01:33 PM EDT 12/23/2013
Originally posted 12/17/2012 07:20AM
At an interfaith memorial service in Newton, Conn., for those lost in Friday's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, an emotional President Obama told the grieving audience, "We can't tolerate this anymore," and vowed "in the coming weeks I'll use whatever power this office holds" in "preventing more tragedies like this."
As he told the 1,000 people, including the surviving families, as he spoke on the stark stage of Newtown High School Sunday night, the President said, "I can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone. … Across this land of ours, we have wept with you."
And he pledged, "These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change."
Noting this was the fourth time in his presidency the nation has had to deal with senseless acts of gun violence, the President said it was "the fourth time we've hugged survivors. The fourth time we've consoled the families of victims.
"There have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children. Much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Originally posted 12/16/2012 04:20PM
This year, 26 families – and an innumerable count of mourning loved ones and strangers alike – will spend the holidays in the shadow of a national tragedy.
An anonymous North Carolina donor contributed 26 Christmas trees – one for each of the 20 children and six adults killed by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday – for a special tribute.
Originally posted 12/16/2012 10:30AM
A day after a gunman shot down 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school, Saturday Night Live pushed comedy aside to pay tribute to the lives lost.
The New York City Children's Chorus opened Saturday's show with an elegant performance of "Silent Night" (watch below). The song was a departure for the humor-driven show that typically kicks off the night with a punchline.
At the closing of the Christmas classic, the chorus turned back to tradition, shouting out, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
Originally posted 12/16/2012 10:00AM
The father of the alleged shooter in the Connecticut school massacre has broken his silence, expressing condolences to the families of the victims.
"Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy," said Peter Lanza in a statement Saturday night. "No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can."
His son Adam Lanza, 20, is suspected of opening fire on the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, killing 20 children and six adults before taking his own life. Adam's mother Nancy Lanza also was killed earlier at another location.
Originally posted 12/15/2012 06:30PM
Out of the chaos and horror emerged an incredible act of selflessness and bravery by one teacher who spent her final moments trying to protect her young students from harm.
Victoria Soto, 27, a first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., ushered her students into a closet, and in so doing placed her body between them and the assailant.
"She was found huddled over her children, her students, doing instinctively what she knew was the right thing," her cousin Jim Wiltsie tells ABC News.
Originally posted 12/15/2012 10:25AM
A horrific day turned to a night of unspeakable grief as parents received formal notifications that their children were killed in the Connecticut school massacre.
The last of the dozens of bodies – most of them children – were removed by early Saturday from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as police narrowed in on a motive and released the names of the victims.
Investigators have found "very good evidence ... as to how, and more importantly, why, this occurred," State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance told reporters. He didn't disclose what this evidence was.
Originally posted 12/15/2012 03:00PM
Every school shooting I've ever heard about has been exceedingly heartbreaking and has stirred feelings of both rage and sorrow in me. Each one is tragic and awful, and there have been far too many of them in recent years.
But Friday's massacre in Newtown has affected me in a profoundly personal way, as I have a unique perspective on the town ... I am blessed to have grown up there.
Originally posted 12/15/2012 09:45AM
A palpable grief hung in the air on a bitterly cold night in Newtown, Conn., on Friday as hundreds came out to mourn the dead – 20 children and six adults – of the
mass shooting just hours before.
Several services were held around the area, including one at the town hall. At the St. Rose of Lima Church people packed the pews and spilled out the doors.
While hymns and prayers could be heard from inside, outside people cried, hugged, and even laughed at times. Some participated in a prayer circle, silently holding hands before beginning to sing songs including "Amazing Grace" and "Silent Night."
Originally posted 12/14/2012 08:50PM
The father and older brother of the gunman who was blamed for the Connecticut school shooting were being questioned by authorities but are not suspects, a law enforcement source tells PEOPLE.
The Associated Press reports that the gunman has been identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
His unidentified father, who lives in New York City, and his older brother, Ryan, 24, of Hoboken, N.J., are "in shock," the law enforcement source tells PEOPLE.
Originally posted 12/14/2012 07:30PM
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal killed in Friday's mass shooting, will be remembered as a committed educator who was loved by her students.
The principal of the Newtown, Conn., school died trying to protect the students she cared for every day. The gunman, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, started his rampage in the school's main office, where Hochsprung had reportedly come out of a meeting.
Hochsprung was killed in the shooting, the sound of which was reportedly broadcast over the school's PA system.
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