The media and airwaves were jammed with news today of a horrendous shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in which a heavily armed young man, whose identity is still in question, opened fire this morning killing 27 people, including 20 young children.
Reports this afternoon indicated that a young man entered the school, which housed children from kindergarten through grade four, and opened fire in a hallway and at least two classrooms before dying, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Shortly after 5 pm, NBC news identified the shooting suspect as Adam Lanza, 20, the son of a kindergarten teacher at the school. Earlier reports mistakenly suggested that Lanza's 24-year old brother, Ryan, was the suspect. However, the older brother later was located by police, and reportedly suggested that his brother suffered from unspecified mental health problems.
In an emotional statement to the nation this afternoon, President Obama not only promised "that I will do everything in my power as President to help" the individuals mourning the tragedy, but, in a sign of things to come, vowed that "we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."
Among the earliest responders to the scene, in addition to police and medical personnel, were local mental health professionals to provide counseling to shocked and grieving students, teachers, parents, family, and friends of the dead.