Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut school on Friday, Dressed in black fatigues and a military vest he opened fire. 26 people died most of them children. The School principle Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach the school psychologist where shot and killed. Adam had previously murdered his mother, when they found him it appears he had then killed himself.
In the past 10 years, only one homicide had previously been reported in the neighbourhood, they don’t know how Adam got into the school. Brave teachers moved children into bathrooms and closets as soon as the attack began. In particular Janet Vollmer, a kindergarten teacher, locked her classroom doors, covered the windows and read a story to her 19 students to keep them calm. Many of the children where taken to a nearby firehouse for safety, where panic stricken parents collected them.
Adam had no criminal record, some of his friends described him as a genius. Most bizarrely of all the weapons recovered appear to have been purchased by his mother. Police never had a chance to fire a shot. Adam’s mother was a teacher, but not at the school where the killings took place.
There is a huge response on social media. Many survivors tweeted from the scene. President Obama was in tears during a statement he made. Many of the childrens bodies have still not been moved because authorities have not been able to identify them. Flags have been ordered to fly at half-staff nationwide in tribute to the victims, and candlelight vigils are planned across the US as Americans try to comprehend the tragedy.
There was a vigil in Newtown where mourners spilled out of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church because it was too full. Many surviving children are unsure which of their friends survived. The irony being that the principle had recently installed a new security system to ensure student safety. The new system required that every visitor ring a doorbell at the front entrance and report to the main office to sign in. It seems possible that Adam gained entrance just before the doors where locked at the start of the day, then commenced shooting once school had started.
This tragedy echos the 1999 Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado where two students shot 13 people to death before killing themselves. Regardless of the speculation or the media coverage, the most important thing is that we all take this tragedy as a moment to look around and enjoy our loved ones.
Tonight I will be holding a private vigil for the individuals who have been lost, for their families, and most of all for the lone gunmen that for reasons that we will never truly understand decided to commit a crime against his community that belies belief. The suffering of his family and friends who will the spend the rest of their lives trying to understand why will haunt us all.