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Via CBS News
NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) — CBS News is reporting that at least 26 people are dead, including 18 students, after a mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The gunman is among the dead.
CBS News’ John Miller reports there is preliminary information that the gunman was the father of one of the students. Miller additionally reports the gunman is 20 years old and is from New Jersey.
The shooter was killed and apparently had two guns, a person with knowledge of the shooting said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way. It is not known whether the shooter took his own life or was killed.
CBS News reports that a second person is in custody and that SWAT is now investigating the home of the suspect.
A witness tells WFSB-TV that a second man was taken out of the woods in handcuffs wearing a black jacket and camouflage pants and telling parents on the scene, “I did not do it.”
Fox Connecticut reports that the shooting began in the kindergarten classroom.
“It’s just a bad situation,” Newtown Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Stoyak told CBS 2.
NPR is reporting that Connecticut is reaching out to other states to help with autopsies because they don’t have enough medical examiners.
Two students and a teacher were also injured in the shooting and they were taken to Dansbury Hospital, spokeswoman Diane Burke told CBS News York.
Teachers and police escorted students out of the building following the shooting.
“It was a very orderly evacuation given the circumstances,” Connecticut Post reporter Brian Koonz told CBS New York.
One mother tells CBS 2 reporter Lou Young that it’s like a “war zone” in Newtown. Her child told Young he had bullets “whizzing by” him in the hallway and that a teacher pulled him into a classroom.
Connecticut State Police tell CBS Connecticut that it is “still an active situation.”
Police responded to the school shooting at 9:41 a.m. WFSB-TV reporter Len Besthoff calls it a “chaotic scene.”
Stephen Delgiadice said his 8-year-old daughter heard two big bangs and teachers told her to get in a corner. His daughter was fine.
“It’s alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America,” he said.
Mergim Bajraliu, 17, heard the gunshots echo from his home and raced to check on his 9-year-old sister at the school. He said his sister, who was fine, heard a scream come over the intercom at one point. He said teachers were shaking and crying as they came out of the building.
“Everyone was just traumatized,” he said.
The school superintendent’s office says the district has locked down schools as a preventive measure to ensure the safety of students and staff. Schools in neighboring towns also were locked down as a precaution.
State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance says they have a number of personnel on the scene to assist.
The White House said President Barack Obama was notified of the shooting.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he’s spoken with federal officials who have offered to provide help to the state and the Newtown community in the aftermath of a deadly grade school shooting.
Malloy arrived in Newtown on Friday afternoon, hours after a shooting that left the gunman dead and at least one teacher wounded.
The governor’s office said several state agencies, including emergency management, public health and the Department of Children and Families, will be coordinating the state’s response.
In addition, Malloy says State Police are coordinating law enforcement work with federal and local authorities.
It wasn’t clear how many people were injured at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Danbury Hospital said it has admitted three patients.
This shooting rivals the massacres at Virginia Tech in 2007 where 32 people were killed and at Columbine High School in 1999 where 13 were gunned down.
The worst mass school murder in American history took place on May 18,1927 in Bath Township, Mich., when a former school board member set off three bombs that killed 45 people.
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