There was breaking news this morning out of Newtown, Connecticut when at least one gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School. CBS News is reporting that a minimum of 27 people were killed in this massacre, including an estimated 18 young children.
Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police held a press conference to assure concerned citizens that "the scene is secure" and "the shooter is deceased inside the building." Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza has reportedly emerged as the gunman. Brother Ryan, 24, had previously been named as the suspect, but sources are now telling the Associated Press that after being questioned by police it was determined that he was not involved. Their mother was a teacher at the school and is presumed to be one of the fatalities. An additional investigation is ongoing at another location, where one more victim was allegedly killed. The two crime scenes are thought to be linked. President Obama has been briefed on the horrific situation and offered his condolences to the victims and community. Three additional victims are being treated at Danbury Hospital. The hospital released a statement reading, "Our hearts and prayers are extended to everyone involved in this terrible tragedy."
Aurora, Colorado Mayor Steve Hogan knows all too well the heartbreak Newton, Connecticut is experiencing. His town recently felt the same emotion when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater. He released a statement saying, "We understand all too well the pain the Newtown community is feeling today and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the tragic event that unfolded this morning. As a fellow community that has recently experienced this type of tragedy, we stand ready to offer our assistance in every way possible to help Newtown provide the support and guidance that will be necessary for their community to begin to recover. Today’s events also remind us that we must continue to take care of ourselves and one another, as we continue to heal."
As word spread about the tragedy, Twitter exploded with reactions from celebrities, many of them parents themselves.
Alyssa Milano: What the f*** is wrong with people?
Hilary Duff: Oh my.I am shocked.Heartbroken.Devastating news about this elementary school shooting. What is wrong w/ people?Praying hard 4 these family's
Mandy Moore: Absolutely devastating news this morning. There are no words.Thoughts, prayers and love to all in #Newtown.
Lisa Ling: Why are we still not seriously talking about gun control? Bless the families of those lost in Conn. My God.
Mia Farrow: #PrayForNewtown. Gun control is no longer debatable- it's not a 'conversation'- It's a moral mandate. '
Maria Shriver: My heart is breaking as this story unfolds. Let's start a #circleofprayer for the children and their families. Just yesterday, I wrote about the joy of becoming a mother. Right now so many mothers and fathers are in indescribable pain. Please say a prayer for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown...
Russell Simmons: prayers for the children, families and faculty of Sandy Hook Elementary School and the people of Newtown. my heart is broken.
Courteney Cox: Praying for Sandy Hook
Ali Fedotowsky: The shooting at Sandy Hook elementary is so heartbreaking. Children? It just doesn't make any sense. My heart goes out to the families.
Steve Carell: Pray for Sandy Hook, Newtown CT.
Bethenny Frankel: Oh my goodness. There has been a shooting at a school. I had no idea. This is so tragic. Poor babies!
Maksim Chmerkovskiy: University, high school, movie theater, and now ELEMENTARY school?!? What's next Kindergarten? WTF is wrong with people?!? I hate the "my heart is with" this and "my prayers go out" that... We ALL need to get fucking angry and DO something more than 'feel sad'....to unload a weapon on small children!!!!
Piers Morgan: I can't bear this. It's just beyond comprehension that anyone would do this in an elementary school. Those poor children. Don't just mourn these poor dead children America - get angry and do something to stop these senseless shootings happening.
Hilaria Baldwin: These shootings need to stop what do we do? I cannot help but think back to where I was when people committed these heinous acts. Why do they have to be so cruel, sick, and heartless? Guns bring nothing but pain and heartbreak. Violent video games foster rage and troubled imaginations. Why are we so enamored with violence? My thoughts and prayers are with you all in Sandy Hook. Whether you are a victim of violence, trauma or loss, I am sending my love & support
Vinny Guadagnino: Praying for the Victims in the Connecticut school shooting. This is happening too much. 18 children dead
Randy Jackson: Thoughts and prayers go out to those in Connecticut
Chris Cuomo: #Newtown kids as young as grade k may have been involved. Kids told to close eyes while running out. Pray for the families. #Newton story not abt the #'s. The magnitude is so great because so many kids involved. Killing kids is the worst result of violence.
Sophia Bush: My heart aches for Connecticut ....
Chad Johnson: Just seeing my news feed on the Connecticut shooting, what is going on, prayers to the families and students involved.
Kyle Richards: Omg. Just hearing about the school shooting. In shock. So incredibly sad.
Gilles Marini: Enough f***ing violence. Enough. How could a man killed anyone? Even more a child. I'm crushed! #Connecticut elementary school
Jenna Ushkowitz: My heart goes out to all the Families and children affected by the CT shooting. When will the violence end?
Kevin Spacey: Just heard about the shooting in Connecticut. My thoughts go out to all who are dealing with this sad news.
Adrienne Maloof: Terrible terrible news about the shooting in Connecticut. Sending thoughts and prayers to everyone involved....
Kristin Cavallari: The fact that there was a shooting at an ELEMENTARY school makes me sick. My thoughts go out to all the families
Martina Navratilova: There is no proper time to talk gun control except now!
Holly Robinson Peete: I'm following #SandyHookElementary shooting reports like it's MY child's school #parentsworstnightmare…
Lisa Rinna: Horrible news I just heard about the shooting in CT at an elementary school how can we stop this violence?!
Sherri Shepherd: ABC is reporting the shooter was 24 armed w 4 weapons wearing a bullet proof vest.this makes no sense. @ an elementary school? #Sandyhook
Michael Urie: GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION NOW. #enough
Albie Manzo: Absolutely heartbreaking story coming out of CT, I will never understand how someone could do such a horrible thing.
Teresa Giudice: On days like this, we should hug our children just a little bit tighter.
Marlee Matlin: #PrayForNewtown Pray for the children teachers and families. Pray for some sense out of this madness. I am numb as the numbers of the dead - children and adults - keep ticking up. #PrayForNewtown
Christina Applegate: There are just no words. Only sorrow. We are all shedding tears today for those families.
Karina Smirnoff: We need to pray for all the families affected by the Newtown, CT school shooting. Absolutely devastating....
Hoda Kotb: #prayfornewtown
Brandi Glanville: I can not believe this school shooting, what is wrong with people!!!! My heart is breakking for the kids and families.
Ashley Hebert: My heart is broken for these children/families in Newton. This is unimaginable.
Caroline Manzo: school shooting in Connecticut is heartbreaking - poor little babies - may God be with them all
Kristin Chenoweth: Well im hearing about this shooting in CT. Praying. Sending prayers.
DJ Pauly D: My Prayers Go Out To Everyone Affected By This Horrible Shooting In Connecticut
Melissa Joan Hart: How could someone be so evil as to kill innocent children at school? God Bless and watch over those families and children that witnessed it!
KhloéKardashianOdom: To harm children who are defenseless is truly disgusting. I'm in disbelief. #PrayforNewtown my heart truly goes out to EVERYONE affected
Julie Benz: Please pray for the families and victims of the horrible tragedy in CT.
Lisa Gastineau: How could ANYONE harm KINDERGARTEN CHILDREN!! Beyond insane-saddest thing I've ever heard #pain #prayers
Justin Bieber: heard about what happened in CT, my prayers go out to all those suffering in this tragedy. it'ss just wrong. Everyone please pray for them. #PRAYforCT
Jada Pinkett Smith: We have lost innocent lives to madness in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary today. My condolences to the entire community. Please join me in a three day fast in honor of the dead. Let us reflect upon what we can change in our homes and in our relationships with others to help bring an end to these kinds of atrocities in our communities. Life is about the quality in which we treat ourselves and...others.May love keep you ALL safe.
Captain Mark Kelly (husband of Gabrielle Giffords): I just woke up in my hotel room in Beijing, China to learn that another mass shooting has taken place - this time at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and the entire community of Newtown, CT. I just spoke to Gabby, and she sends her prayers from Tucson. As we mourn, we must sound a call for our leaders to stand up and do what is right. This time our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence. The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about our gun laws - and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America. This can no longer wait.
Oprah Winfrey: Dear Lord.. Help us to understand as we Stand with these families. Heal our broken hearts. #PrayForNewton
Bruce Jenner: My heart goes out to all those directly and indirectly affected by this senseless tragedy at a place that I hold very near and dear to my heart. I have the fondest memories of this beautiful town that I grew up in. As a father, I can hardly imagine what the community is going through. My prayers and condolences are with them all.
Alicia Keys: My heart is so heavy right now as I think of these innocent children, teachers, their families and community.