US town stunned by school shooting
A heartbreaking and unforgettable tragedy has beset Newtown, a small town in Connecticut, where a gunman slaughtered 28 people, including 20 children, at an elementary school Friday.
Immersed in mixed feelings of fear, sadness and despair, residents cried, prayed and hugged each other, unable to believe it was real.
US flags flown at half-staff for mourning victims of shooting
US President Barack Obama on Friday ordered US flags to be flown at half-staff at the White House and all public buildings and grounds, as a mark of respect for the victims of a deadly shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which took place earlier in the day.
US school shooting kills 20 children, 8 adults
Police in US state Connecticut said Friday that 18 children died on the scene at a school shooting here in Sandy Hook Elementary School, two more died later in the hospital. All together 8 adults were also dead.
US President: My heart is broken
US President Obama made a televised appearance in the White House briefing room after the shooting spree. Choking up and wiping away tears, Obama said his heart was broken for the families of the dead as well as survivors.
Mitchell, a young boy who lives near the school
"It's terrible; it's unbelievable; you wouldn't think anything like this would happen in such a small town," Mitchell said. "Everyone here are all friends; there are no strangers. The killer lives in Newtown, and he killed his mom and her class."
Robert Weiss, a pastor of a nearby church
"It's a tough day. It's just a tragedy. I cannot explain and understand," he said. "There's no word that can express the magnitude... These are little kids."
All the churches in the town would open for services in the evening and people could stop by and pray, Weiss said.
"People need to get together, and support each other. I was asked here to support the family," he said.
Geoffery Davis, who has been praying in a nearby church
"It's crushing... Young people have to see and the community has to see. The Congress has to step up to do something about this, at a priority level," he said.
It is "a political issue" that had been discussed over and over again, he said.
"People look at it in two ways: some agree, some disagree, arguing that guns don't kill people; people kill people. Anyway it will be brought up to the front again," he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon voiced his "deepest condolences" over the victims of a school shooting in the US state of Connecticut which killed 20 children and eight adults.
In a letter to Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, Ban called the Sandy Hook Elementary School rampage "shocking murders."
"The secretary-general said that the targeting of children is heinous and unthinkable, and extended his thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims and all others traumatized by this horrendous crime," said the spokesman.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
"It is with deep shock and horror that I learned this evening of the tragic fatalities in the shooting in Connecticut. Young lives full of hope have been destroyed."
"On behalf of the European Commission and on my own behalf, I want to express my sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy," Barroso said.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton
"I would like to express my shock at the tragic shooting at the school in Connecticut today."
"My thoughts go out to the victims, their families and the American people at this difficult time," Ashton said.
Queen Elizabeth II of Britain
"I have been deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the dreadful loss of life today in Newtown, Connecticut; particularly the news that so many of the dead are children," the queen said.
She added that her husband, Prince Philip, joined her in extending their heartfelt sympathy to Obama and the American people.
"The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth are with the families and friends of those killed and with all those who have been affected by today's events," the queen said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron
Cameron said his thoughts are with the injured and those who have lost loved ones.
"It is heartbreaking to think of those who have had their children robbed from them at such a young age, when they had so much life ahead of them," he said in a statement.
French President Francois Hollande
"I was horrified by the news of the shooting today in Sandy Hook primary school in Newtown in the state of Connecticut," he said. "Please accept my condolences on behalf of the French people and on myself."
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key
The loss of life in the school shooting in Connecticut, the United States, is heart-breaking.
Key expressed dismay at the random, needless and heart-breaking loss of life at the elementary school.
He sent his heart-felt condolences to the families of the victims, the staff of the school, and the Newtown community.
US supporters of gun control pay respect for shooting victims
Supporters of gun control legislation hold candles and placards during a rally to pay respect for the shooting victims in front of the White House in Washington, capital of the United States, Dec. 14, 2012, following a deadly shooting spree in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, which took place earlier in the day.
Obama says US needs to take meaningful actions to prevent shooting
US President Barack Obama on Friday said the United States needs to take "meaningful action," regardless of politics, to prevent more tragedies, following a deadly shooting spree in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, which took place earlier in the day, noting the country has seen too many shootings throughout the years.
US School Shootings
April 2, 2012: In the state of California, a man killed seven people and wounded three others at Oikos University in Oakland.
February 14, 2008: In the state of Illinois, a gunman broke into Northern Illinois University and opened fire randomly at more than 160 students and teachers, killing six people and wounding more than 10 others before shooting himself dead.
April 16, 2007: In Virginia, a 23-year-old student from South Korea went on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, killing 32 people and wounding 15 others before killing himself. It was the deadliest campus shooting in US history.
October 2, 2006: In the state of Pennsylvania, a gunman killed five girl students at an Amish school before killing himself.
March 21, 2005: In the state of Minnesota, a 16-year-old student shot dead five students, a security guard and a teacher at Red Lake High School before killing himself during a shootout with police.
April 20, 1999: In the state of Colorado, two male students armed with assault rifles shot dead 12 other students and a teacher in a rampage at Columbine High School and then killed themselves.