By Andrew Gorosko
At a news conference held at Treadwell Park on Friday evening, Governor Dannel Malloy said that he is grateful to people from around the world who have expressed their condolences to him over the shooting deaths of more than two dozen people, most of whom were young students at Sandy Hook School, earlier that day.
The governor termed the incident "an unspeakable and tragic event."
State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance explained that at about 9:30 am, local police received a call for help from the K-4 school on Dickinson Drive, a dead end street that extends from Riverside Road, near the Sandy Hook Firehouse.
"Evil visited this community today," Gov Malloy said.
"We'll do whatever we can to overcome this event," he said, adding that police are working to clear the crime scene as soon as possible.
Besides the many children killed, teachers and school support staffers died, he said.
"Our prayers have to go out to the families," Gov Malloy said.
As he spoke while surrounded by local, state, and federal officials, several news helicopters flew over the park, where nighttime athletic field lighting was turned on. About 200 hundred members of the press representing news organizations from across the world attended the several news conferences conducted at the park on Friday.
Lt Vance described the police probe as "an active, ongoing investigation."
After receiving the call for help, Newtown police called in other area police departments and the state police for aid, Lt Vance said.
On arriving at the scene, police immediately entered the building, considering that there was an "active shooter" situation within, he said.
"The shooter is dead in the school," Lt Vance said at the news conference.
While within the school, the unidentified shooter killed 20 students and six adults, Lt Vance said.
Of that number, two children were pronounced dead at the hospital, and the other 25 people, including the shooter, were pronounced dead at the school, he said.
Also, one person who was injured in the incident, survived the injuries, he said.
"The (crime) scene has been secured," Lt Vance said, adding that several investigatory agencies are probing the incident. He said he expects that the investigation will be a lengthy one.
The lieutenant said that there is a secondary crime scene where a dead adult was found. He declined to disclose that location.
The school shootings occurred within two rooms at the school in one section of the school, Lt Vance said.
Police provided no identifications for the deceased, saying the investigation is continuing. Positive identifications of the dead must be made before identities are disclosed, Lt Vance said.
Lt Vance described the school as " a very, very difficult scene for the family members and the first responders" who initially went to the incident.
"This was a very tragic horrific (crime) scene," he said.
State troopers have been assigned to serve as liaisons to family members of the deceased children, he said. The families of the deceased will be the first people informed of the deaths, he said. Lt Vance said he expects the identities of the victims to be disclosed on Saturday.
Newtown Police Lieutenant George Sinko said of the incident, "It was most definitely the worst thing we have experienced in Newtown. It was tragic."
Grief counselors are available at Reed Intermediate School on Trades Lane, he said.
"We just have to think about the families right now," he said.
Soon after arriving at the school, police officers realized the horrific nature of the incident that had occurred, Lt Sinko said.