According to witnesses at the scene, the first time students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut heard anything about the shootings on Friday, was when screams started to come over the intercom system.
According to NBC News, 20 children, between the ages of 5 and 10, and six adults were killed when a masked gunman opened fire inside the elementary school.
A federal law enforcement official has informed NBC News that the gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, was later found dead.
Gov. Dan Malloy said, “You can never be prepared for this kind of incident.”
The brother of a little girl, who survived the massacre, told NBC 30 of Connecticut that his sister and her schoolmates knew that something was wrong “when she heard screams — screams were coming over the intercom and the school went on lock-down.”
The unidentified young man said that state troopers and FBI agents told the children to “hold hands and close their eyes until they got outside.”
“So obviously what was in there must have been very gruesome,” he continued.
The young man then went on to say, “It truly is disgusting. It’s sickening. Unfortunately, it’s a growing trend in the United States.”
Another young student said that the school went into a state of “total panic.”
The young boy said:
“I was going back to my classroom. Then I heard something like a person was kicking on a door. Then I turned around and I saw smoke. … Then a teacher pulled me into her room.”
When the boy was asked what his reaction was during the shooting, the young boy simply said, “Whoa.”
A father of a Sandy Hook student said that there were “no words that I could come up with that could come close to describing the sheer terror of hearing that your son is in a place, or your child is in a place, where there’s been violence.”
He continued by saying:
“You don’t know the details of that violence. You don’t know the condition of your child, and you can’t do anything immediately to help them or protect them. That is a powerless and terrifying experience.”
A nearby firehouse set up a meeting area for students to reunite with their families after the massacre.
A young girl, who survived the massacre, said:
“I was in the gym, and I heard, like, seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in a corner, and we all huddled, and I kept hearing these booming noises.”
The young girl continued:
“We all started — well, we didn’t scream — we all started crying, so all the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us.”
“So then a police officer came in and told us to run outside, so we did, and we came in the firehouse and waited for our parents,” she said recounting her escape.
Msgr. Robert Weiss of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church told MSNBC:
“The children who witnessed this are terribly traumatized. They’re crying, they’re trying to hold on to their parents, they want to go home, but they don’t want to leave their friends.”
He continued to say:
“Right now, I’m in a room full of parents who are waiting to hear what happened to their kids. The anxiety in this room is just overwhelming.”