People in the small Connecticut community of Newtown grieved on Saturday over one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history and police sought answers about what drove a 20-year-old gunman to slaughter 20 children at an elementary school.
The attacker, identified by law enforcement sources as Adam Lanza, opened fire on Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which teaches children aged 5 to 10. He is suspected of killing 26 people at the school before turning the gun on himself, as well as killing one other person at another nearby site.
Police said the other adult was found dead at a related crime scene in the town. Many media outlets reported it may have been the shooter’s mother, Nancy Lanza, who legally owned a Sig Sauer and a Glock, both handguns of models commonly used by police, and a military-style Bushmaster .223 M4 carbine.
Law enforcement officials believe Adam Lanza used at least some of those weapons.
Nancy Lanza was an avid gun collector who once showed him a “really nice, high-end rifle” that she had purchased, said Dan Holmes, owner of a landscaping business who recently decorated her yard with Christmas garlands and lights. “She said she would often go target shooting with her kids.”
Crime-scene investigators worked through the night, and state police said they hoped to have more information by Saturday morning, including confirmation of the victims’ identities.
President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to join in solidarity as they mourned the victims, saying the hearts of parents across the country were “heavy with hurt.”