Newtown victims all shot multiple times with rifle, chief medical officer says
The Newtown school massacre victims were all shot multiple times with a rifle and suffered “devastating” wounds, Connecticut’s chief medical examiner said Saturday.
Dr. Wayne Carver said autopsies on the 20 slain children had been completed and post-mortems on the six murdered staff members would be done by day’s end. The names of the victims were handed to reporters live at the news conference.
“Everybody’s death was caused by gunshot wounds and obviously the manner of death on all these cases have been classified as homicide,” Carver said.
He said that he personally performed seven autopsies and those children had between three and 11 wounds each. Two of them were shot at close range, the others at a distance.
“This is a very devastating set of injuries,” Carver said. “I believe everyone was hit more than once.”
Asked whether the victims suffered, he replied, “Not for very long.”
He said he will perform an autopsy on the gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, who is believed to have shot himself with one of two handguns he carried. He will also perform the autopsy on the shooter’s mother, Nancy Lanza, who was found dead in her Newtown home.
Four doctors and 10 technicians, plus a college student working her first day with the medical examiner’s office, worked into Friday night to identify the victims.
They took photos of their faces and then showed the pictures to families. “It’s easier on the families when you do this,” Carver said.
He said that he managed to maintain professional composure during the grim work, but it was a challenge.
“I’ve been at this for a third of a century and my sensibility may not be the average man’s, but this is probably the worst I’ve seen.”
[Names, Ages of the Victims Released]Names, Ages of the Victims Released
Children (8 boys and 12 girls)
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeline Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6
Rachel Davino, 29
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Lauren Russeau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Dawn Hocksprung, 47
Tears, prayers, and a search for answers in Newtown
[under a spoiler cut because the article has old and new info mixed together tbh]
The updates appear newest to oldest fyi
4:10 P.M.: Connecticut's Chief Medical examiner ruled the deaths of the Sandy Hook School shootings all homicides, and that each victim was shot multiple times.
"This is probably the worst I've seen," said Dr. H. Wayne Carver, who has been a medical examiner for more than three decades.
All of the victims were preliminarily identified early Saturday morning, Dr. Carver said. The parents of the young victims did not see the bodies in person. Instead, they were shown photos of the faces.
"I believe everyone was hit more than once," Dr. Carver said.
The names of the 26 victims were being released by state police.
State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance did not talk about a possible motive for the shootings, but said "there is no information about any confrontation" involving the gunman, Adam Lanza, and the school before Friday's shooting.
In describing the injuries, Dr. Carver said a long rifle was used in the shooting. In each autopsy he performed, the victim was shot three to eleven times.
Newtown First Selectwoman Patricia Llodra also spoke at the Saturday afternoon news conference. She thanked everyone for their thoughts and support. "We are a strong and caring place," she said. "We will find a way to heal."
12:30 P.M. UPDATE: Gov. Dannel Malloy will make a televised address to the state tonight at 5:00 p.m. to talk about the deaths in Newtown. The governor is in the town today meeting with people.
10:30 A.M. UPDATE: State police say they have identified all the victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and that list will be made available today.
Speaking at a news conference, Lt. J. Paul Vance said the gunman forced his way into the school, and was not voluntarily let in.
Lt. Vance said Newtown and state police investigators are still processing the scene, and it could take days before their work is finished.
For Newtown residents, a crisis intervention team has been made available for anyone who wants to talk about what happened. The number to call is 203-270-4283.
Lt. Vance said no other weapons were recovered at the school, and the ones found were in close proximity to the gunman. He said investigators will research each gun and they will know the history of each and every weapon.
He also said evidence found at the secondary crime scene, the house where his mother was killed, may point to a motive.
8:55 A.M. UPDATE: The Associated Press reports three guns were found inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Sig Sauer pistol
.223-caliber Bushmaster rifle
They were all registered to Nancy Lanza, who was killed. A fourth weapon was found outside the school.
8:10 A.M. UPDATE: We're awaiting a police news conference and update on the Newtown school shooting. ABC News reports "Police say some but not all bodies have been moved from the school. The rest will be moved later today." Parents were asked what their children wore to school to help identify the victims, ABC reported.
Connecticut state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance told ABC that investigators are confident Adam Lanza acted alone in the shootings.
5:50 A.M. UPDATE: It's going to be an emotional day in Newtown and across Connecticut and people come to grips with the deaths of 27 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, including the gunman
One other victim, the mother of the gunman, was found dead at her home, for a total of 28 dead. She was killed first before the gunman went to the school and opened fire.
Police and the medical examiner's office continued their grim task of identifying the victims and documenting the scene inside the classrooms where the children and adults were killed.
More vigils and remembrances were planned around Connecticut in memory of the victims.
Here's what is known so far.
One of the big questions remaining unanswered this morning is why .
11:50 P.M. UPDATE: Investigators will spend the night at Sandy Hook Elementary School as they work to positively identify victims of the mass killing in Newtown Friday.
"Evil visited this community today," Gov. Dannel Malloy said.
28 people were killed, 20 of them children. One other woman was injured. She was shot in the leg but is recovering. Among the victims was Sandy Hook's principal, Dawn Hochsprung .
The gunman was identified as Adam Lanza, 20. Authorities initially identified his brother as the gunman.
"Our hearts are broken today," President Obama said .
The state medical examiner is inside the school in a makeshift morgue. State police hope to be able to release the names of all of those who were killed on Saturday.
Candle light vigils were held in Newtown and Hartford and other Connecticut cities Friday night, and more were scheduled for the weekend as people paid their respects.
Gov. Malloy ordered flags at half staff until the victims are buried.
Amid Tragedy, Stories of Heroism Emerge
With bursts of gunfire ringing out in the hallway, Kaitlin Roig, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, huddled in a cramped bathroom with her 15 first-grade students, trying to assure them that everything would be alright -- even though she didn't believe it.
"I'm thinking, 'We're next,'" Roig told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an emotional interview. "And I'm thinking, as a 6-year-old, 7-year-old, what are your thoughts? I'm thinking I almost have to be their parent.
"So I said to them, I need you to know that I love you all very much, and it's going to be OK, because I thought that was the last thing they were ever going to hear. I thought they were all going to die. I wanted them to know someone loved them, and I wanted that to be one of the last things they heard, not gunfire in the hallway."
Moments earlier, when a gunman identified to NBC News as 20-year-old Adam Lanza forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and began his shooting spree, killing 20 children and six adults, Roig rushed her students from the classroom to a bathroom, then barricaded the door with a bookshelf.
She was eventually rescued by police.
Roig's story is one of a handful of heroism amid tragedy that are sure to emerge over the coming days. Several of the victims died trying to save lives, according to reports.
The school's principal, Dawn Hochsprung, and school psychologist Mary Sherlach were in a meeting with a parent, other staff members and school therapist Diane Day when the shooting started, Day told The Wall Street Journal. While most people dove under desks, Hochsprung and Sherlach rushed to see if they could help and ran toward the shooter, Supt. Janet Robinson said.
"They didn't think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on," Day told the Journal.
Both were killed.
Another teacher pressed her body against to door to keep Lanza out -- and was shot twice in the process, Day said.
"She was our hero," Day told the Journal.
Bill Vollmer said he considers his wife, Janet, a kindergarten teacher, a hero. She was not injured, but is devastated, he said.
"She locked the doors, pulled the blinds, put paper over the window on the door and sat the kids in a cubby and read to them and tried to distract them from what was really happening," Bill Volmer said.
One teacher helped students get out through a window, Robinson said, and one hid the students in the kiln room as the shooter made his way through the school.
"The teachers were really, really focused on saving the students," Robinson.
Shooter’s Mother Was Not on Staff at Sandy Hook: Supt.
It does not appear that Nancy Lanza, mother of the apparent shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, was a staff member at the school, despite earlier reports.
Newtown Supt. Janet Robinson told NBC Connecticut’s Jo Ling Kent on Saturday that there is no record of Lanza in the school database.
"Mrs. Lanza, who I have never met, was not a teacher in the district," Robinson said. "She's not in our database as a staff member."
She might have been a substitute teacher or volunteer at the school, but that is not clear.
Federal authorities have identified Adam Lanza, 20, as the man who shot and killed 20 school children, six adults, and himself.
The guns recovered at the scene, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, were legally registered to Nancy Lanza.
A woman, believed to be Lanza's mother, was found shot dead insider a Newtown home.
Image source has more images of support in and around Newtown.
Info if you want to help Newtown families
Article about the school psychologist
Article about the school principal
Pakistani children lit candles in honor of the victims
Statement from Lauren Rosseau's family (one of the deceased teachers)