Update: 11:32 PM: Various outlets have been reporting that the shooter, Adam Lanza, had some psychiatric issues. Accounts vary, some say he had autism, others just say he was kind of nuts. By all accounts, brother Ryan had not talked to him in some time and was not involved in this heinous crime in any way. All in all it was a very sad, tragic day and our hearts go out to all of the families who lost their loved ones and precious children. Many people tonight are talking about gun control, but few are talking about how we handle the mentally ill in our society. We can take guns away from sane, law abiding citizens, but anyone who is capable of gunning down a classroom full of kindergartners isn’t likely to follow any restrictive gun laws politicians pass so they can feel like they’re doing something.
Update 4:25 PM: It didn’t take long for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to come out and demand increased gun control, and President Obama hinted at that during his brief press appearance this afternoon. I don’t know what more gun control will do about evil people that commit such crimes. (See the link Michigan posted in the comments below to a story of a 1927 school massacre that did not involve guns.) Ace of Spades weighed in on what might drive someone to do something as heinous as this.
I think we were just talking a few weeks ago about a certain form of intensely narcissistic psychopathy that spurs people to kill everyone close to them rather than just taking the gentleman’s way out of suicide. (I don’t mean to give a nod towards suicide but if the difference is between killing yourself and murdering your whole family for your failures and inadequacies, let’s put in a good word for suicide.)
I’ve said this before but I think the media can help reduce these things from occurring. These nutters see themselves heroically, sort of as bigger-than-life agents of mayhem and evil. Now that may sound like a bad thing to you, but it doesn’t sound bad to them: They’ve embraced it.
And what Evil is usually described as, in popular mythology, which these guys are not, is potent and capable. Yes, Evil is horrible, but these guys are embracing it for the Power of it. Because they are failures and hopelessly inadequate in their own lives, they contrive a fantasy in which they become Dark Heroes — larger than life and big as death — by murdering a lot of people.
Obviously we have a debased value system here. But it does seem to me that that one thing they value and cherish is their self-conception of the Big Scary Man, who you should Take Serious Notice Of because he’s Scary and Capable of Anything.
And a lot of media coverage tends to play this angle up. And I don’t mean to knock the press too badly on this — evil sells, and these people are evil.
Update 4:19 PM: Now it’s being reported that Lanza’s father may still be alive. There is always so much misinformation out there when these things happen.
Update 3:53 PM: The New York Post has now reported that the shooter was Adam Lanza and that Ryan Lanza is not a suspect in this case.
Adam Lanza, 20, shot his mother dead and targeted her kindergarten class at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., sources sais. Sources also told The Post that Lanza’s mother was a teacher at the school and he “had a dispute with her.”
Lanza is dead inside the school.
Lanza used two handguns and a .223-caliber assault rifle, an official said. The official also said that New Jersey state police are searching a location in connection with the shootings.
Police in Hoboken, NJ are questioning Lanza’s older brother Ryan, 24, but he is not a suspect.
Update 3:34 PM: Fox News just reported that the shooter is not Ryan Lanza, but his 20 year old brother Adam. They reported that Ryan is in custody in New Jersey.
Update 3:02: It just gets more tragic. The latest report is that 20 of the victims are children.
Update 2:57 PM: Now it has been confirmed that Lanza’s father lives in New Jersey
and he was found dead. His mother was in Newtown, CT and Lanza also killed her.
Update 2:45 PM: Reports are still all over the place regarding Lanza’s ties to the school. The most recent is that his parents were divorced and his mother still lived in Newtown and worked for the school. He also went to school in Newtown, reportedly.
Update 2:35 PM: Here is the link to Ryan Lanza’s facebook page. iOwnTheWorld has posted the photos of Lanza in case the page is removed. According to his facebook page he lived in New Jersey and was from Newtown, CT.
Update 2:30 PM: The shooter has been identified as 24 year old Ryan Lanza. He apparently is from New Jersey but possibly lived in Newtown. It is also being reported that he has some tie to the school, but we don’t know what that tie is. He could be a parent of a student, or an employee. He was apparently buzzed into the locked school so he would have been known to the school personnel. There are still quite a few unanswered questions. According to The Other McCain, Lanza’s parents were found dead at their home in New Jersey.
Update 1:33 PM: The press conference has been delayed. There are more reports of there being a second shooter who is now in custody of the police. This is devastating.
Update: Fox News is reporting that 18 of the victims are children, and that an entire kindergarten class is unaccounted for.
Update 1:05 PM: A press conference is expected to begin any moment now. At least 27 people are dead, including 14 children.
There was a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT this morning. There is very little confirmed information. Some reports say there were two gunmen, others say there was one gunman and that he is dead. There are reports of several injuries, but again, details are sketchy.
The Newtown Bee:
State and Newtown police, ambulance, and emergency response personnel responded to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shortly after 9:30 am, Friday, following reports of a shooting. One child was carried from the school by a police officer, apparently seriously wounded. Other injuries are reported, and emergency personnel have set up triage facilities.
The other children in the school exited school under state police protection. (Read More)
Parents have been instructed not to go to or call the school and to stay home and wait to be contacted.
The Newtown Bee also posted this photo of children being led from the school.
Update: WABC has more information:
At least one person, believed to be the gunman, is dead and at least three others were injured in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Friday morning.
Police report that the school is now cleared of shooters, but they are still treating it as an active shooter situation and all schools in the district remain locked down. There are confirmed reports of a second shooter, but it is unclear what happened to that gunman.
CBS News is reporting that 27 people are dead, including 14 students, after a 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 also says that at least a couple dozen people were shot.
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.
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.
This is just horrific.
Update: Linked by Rick the Ranter.