SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – Hearts are breaking around Sussex County, nationwide, and worldwide, upon the news of a tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., today.
Adam Lanza, age 20, who hails from Newtown was the gunman who took lives today at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, a K-4 school with 450 students, including gunning down his mother at their home. Adam Lanza was carrying the ID of his brother, Ryan Lanza, age 24, from Hoboken, N.J., which created conflicting news reports initially as to who the gunman was.
According to an ABC News report, approximately 27 were shot dead, and the death toll is still being tallied, when the gunman stormed the school with four weapons, and a bulletproof vest.
The school entered a lockdown state after a 9-1-1 call was placed to the Newtown Police Department around 9:40 a.m., and then the Connecticut State Police, and SWAT Team entered the school to sweep for the active shooter, said authorities. There were 18 children pronounced dead at the scene, and six adults, authorities added, and the investigation is still ongoing. Survivors of the tragedy were reunited with family members at a staging area once a full search was done at the school for students, teachers, and other employees.
Adam Lanza died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The tragedy is being named the second worst school shooting, after the tragedy at Virginia Tech, and the deadliest day for an elementary school in U.S. History.
Click here for the previous article by The Alternative Press.
“It’s so sad…it’s heartbreaking,” wrote Alley Shubert, one of The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s reporters.
“Crazy people may own guns or not. This isn’t a gun issue. It’s the action of a very sad and sick individual. My heart bleeds for the families of those little children, and others, who lost their lives today,” said Christina Honthy of Byram Township, N.J.
“It is a senseless tragedy, and it just goes to show the moral decline of this country,” said Joseph Maikisch, of Hampton Township, N.J. “Kids were not killing kids when I was a kid.”
Johnny Regan, of Hampton Township, said he has a friend who lives in Newtown, and, fortunately, his friend's children are too young to be in the elementary school.
Jennie Traill Schaeffer, owner and artist from TraillWorks in Newton, said, “I’m a mother, a teacher, and after crying about the news of the Newtown shootings and feeling helpless, I realized we could do something to memorialize the victims from the Newton community. TraillWorks is inviting the public to come in and create a white paper dove that will be hung in the windows of TraillWorks – we already have a few doves hanging for our holiday bird-theme, but we want to fill the windows with symbols and messages of peace to Newtown from the Newton community. I’ve also invited the Spring Street merchants to invite their customers to come into to TraillWorks to make them and then either hang them here or take them back to the sending merchant and display them in their windows. I’d love to see all of Spring Street filled with doves.”
Rachael Paulson of Sparta Township, N.J., a former teacher, a children's book author, and founder of HOW Global, a non-profit group that, among its accolades, has brought running water to school villages in third world countries, said, "I am shutting down the computer for the day from Facebook. there is nothing that I can write or post that seems important right now. My love for children and the pain for those families is overwhelming. I am thinking of the parents that do not know if their child is dead or alive is torture. Any mom right now around the world is grieving."
Jennifer Dodd, of Newton, N.J., said, “My heart is completely broken. I personally have a kindergartener and a third grader, and I will be hugging them tighter today and every day. I have many friends with young school age children, we all share a sense of shock and dismay. Our children feel as safe at school as when they are home. Many questions will asked by our children over the coming days and I hope to find strength in answering them as best I can.”
"All of the problems that I have been dealing with are so insignificant compared to what happened today... Rest in peace to all the little children who never got a chance to live.. they could have made a difference in this world," concluded Shubert.
The Alternative Press will continue to report on this story as details become available.
Editor's Note: The Alternative Press of Sussex County, LLC, extends their condolences to all those impacted by this tragedy.
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