seen the pictures of them in a line with hands on each other's shoulder of the child in front of them that one of the staging areas is a nearby firehouse. we have also seen some children and parents in the vicinity of the school also walking about not on the school site. in any case we are sure as they
have done in so many cases prior to this trying to get counseling available for children as soon as possible. >> i can only imagine the fear and concern when people hear these numbers. is there any sense of a process or some sort of way of getting information to people, to parents and to children about the state of their loved ones in that school? >> well, i don't know exactly what kind of process they have set up or system that they set up here for the children. of course, the police were on the scene very quickly. they have been making sure that they were shuttling the children to a safe location, and i'm sure among many things they are doing is to get as much information to the parents as is possible, but we don't have any of those details yet either. we arrived on the scene a short time ago, so we try to continue to get that information for you. >> do you have any sense on the scene whether or not parents are
aware of the number of people and casualties and the fact that ten children have been killed? >> reporter: i do not, suzanne. this is brand-new information, so i haven't had a chance to sample any opinions or find out from anyone in the area whether that information is widely available as of yet. >> susan, finally, can you give us a sense of what it is like? we're looking at live pictures, of course. we see a lot of the emergency personnel and have seen pictures with children and worried parents. we see focus on one particular vehicle that has been cordoned off. give us a sense of what it is like there close to the school and close to those officials who will soon speak with us about some of the details they've just learned. >> well, you can imagine it's just -- it's been described in the immediate aftermath as chaos, and now there is just utter sadness and shock that you see on the faces of people who clearly and understandably are
shaken by what has happened here, not to mention as you indicated, suzanne, what these children who may have witnessed this and certainly would have heard it and have been quickly hurried out of that school as soon as it was safe to do so, what they will be going through. the trauma that has been heaped upon them as well as this community. so all of that will be played out, of course, in these few short hours. there is still a lot of police activity in the area as we continue to see federal, state and local law enforcement authorities walking about not only around the school but also some surrounding businesses arno around the area. they're checking cars and looking around. you get a sense that they are checking to make sure and some of my sources have told me that the area is secure. >> all right. susan candiotti, thank you very much. we appreciate it. of course, we are following this breaking news story, sandy hook elementary school out of
newtown, connecticut, not far from new york. we have just learned really devastating news that 20 people killed in this school shooting, including 10 children. we're going to take a quick break. we're waiting for a police briefing that will happen very shortly. searching for a bank designed for investors like you? tdd#: 1-800-345-2550
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we'll go to news 12 connecticut our afill he yat to learn more about the school shooting we're falling in newtown connecticut. now confirmed 20 people killed in the school shooting. let's listen in. >> that clearly is now where they were staging. you could see a number of ambulances. we saw stretchers. we actually saw someone taken away on a stretcher from that area. this is the woods and probably that woman we spoke with lives right in that area. >> uh-huh. >> she said she was adjacent to the playing fields. >> you can see the wide space. >> that might be her home.
>> and she kind of echoed the reality that you try and help children today, but they're so reluctant. >> she was wise. she said you don't have to come in the house, but get on the main roads. those kids did not want to remain. we have an update on the president being informed. a white house spokesperson says that the president feeling enormous sympathy for the families of the children, and then when asked about gun control policies, the spokesperson says there is, i am sure, will be rather a day for discussion of the usual washington policy debates, but i don't think today is that day. >> no. this is a tragedy of historic proportion, a national tragedy now as we learn that the death toll is 27. of the 27, 18 children. we know that they're very young children because sandy hook elementary is a school that has
kindergarten through fourth graders. so virtually babies attend very -- so young attend an elementary school that is not even k through 8. it's k through 4 at this school. so horrific, horrific news that we are all learning. the shooter -- this is the -- there were reports of two, but -- one or two suspects. one is dead, one taken away in handcuffs. the one we're assuming with the ties to new jersey whose home the feds are in the process of raiding we assume that is the deceased gunman. we don't know at this point. >> we don't know. that is the other facility we were telling you about. the volunteer firehouse. you can see all the vehicles there in the top there above the building. you can see a fire truck taken out of the building. in the middle of your screen is where all the ambulances gathered. we want to reiterate this was shot a couple of hours ago now.
this is where the children were taken following the shooting. they were led by staff members probably through the woods there that you see in the bottom of your screen to that as a staging area. then eventually parents came to lead their children away. at some point in this video we did see an ambulance taking away someone on a stretcher. lots of vehicles there. that's also where the media gathered, and we're told that about a half hour ago all the media were asked to leave that area. that's the school. sandy hook elementary. i don't know if you heard it. we're told that all of the news 12s are watching this now. if you just are joining us, that school consists of 600 students from kindergarten through fourth grade. shortly after the school day began, one report says during the announcements that were
being made over the loud speaker system the shots began ringing out. before all was said and done, 18 children and 9 adults were killed. >> i can only imagine at in the point if the reports that we received -- >> we bring in susan candiotti. what are you learning on the ground? >> reporter: we're getting ready for a nupz conference to start anytime now here in connecticut. we are a short distance away from where the school is located, and there is still a crime scene there, very active crime scene at this time. we know that there are multiple people dead, at least 20, and among them at least, at least 10 of those dead are children in this horrific shooting. the other information is that the shooter was discovered in a classroom. we don't know whether he took his own life or was killed by police or in some other way. still waiting to get that
information as well. it is a heart-breaking scene here as children were led through the school one hand on the shoulder of the child in front of them as they are led away from here, taken to a local firehouse. many of them meeting already with their parents who were notified. many of them had signed up and learned about this tragedy by text, that there was a shooting at the school or e-mail notified to about what had happened here. many of those parents, of course, showing up quickly to comfort their children and be with their children as police continue to look around this scene. >> susan, are there still children inside of the school? >> reporter: we don't believe so, but i don't have any official confirmation on that. this happened at about 9:40 or so eastern time. police rather quickly responding to the scene of multiple gun the shots and injuries. immediately as soon as it was safe for them to do so children -- first the school was
locked down, which is usually the case. once it was save to lead the children out of the school, that's exactly what happened. we have local police, state police, as well as federal law enforcement on the scene here, including the fbi and atf. they're canvassing the area to make sure there was only one shooter, suspected shooter involved in this terrible massacre as well as whether there was anyone else involved. to that end they've been walking down the street looking at various cars. one car is corn doned off and taped off and they're looking around the area as well to make sure they have -- that there's only one suspect involved in this case. >> all right. susan, we're going to get to you and certainly going to take that press conference as soon as it happens, but i want our viewers to listen to this because this was just moments ago. our cnn digital managing editor meredith artley spoke with us and talked to a woman who has a second grader inside of that school who was there, who
witnessed the shooting. i want you to listen to this. >> she was in a meeting in morning. there were about seven people in the room. it was a meeting regarding one of her kids. she has children at the school. she volunteers at the school as well. she heard -- she described a pop, pop, pop in the hall. they all heard it. there were about seven people mountain meeting room. they heard that sound in the hall, and they -- she said three people went out into the hall, the principal, the vice principal and school psychologist. to hear her describe it, she said three people went out into the hall, and only one -- only one person came back, which was the vice principal, she said, who was shot in the leg or the foot. he came crawling back. she said that she cow ered unde
the table during that moment, and she called 911, as did the other people in the room. she said she never saw the shooter, that she was under the table. that the shooting happened in the hallway, and to hear her describe it, she said that there must have been 100 rounds. i asked her to clarify that, really, truly, 100 rounds? she said at least. >> when the vice principal came crawling back, what happened at that point? what did she say? how did the vice principal manage to move or escape? did she describe what was the situation as he was crawling back? >> she described -- she said that -- she said that there was confusion, there was yelling understandably. she said there was yelling in the hallway, and she couldn't tell for a while if it was the police or the shooter. when i talked to her, she was still inside the school. the school is on lockdown, so
she couldn't tell -- she didn't know if the shooter was dead yet or still there. >> what did the vice principal look like when she saw him return? >> i didn't hear her describe that. she said -- you know, she said, listen, this is a nice town. this is a nice school. these are the kinds of things that don't happen there. she noted this was not some high-powered meeting. it was about one of my children who is in second grade there. and she's tearful. she's understandably panicked, and she said they marched at some point -- i don't have the length of time, but she said at some point after the shooting they marched us out in the hallway right past the two bodies laying in the hallway in a pool of blood.
>> unbelievable. seven people in an office there and experiencing something as tragic as that. i want to bring in susan candiotti. susan has been reporting it could be as many as 20 people who have been killed in this school shooting. of them 10 and we're talking about little children, k through fourth grade who were marched out of that school. susan, what do we know? what do we expect to learn noin the moments ahead from this news conference? >> reporter: we hope to get more details about how this happened, if they have a precise number about how many are dead, as you said. we have our source with knowledge of the investigation saying there are at least 20 dead or close to 20 dead, and at least 10 of them being children in this grade school as you mentioned grades kindergarten through the fourth grade. we know they found at least two guns with the shooter, according to another source with knowledge
of the investigation. two weapons. we don't know how the shooter died, whether he took his own life or whether someone else killed him. as soon as it was safe, as you heard, for children to leave the school, the children were led out of the school to a nearby firehouse that's being used as a staging area for children and parents that rushed to the site as soon as they could, just a terrible, heart-breaking information. the shock for these children and parents and this entire community are going through now to try to understand how this could have happened, if a motive has been discovered for why this happened, whether there was any connection between the suspected shooter in this case and the school itself that led that person to the school this morning. these are all some of the many questions that we all have. >> all right. we're going to take a quick break here and try to get answers to those questions as soon as we get to that news conference expected momentarily. anncr: some politicians seem to think medicare and...
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of some brought to danbury hospital. we want to remind people, we are hearing many different numbers in terms of fatalities. this is raw information coming in. cnn can only confirm 20 fatalities at this time. let's listen in. >> liz and dave, you've been raising a lot of issues about the whole issue of security since columbine and the fact of the matter is we have received this letter that the principal of the school, done hashbrung, who was appointed in 2010, sent to parents earlier in year and i'm going to read it to you, at least the first part. dear members, our district is implementing a security system in all elementary schools as part of the ongoing efforts to ensure student safety. as usual exterior doors are locked during the day. every visitor will be required to ring the doorbell at the front entrance and the office staff will use a visual monitoring system to allow entry. then this is highlighted here. viewers will be required to
report to directly to the office and sign in. if our office staff does not recognize you, it goes on to say you will be required to show ifk with a picture i.d. please understand with nearly 700 students and over 1,000 parents representing 500 sandy hook families, most parenting will be asked to show identification. a little later on it says, there may be a short delay until someone can view you on the handset and allow you to come in electronically. of course, we have been talking about the possibility of a parent being involved here, but clearly there are security measures that are in place, that were in place this year so it would be very strict for any visitors getting into the school. >> very strict. do we know why they were implemented? >> we don't know why. we just have this letter, but clearly, as a number of elementary schools have done and a number of high schools as
well, we're all parents. they've taken this very seriously. most of them when you do go into the school now, you have to sign in. i remember when our son was in elementary school, we had to go in, sign in, sign out when you left. so clearly, you know, schools have been addressing this. this school did as well. i think that's important to mention here, but you know if you're dealing with a parent, who knows. >> so true. thank you. nick, i would think that most elementary schools in this country when they think of security, they think of maybe a pare parental custody case, things like that. not something as violent as this. before we get to that point, we're learning more about the shooter from abc news. they tell crisco mow that one shooter was 24 years old armed with four weapons and wearing a
bulletproof vest. police are continuing to investigate the possibility of an additional shooter, and state police have confirmed to abc news this afternoon that the two shooters were initially believed to be involved in this shooting. right now we're learning that the one shooter, 24 years old and wearing a bulletproof vest as well as armed with four weapons. >> that's just outrageous, but to go to the report on the letter from the school, i mean, look, it's reasonable what they did. they addressed the security issues. they took excellent precautions. >> you've been listening it to wabc there. i want to, again, remind our viewers, this is raw reporting. this is reporting from various networks. cnn cannot independently confirm some of those facts that you're hearing there. we're waiting for a press conference. you'll hear from police officials directly about what the ultimate fatality count is, those injuried and how many suspects and who is involved.
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just a few minutes ago we heard from a little girl early this morning who was actually inside of the school when that shooting started. >> alexis, you told me you were sitting in class this morning and saw a lot of miss. tell me how you found out what was going on? >> well, we found there was all these people, and we found out we were right near the window in our classroom. we saw like police officers and we heard them on the roof and in our building. >> reporter: was everybody crying, scared, wanting their parents to come get them? >> yeah, they were. and then some people were even like -- they kind of got a stomachache. >> reporter: did you hear any gunshots or anything like that? >> police officers, they were there kind of, because there were police officers right out the door trying to find the guy. >> joining us by phone is security expert retired nassau county, new york police officer
lou palumbo. we were speaking earlier today about how the whole morning unfolded and worst nightmares coming true here when you listen to the suspected number of fatalities, at least 20 killed, of those 10 children. how does this even compare, i he mean, to what we've experienced in the past? it's just unbelievable. >> you're asking me, suzanne, how this compares to prior incidents? >> yes. >> i think it's escalated. when you look at a death toll with children to this magnitude, i don't know how much worse it's going to get. i will tell you unequivocally with this death toll we've surpassed prior incidents, of which approximately seven in the last couple of years. i certainly hope we don't have a repeat of this or anything that outdoes this, so to speak. >> i can't even imagine what happens next. as a law enforcement expert, can
you explain to us where do you begin? where do you start here in terms of the children, their safety, the parents, identifying the dead? what happens now? >> what they're doing right now is to -- not to be trite about it, but they're putting the pieces of this together on many levels, as you just alluded to. they're trying to figure out who is dead. they're trying to figure out notifications. they're trying to run a crime scene and create a profile on the individual who perpetrated this. they're tracking down these firearms that were in his possession to determine how he was capable of obtaining them. suzanne, you know, i have to say this to you. i think we have to gain some sensibility in our culture. this is the seventh or eighth incident involving firearms, and i support the second amendment. i don't think that that's what
this is about. it's quite apparent that people are able to obtain firearms when they are not in the right state of mind. i think we need to how would you say impose part of the vetting process similar to one we go through this law enforcement to include minnesota multiphase zwick he screening test. >> we have to get back to you. i hear your point. we'll go directly it to wabc and dip in on some news that they're learning. >> come from a scene and hug each other so early on in their investigation. so clearly a very telling moment. you can -- one can only imagine the carnage inside that school that you are looking at down there. dan rice in news chopper 7. thanks for the update. it's 1:25 in the afternoon. we're continuing to follow the
tragic story out of newtown, connecticut that started around 9:30 this morning. a gunman walking into sandy hook elementary school. from what we know now, the latest, 27 people have been killed, mostly children. >> the gunman believed to be in his 20s. he had at least two guns on him. they were recovered aat the scene. he was wearing all black according to our sources and a bulletproof vest. >> most of the children -- the school was evacuated. those children were taken to a nearby firehouse early this morning. most of the parents being able to pick up their children there, but now this wait, this agonizing wait for those parents who have not been able to locate their children. as many as 18 children may be dead. other schools in the area, monroe school district remains on lockdown at this hour. danbury hospital where three of
the victims were taken to also on lockdown at this hour with an abundance of caution. investigators -- dan rice showed us this minivan a short time ago. it's a second car in the parking lot that investigators have cordoned off and are paying particularly close attention to. you can see the officers there. we understand the fbi, atf, and local police all now converging in this -- onto this one little town in fairfield county, connecticut. >> initially there was some concerns or questions if there was more than one person involved primarily because people were running from the school and they had to question whether some of the people running were involved and the chaos of the moment. they are pursuing every lead to confirm whether it was one person or more. at this point we know of the one person, but they're not going to end their investigation with that. they're going to continuebeen s activity all along surrounding that.
to answer many questions, they set up a space near the school where the governor and other law enforcement officials are expected to brief reporters when they have enough information i guess that they can really give us something to go on. as we stated all morning and afternoon long, the information comes in and it gets updated and changes as thmore clarity comeso what occurred in this hour fiing situation. >> we should tell you that president obama has been briefed not only by homeland security but also by fbi director bob muller and the president has also spoken with connecticut governor dana malloy to discuss the incident. also express his condolences. we are waiting for the governor as well as state police to hold a news conference, which is expected to happen. it was supposed to happen around 1:00 this afternoon, but obviously they're continuing to try and gather more information on this. we want to go right now to eyewitness news reporter marcus solis. he's outside the firehouse where
many parents are going to pick up their children. marcus, what's the late heest from there right now? >> reporter: well, liz, we're at washington avenue here. this is the final point where parents can come to. they have to walk up to that hill to get up to the firehouse and pick up their children. so many people are ditching their cars and going up there. certainly less now. we know that there are several parents who are still awaiting word that children are unaccounted for. we see some making it back down the hill with their children certainly relieved after what's been an incredibly emotional morning. we just spoke with a parent and his fourth grade son who describes some of the chaos that was going on inside of that school on lockdown and police were trying to apprehend the shooter and bring this to an end. let's hear a little bit of what they had to say. >> i was in the gym at the time. so the teachers -- he we heard lots of bangs, and we thought that it was the custodian
knocking stuff down. we heard screaming. and so went onto -- we went to the wall, and we sat down. then the police came in. it's like, is he in here? then he ran out. then somebody yelled get to a safe place, so we went to the closet in the gym and we sat there for a little while. then the police like were knocking on the door, and they're like, we're evacuating people, we're evacuating people. we ran out. they're police at every door leading us down this way, this way. quick, quick, come on. we ran down to the firehouse. there's a man that pinned down to the ground with handcuffs on, and we thought that was the victim. >> one of the eyewitnesses there, just a little boy describing what he heard and saw during the shooting.
i want to go to another affiliate for more. >> my son was in the gym when it happened. he heard the gunshots. it's going to be one of those things when they're trying to understand what happened. when we tell them what happened in detail, it's going to make it much worse. >> did they give you any information? was it an adult? >> i don't know what happened outside of that. i haven't had any information other than what people are speculating. we're gathering around here. >> listening to parents after parents as they tell the tale of what their children had been through that morning after witnessing an unimaginable tragedy in a quaint town. this is newtown, connecticut. we're looking at the parents who are bringing their children home throughout the morning this has been happening and afternoon as well. a number of parents are still going to this firehouse that we're looking at. their children are there. hundreds were evacuated to that facility. >> actually, we just saw that
gentleman that had been spoken to earlier standing there with with the green shirt and the while baseball cap. you can see the proximity now from there through the woods over here to the elementary school. that's the path that the children took from the school the to the firehouse when they took cover. you just look the at those parents when we were looking over at the firehouse and elm prasing their children. not sure at that moment if they realized how lucky they were that they were still able to hold onit to their children after what transpired here. >> the shooter as opposed to -- the information we have in regard to the shooter, 20 years old. killed. apparently had two guns, and with ties to the school. not sure what those ties are. whether they have children at the school or went to that school, but we are awaiting the
details in regards to that shooter. the second person taken into custody, a man wearing a black jacket and camouflage pants escorted out of the woods by police personnel and handcuffed and taken to the police station possibly with charges against that person. we're awaiting word. >> yes, we are. we're also awaiting lou young. we're going to talk to him right now. he has been on the scene, and we'll see what he has, what he's gathered since we last talked to him. lou. >> rob, we're here on riverside drive he leading up to the school. you see folks come being back here, and now the faces of the people coming back. early on they were filled with relief because they realized that their loved ones had made it through this horror, but now the depth of the tragedy just being there in proximity to it is affecting them. we've seen some very, very grief-stricken and affected and
tear-streaked faces down the road here. i spoke with maureen care he rinz who was a nurse at danbury hospital who rushed to the scene when she heard about the shooting. he she arrived when the lightly injured people were removed and want upped to do so if they could help others. there were 20 children inside that she was not able to help. all of them dead, and she describes being present when the parents were given the awful news. she is just shattered. listen. >> reporter: i see you've been crying. >> yes. >> reporter: is it because of what you saw? >> no, they wouldn't let us in the building. one of the cops, you know, the worse thing he'd seen in his entire career, but it was when they told all these parents waiting for children to come out. they thought that they were, you know, still alive. there's 20 parents that were just told that their children are dead. it was awful. >> you were unable to do
anything? >> right. we knew at one point they asked the ambulances to leave, that they didn't need them, and we knew that that wasn't a good sign. >> reporter: she was crying. her teenage son was also crying, just having witnessed that outpouring of grief and disbelief, the parents hearing their worst nightmares come true, that their children had been killed. the latest numbers from cbs news, 26 dead total, 18 of them children. a short time ago i'm told that police found two adults alive in the school hide inninging in a . they stayed hidden and did not move and police found them in the last hour or so. that is a situation here that how desperate the situation was. people hid. people tried to save themselves. people were saved. people witnessed terrible tragedy and terrible loss. this is going to be with this community for a very long time.
we're live nin newtown, connecticut. >> have you heard anything about a second suspect being taken into custody in the woods just away from the school there shortly after the incident? >> what did you hear? how did you first hear about it? >> i got a -- they have a -- it's an alert through the school. your parents sign up for it. i just got a message saying from the superintendent that there was up an unconfirmed shooting and everybody is in lockdown. >> what did you think? >> i was like, oh, my gosh. then i had no idea that it was her school. i'm like -- it just seemed so unreal. my heart is in a million pieces right now for parents and the
children and for everybody because it's -- who would ever think in a small town and people -- you know, i mean, the school is locked. >> we're going to affiliate wcbs for more information, what they're learning on the ground as well. let's listen in. >> that is what that woman was going through. she showed up ready to do her job, but there was nothing she could do. the people that were able to be helped removed from the scene. she watched in horror and is going home to try and process that. >> you're absolutely right, lou. you're absolutely right. that is the worst thing that can happen when you set up the triage to do the first aid, and it's simply he beyond that. we have seen it. >> lou, we understand that there is grief counselors -- there are grief counselors at that firehouse now to deal with this unimaginable tragedy. >> reporter: yeah. i mean, i'll always hear that
grief counselors. i'm not sure what you can say to a parent in a situation like that. i don't know what that's like. i hope i never have to find out firsthand, but there are professionals who are standing by trying to walk these people through the initial processes of this crushing grief that they must be feeling, and especially at this time of year, especially children, especially the location, the incon gruts of it all is staggering. >> lou young, thanks so much. mystery, mystery, who is this 20-something-year-old pearl with ties to the school who would perpetrate such an act. >> the numbers cbs news has confirmed, at least 26 are dead, at least 18 of them are children. we're hearing of those parents who went to reunite with their children at the firehouse and were told their children were
killed. 20 parents were at the firehouse to get that information, 18 children killed, mothers, fathers there. we saw so many reunite, embrace as their children ran to them as we look at video from earlier as parents were taking their children away from the firehouse. they had been evacuated from the school under state police protection after those gunshots were fired just after 9:30 this morning. we're looking at pictures of parents and their children as they are headed home. maybe some of them not knowing the severity of the situation. others knowing this. this was a little earlier on the scene just outside the firehouse. so the latest information we have in regard to those involved with this shooting. we have a 20-year-old shooter that we know died at the scene, and a second suspect is in custody. not sure of the involvement with
the shooting, but we also got word that a man did come out of the woods in handcuffed escorted by police wearing camouflage and looking into one parent's eyes and said i did not do it. that person is at a police station being questioned at this house and possibly facing charges. >> that was according to a witness on the scene who actually saw the police, he says, taking this person out and claiming his innocence, professing his innocence. >> two semi-automatic handguns were retrieved from the scene. we heard from some witnesses that said that they heard dozens of rounds, possibly 100 rounds being fired inside that school. there are several buildings inside that school, some children were in the gym. they could hear the gunfire. others were in their classrooms, and we heard a story of two young girls, possibly first graders, who saw the gunman go into their classroom and shoot their teacher.
>> stay tuned for the very latest. >> good afternoon, everyone. my name is roy occhiogrosso. i work for governor malloy. as you can imagine, the governor is horrified by what's happened. he is meeting with the families right now. his chief concern is to get the families the information they need as quickly as possible. that's why he's not here. i'm going to introduce lieutenant paul vance from the state police who will talk a little bit about what's known so far. we understand you are all interested in information. we'd like to get you that information as quickly as possible, but the governor's chief concern is making sure that the families have information as quickly as
possible and that's why he is now. this is lieutenant paul vance from the state police. >> good afternoon. i will give you some very basic and brief information as we know it now. we will set up regular press briefings as appropriate. just after 9:30 this morning newtown police received a 911 call for an emergency at the elementary school. newtown pd upon obtaining information as to the situati contacted to the connecticut state police and requested assistance. on and off duty troopers responded to the school, and request newtown police immediately upon arrival entered the school and began a complete active shooter's search of the building. that included checking every door, every crack, every crevice, every portion of the school. our main objective was to evacuate as quickly and efficiently as possible any and all students and faculty in the school. the entire school was searched.
that was accomplished. a staging area was set up. the student and staff were put into that staging area, and soon thereafter the children and staff were reunited with parents and loved ones. there were several fatalities at the scene, both students and staff. there's no information relative to that that's being released at this time until we have made complete and proper notification. the shooter is deceased inside the building. there's a great deal of work that is undertaken immediately upon locating the shooter, and that is there's a great deal of search warrant activity, there's a great deal of law enforcement activity both in and out of state to ensure we cover all the bases relative to that specific individual. suffice it to say the scene is secure. the state police major crime squad and newtown police department, danbury state's attorney and many agencies are working together to answer all the questions surrounding exactly what happened.
we will keep you briefed and informed on a regular basis and put everything out via our website with these press conferences. i'll turn it back over to him right now. >> the governor took a call from president obama a little while ago who was calmisin calling to his condolences and on behalf of the nation and to assist the families and assist in the investigation. we will get you information as soon as we can get the families the information. that's where the governor is. at some point later today the governor will be here, and we will set up regular briefings. thank you. >> just getting the very latest update there. a word from lieutenant paul vance as well as roadway ochogrossi. he's a spokeman for the governor office. >> we'll come back for another briefing as quickly as we can.
>> reporter: you can say the public is not in danger? >> that's correct. >> reporter: everything here, all the briefings here? >> right here. >> a final word. the public is not in danger, that the site has been secured. we want to go over just some of the things we have learned. not a lot of detail here. certainly there are various and mixed conflicting reports on the number of fatalities from various networks. cnn can only confirm that as many as 20 people have been killed in this school shooting. of those -- okay. i've got a cnn producer on the phone i'm told with some information. david, what can you tell us? >> hi, suzanne. i'm right out in front of the elementary school right now. this wooded areas that basically surrounds the school, and parents are walking in and out of this firehouse used as a makeshift shelter in which they're tending those injured and ushering those away by way of ambulances.
there's about four ambulances on the scene here. i've spoken to a number of the parents, and apparently what transpired was that earlier this morning many of them received an automated school from the school superintendent indicating there was a shooting. it wasn't clear which school at that point shooting occurred, so many of them panic stricken ran to their nearest schools where some of the loved ones are held. several have since now auemerge. some are almost inconsolable how upset they were. one woman came walking up the street screaming why, why? not indicating what happened. others were clutching their children and taking them away from the school as fast as they could. that's the scene here. one of heavy security. we've got atf, fbi, several law enforcement officers that are
basically clad in tactical gear with weapons drawn and wielding assault rifles and all the while you have parents streaming in and out of this area clutching their children and basically just trying to get away from the scene. it's a media circus in which many of the reporters here trying to get a sense of what has happened. but most parents are just essentially looking to get as far away from the scene as possible. >> dpaif we heard that the governor is meeting with the families, the parents of those whose children have been killed. have you gotten a sense of where the governor, where those par t parents are on the scene where you are and whether or not you've seen some parents who have received the devastating news? >> reporter: we have. most of the parents that are stricken with some of that devastating news, that more fatal news are holed up in that
firehouse. there are at least several dozen people inside, several parents. on occasion you'll see people coming out and sort of almost inconsolable as i mentioned before. it seems that that firehouse continues to be sort of the safehouse as authorities in the region really start to try to pin down this area. well, it doesn't seem to be as active a scene as it did earlier. they're still going house to house, still checking buildings. it's not clear this is an entirely secure scene. that said you have parents like i mentioned before really trying to get as far away as possible. >> david, what are those parents saying. they were alerted there was a shooting that took place. are these parents satisfied that they got information in a timely way? are they despondent or confused? >> i think you hit it on the head there. despondent would be the operative word right now.
it's clearly one of a parent's most feared prospects here, of getting news of this sort, particularly while they're at work, that their children are in harm's way. most of the parents, the few that we actually got a chance to speak to, were just relieved that their children were all right. the resounding feeling that one really gets from being down here is sort of a sense of not knowing what transpired and what may continue to be transpiring. it's not clear this is an entirely secure scene. at the same time it's one of those things that it really, really can't be put into words how terrible this must be for some family members. so as their sort of wiping tears away from their eyes talking into cell phones with family members and friends recanting a seen they witnessed inside the firehouse and talking with children who had to be huddled into classrooms as accomplice
and teachers huddled them towards the back of the room as this shooting took place. it's just -- it's a scene of shock, dismay and it's not clear what's going to happen next. >> david, it's kind of hard sometimes to gauge, you know, what kids are going through and what they're feeling at the time. we've seen some children who have described what they saw. what do you get from some of the children who have left with their parents? >> reporter: i talked to one parent with a child. for obvious reasons those parents don't want to have their children speaking particularly after an incident like this, but in many of the -- it seems at least from what this child was saying that many of the children here don't really have a good sense of what transpired today. it was scary. it was frightening for many of them. and this little girl i spoke to was saying that many, many people in her classroom were crying as they were huddled into the back room of this school building. she was in a third grade class, actually, as police barged in.
and teachers just tried to in a sense get a good sense of what was happening and tried to protect them. what is confusing for them, and probably understandably so. what really happens next for them, i'm sure the parents are going to go home and try to explain as best they can. you talk to parents here and they really say their heart goes out to those who may still be holed up in the firehouse trying to come to terms with what has happened. >> david, there have been so many different reports about how many people have been injured or killed. i would imagine that would be very, very us from tralti ifrus people on the ground who just don't understand the magnitude, they don't know just how significant this is. is there a sense that people just want more information? >> i think that's the driving thing here. everybody is looking for more information. you have all these different groups working together, you have fbi that is here, the atf,
state and local police. and you know there is a sense of trying to get a handle on the situation. at the same time, it is not clear who this person was, if there was just one person, whether that there is still a danger out there. i understand there is -- authorities will be holding a press conference in short order to maybe answer some of those questions. but, you know, a scene like this is really probably leaves more unanswered questions than we could ever get. how a shooting could occur inside an elementary school is just -- you know, it is just one of those things that -- you cover these stories, it's -- you are always left with those questions of why this took place. and there is really no sense of answers that could really ever satisfy that question it seems. but many people here on the ground, particularly authorities, are trying to secure the area, make sure that there is not another individual
around, and essentially work to console those family members who may have lost people today. >> i know it's hard and you never really get over the kind of shock and the kind of emotion that people experience in this kind of episode. i covered columbine and you really don't think these kinds of things will take place, and then they take place time and time again. david, really quickly if you can, paint a picture if you will of the community, who are they, what are they like. >> well, this town is, i'd say, probably an hour's drive north of new york city and sort of a sleepy new england town. and you have, you know, it's really pretty suburban town in which, you know, tonight's wooded areas surrounding this school, and the thing you hear from parents and from community members is that how could this happen here? how could this happen in this sleepy little town where, you
know, it's filled with just sort of these picturesque scenes of what you would imagine of a new england town, antique shops along roadways and ironically a cemetery, an old cemetery dating back to the 1800s sits on a roadway overlooking -- overlooking the school itself. so the question of why and why here is omnipresent. >> david, thank you very much. really appreciate your reporting and obviously you've been talking to a lot of families and it is just devastating for that community and for all of us to see what has tran spispired tod. meredith artily spoke with us earlier and she actually talked with a witness who was inside of the school. >> she was in a meeting this morning, she said around 9:30, 9:35. and she -- there were about seven people in the room, and it was a meeting regarding one of
her kids, she has children at the school. and she volunteers at the school as well. and she heard -- she described it as a pop, pop, pop in the hall and they all heard it. seven people in meeting room. they heard that sound in the hall. and they -- she said three people went out into the hall, the principal, the vice principal and the school psychologist. and to hear her describe it, she said three people went out into the hall and only one -- only one person came back, which was the vice principal, she said, who was shot in the leg or the foot who came crawling back. and she said that she cowhered under the table during that moment and called 911 as did the other people in the room. she said she never saw the shooter, that she was, you know, she was under the table, that the shooting happened in the hallway, and to hear her describe it, she said there was -- there must have been a
hundred rounds. and i asked her to clarify that, i said really truly, a hundred rounds and she said at least. >> when the vice principal came crawling back, what happened at that point? what did she say? how did the vice principal manage to move or escape, can you -- did she describe what was the situation as he was crawling back? >> she described -- she said that -- she said there was confusion, there was yelling and understandably, she said there was yelling in the hallway, and she couldn't tell for a while if it was the police or the shooter. when i talked to her, she was still inside the school, the school is on lockdown. so she couldn't tell -- she didn't know if the shooter was dead yet or still there. >> what did the vice principal look like when she saw him return? >> i didn't hear her describe
that. she said, you know, she said, listen, this is a nice town, this is a nice school, these are the kind of things that don't happen there, she noted this was not some high powered meeting, it was, you know, about my -- about one of my children who was in second grade there. and she, you know, she was tearful. just understandably panicked. and she said they marched at some point, i don't have the length of time, but she said some point after the shooting they marched us out in the hallway, right past the two bodies laying in the hallway in a pool of blood. >> cnn has learned at least 20 people have been killed, ten of them children. want to bring in our john king out of washington, who has more information. john, what are you learning? >> reporter: suzanne, i've been speaking to a federal law enforcement official here in washington who is getting information directly from the scene. state police on the scene, fbi officials on the scene, in
connecticut, this source cautioning that as you know in these situations the numbers almost always change. but the official tells us he's now seeing consistent reporting from the scene that there are more than 20 phi tallfatalities are children. and expect the numbers to change, but he is now seeing consistent reports of the death toll being closer to 30 than to 20. he's hearing a number consistent, he says 26, 27, but doesn't trust that yet. said he believes the number will be closer to 30 than 20. also says that from reporting from the scene from law enforcement officials there, both state and federal, suzanne, that the shooter is dead, would not give any details on how the shooter was -- whether the shooter killed himself or killed by police at the scene but says the shooter has a direct connection to the school, would not describe for me at this early point of the investigation what that connection is. >> so he wasn't able to say whether or not that connection was a parent or a -- or an employee of the school at the time? >> reporter: he knows that information, has that information from the scene, but was not willing to discuss it at this point, says it is very
sensitive at the moment, wants to defer of the release of the most sensitive information to the authorities on the scene, because, as you know, we're hearing from other correspondents that they're going to houses, known houses, friends, associates and the like, as the investigation unfolds. there are some things they want to keep private at the moment. >> lieutenant paul vance said he was actually -- they didn't give the numbers, the fatality numbers there, still in the process of notifying some of the families. your authorities are saying they're not putting out those exact numbers until they get a real handle on being able to reach some of those parents and let them know what is going on. >> reporter: that's exactly right. they also want to go through every last nook and cranny of the school unfortunately to make sure that there is no other fatalities inside and also no other people who might be hiding inside. and they say the governor of connecticut and state police on the scene have urged everyone not to give a firm fatality number just yet until they make sure that all of the families have been specifically notified. and all of the families have received official word. but, again, t