Officials said that investigators have found “some very good evidence” in what caused 20-year-old Adam Lanza to gun down 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
According to Reuters, Lanza shot up the elementary school on Friday morning and is suspected of killing 26 people at the school before turning the gun on himself. He is also suspected of killing his mother, Nancy Lanza, at a secondary site before the shooting at the elementary school.
Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Paul Vance said this in a news conference:
“Our investigators at the crime scene … did produce some very good evidence in this investigation that our investigators will be able to use in, hopefully, painting the complete picture as to how – and more importantly why – this occurred.”
Vance did not describe in detail the evidence that they have found, but he did say that Lanza forced his way into the school. He did not get let in.
Law enforcement officials say that Adam used some of his mother’s guns in the school shooting. Nancy Lanza legally owned a Sig Sauer and a Glock, and a military-style Bushmaster .223 M4 carbine.
Dan Holmes, who recently decorated Nancy’s yard with Christmas lights, said that Nancy was an avid gun collector.
He said that she once showed him a “really nice, high-end rifle” that she had purchased. “She said she would often go target shooting with her kids,” he continued.
Crime-scene investigators worked through the night and moved the bodies to the state medical examiner’s office for autopsies. The identities of the victims have yet to be released.
Before the elementary school massacre, Newtown was ranked the fifth safest city in America by the website NeighborhoodScout.com based on 2011 crime statistics.
Julie Maxwell Shull, a sixth-grade teacher at Reed Intermediate School, said:
“This wonderful town that we all love for its peace, beauty, the great schools – all of that – has become Columbine.”
Catherine Hunyadi, Newtown resident, said:
“We came here because it was going to be a good, safe community for our kids, said Catherine Hunyadi, as she and her husband wiped tears from their eyes. “You don’t send your kids to school thinking something like this might happen.”
President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to join in solidarity as they mourned the victims, saying the hearts of parents across the country were “heavy with hurt.”
Obama called for “meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this,” but stopped just short of specifically calling for tighter gun-control laws.
President Obama, in his television address on Friday, wiped away tears as he told the nation, “Our hearts are broken.”
The Connecticut elementary school massacre revived a debate about gun-control in a country with a growing firearms culture and a strong lobby that has discouraged most politicians from any major efforts to address the easy availability of guns and ammunition.
The Newtown community mourned the lives that were lost during community vigils on Friday night. One vigil was held at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, which was packed with an overflowing crowd outside.
Monsignor Robert Weiss told MSNBC
“We opened the windows (of the church) so people could just hear and feel they could be part of it. The worst days are ahead.”
“I’m sure this morning when they woke up and realized there was an empty bed in their house, it’s becoming more and more real to them.”