NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT— Investigators piecing together the terrible events that claimed the lives of 26 people – 20 of them children – have discovered some “very good evidence” that could help them determine what caused the mass shooting, police said Saturday.
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Lt. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, told reporters that detectives were continuing to process the crime scene at Sandy Hook Elementary School in order to “peel back the onion, layer by layer.”
Asked if officers had recovered any writings or e-mails from the person who stormed the school and went on one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history, Vance refused to say what had been recovered, but called it helpful.
“Our investigators at the crime scene – the school, the secondary crime scene – did produce some very good evidence our investigators will be able to use,” Vance said.
Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook elementary in the small town of Newtown claimed the lives of 20 students and six adults. The shooter, who has been named as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, is also believed to have killed his mother at the family home before driving to the school and ultimately killing himself. It is one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
Police refused to confirm Lanza’s identity. Vance said the state medical examiner had formally identified the dead, and said their next of kin had been formally notified. Police have assigned a support officer to each family, who have asked the media to respect their privacy.
“They are going through as I know you understand a very difficult and trying time,” Vance told reporters. “I’m pleading with you. As you know this is an extremely heartbreaking, difficult thing for these folks to endure.”
Newtown is a community of nearly 28,000 people an hour and a half northeast of New York City. Many of the residents commute to cities like Stamford, Conn., or White Plains, NY – and even into the city. It’s the kind of place people choose to live because of the sense of community, the pretty houses, and the good schools.
Vance said the processing of the crime scenes – both inside the school and out, including all the vehicles in the school lot – will be “a long, painstaking process.” Three teams are working the scenes, and Vance refused to say how long it could take before the scenes were cleared.
Police also revealed Saturday that the shooter was not allowed into the school, as had previously been thought.
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