Eighteen children were killed on Friday morning in a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, about 65 miles northeast of New York City, according to a person who had been briefed on the shooting. Another law enforcement official said preliminary reports suggested there could be as many as 20 fatalities.
One state official said that an adult gunman was believed to be dead in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman was in possession of at least two firearms, the official said.
A student at the school told an NBC affiliate in Connecticut: “I was in the gym and I heard like seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in the corner and we huddled. We all heard these booming noises, and we started crying. So the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us. Then a police officer told us to run outside.”
Meredith Artley, the managing editor of CNN.com, has a friend who works at the school. “She volunteers with the school as well,” Ms. Artley said on CNN.
The woman was in close vicinity to the shooting, which happened in the hallway, according to Ms. Artley. “She described it as a ‘Pop, pop, pop,’” Ms. Artley added. “She said three people went out into the hall and only one person came back, the vice principal, she said, who was shot in the leg or the foot, who came crawling back. She cowered under the table and called 911. She never saw the shooting. There must have been a hundred rounds.”
State police say the Newtown police called them around 9:40 a.m., The Associated Press reported. A SWAT team was among the enormous deployment of law enforcement officers who descended on the school. At least one sharpshooter could be seen on the roof of the school.
Danbury Hospital said it was treating three patients from the shooting scene, according to its Facebook page. The hospital, which is not far from the elementary school, said it was on lockdown.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy arrived at the scene of the shooting on Friday afternoon.
The school, located among wooded hills and suburban tracts in Fairfield County, 12 miles east of Danbury, serves kindergarten through fourth grade. The school has about 700 students.
According to a local newspaper, The Newtown Bee, shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Friday, one child was carried from the school by a police officer, apparently seriously wounded, and other children were escorted from the school by the state police. A photograph published by The Bee showed children outside the school visibly upset.