The Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

Shannan O'Neil, Editor-in-Chief

On the cold and quiet morning of December 14, 2012, tragedy struck the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut when 20 year old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people–20 children and 6 Sandy Hook Elementary staff members—with a Bushmaster XM-15 (a deadly, automatic assault rifle).

Before arriving at the school, Lanza shot and killed his 52-year-old mother, Nancy Lanza, in her home in Newtown. Lanza then took his mother’s assault rifle and made his way into the school where principal Dawn Hochsprung and psychologist Mary Sherlach were in a meeting. The two women heard gunshots, left their meeting, and came across the manic Lanza when he shot both women, killing them.

In a first grade classroom, the actual events are still unclear. Supposedly, teacher Victoria Soto, 27, reportedly tried to hide her students in the classroom’s closets and other spaces, and when Lanza entered the classroom, she told him they were in the school’s auditorium, but some of the students tried to escape and were shot and killed, then Lanza shot Soto as well before he left the classroom.

In another first grade classroom, substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau was shot in the face and killed along with fifteen of sixteen students in that class. In that classroom, a 6-year-old girl was the only survivor. According to the family pastor, the girl played dead in her classroom and waited until the building was still and silent.

Anne Marie Murphy, a teacher aide, died trying to protect her and a student from the bullets fired by Lanza, but ultimately killed her and the student. Paraprofessional Rachel D’Avino was also killed trying to protect her students.
Many of the teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School made several successful attempts at saving their students’ lives, thankfully living to tell their courageous stories.

The bodies recovered from the massacre had reportedly multiple bullet wounds in each, supposedly each student had two or more bullet wounds. Tragically, 6 year old Noah Pozner was shot 11 times.

Lanza stopped shooting around 9:46 am and shot himself with a handgun after realizing the police were closing in on him.
Devastated would be an understatement to describe the pain and horror felt by the families of those shot and killed in this tragedy.

Candle-light vigils, ceremonies, and other gatherings were formed all over Connecticut that night as controversy was being brewed in the media about the untouchable topic of Gun Control.

“Should assault rifles be that easily accessible?” “Should there be a more efficient psychological evaluation before obtaining any kind of weapon?” “Does everyone have the right to own a gun simply because the U.S. Constitution says we can?” “Is the right to own a gun under any circumstance outdated?”

Another question is why this happened. There are no clear answers. The situation is still under investigation. It’s speculated that Lanza not only had Asperger’s Syndrome, but a possible emotional disturbance.