STATE POLICE INVESTIGATE NEWTOWN SCHOOL SHOOTING
On 12/14/12, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Newtown Police received a 911 call reporting a possible shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School located at 12 Dickenson Drive in Newtown. Newtown Officers immediately responded and requested assistance from Connecticut State Police. Ssurrounding police agencies also sent assistance to the scene. Troopers, both on-duty and off-duty, responded to the scene.
Upon arrival, teams of Troopers and Officers formed “Active Shooter Teams” and immediately entered the school. Teams performed rescues of students and staff, removing them to a safe location as they searched for the shooting suspect within the building. The building was evacuated and students walked hand in hand out to a safe location.
Teams encountered several students and staff suffering from gunshot wounds. The building was secured, the ”shooter” was located deceased, and Newtown EMS personnel entered to provide emergency care for the wounded. Eighteen (18) children were pronounced dead at the scene, two children were transported to Danbury Hospital and later pronounced dead. Six (6) adult victims were also pronounced dead at the scene. Teams located the shooter on scene; he was also pronounced dead. The perimeter was also searched and secured by responding law enforcement.
The building was secured and at the request of the Newton Police Chief and Danbury State’s Attorney, two Connecticut State Police Major Crime squads responded to conduct the investigation into this crime. Troopers are assisted by Newtown Police Detectives, Danbury State’s Attorney, and many Federal, Local, and States Law Enforcement Agencies
The processing of the scene began immediately with documentation of the crime scene and identifying and gathering both physical and forensic evidence. The urgent focus of the Major Crime investigators was to work with the Office of the Chief State’ s Medical Examiner to establish the identity of all the deceased victims. This was accomplished overnight and the next of kin were all notified that positive identification was made.
The family of each victim was assigned a Trooper or Officer to establish and maintain an open line of communication. This was put into place so families of the victims can have immediate contact related to any questions they may have and to also provide State Police investigators the ability to communicate with families without delay.
The families have requested no press interviews and we are asking that this request be honored.
The deceased victims have been transported to the Office of The Chief State’s Medical Examiner where a post mortem examination will be conducted to determine the manner and cause of death.
State Police Major Crime Investigators are continuing to process the school crime scene, gathering evidence and documenting the entire facility. State Police Detectives assisted by Newtown Detectives processed the interior and exterior crime scene. Teams of investigators flooded the community and followed each lead, developing extensive information.
A second crime scene was located by investigators at a residence on Yogananda Street. A female was located deceased inside the residence. This scene was secured and an additional State Police Major Crime Squad responded to this scene to investigate this incident. Preliminary information determined that the deceased was a relative of the “shooter” at the Elementary School.
Presently, the school scene is still being processed by detectives and it anticipated that this process will take several days. In addition, Troopers are continuing to follow any and all leads in this case utilizing Law Enforcement in-state as well as out of state as required.
Crisis counseling teams are on-site to provide support to the families of all of the victims.
The investigation is continuing.
LT. J. Paul Vance
Connecticut State Police