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Connecticut School Shooting: Update

Last updated on Monday, December 17, 2012

(NEWTOWN, CONN.) - Newtown, Connecticut, was full of grief, full of horror and - despite the emergence of new details - full of questions Sunday, two days after a school shooting massacre rocked the New England community.

CNN reports, the latest developments about the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when Adam Lanza killed 26 people - 20 of them young children - before taking his own life:

Remembering the victims

* President Barack Obama met privately in Newtown with relatives of those killed to offer condolences. He is among those set to speak at a nighttime vigil at Newtown High School.

* Funerals for shooting victims Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto, both Sandy Hook students, will be held Monday at noon and 1 p.m. respectively, according to the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association.

* Jessica Rekos' family described the 6-year-old -- one of those killed on Friday -- as a "creative, beautiful little girl" and their "rock." "She had an answer for everything, she didn't miss a trick, and she outsmarted us every time," the family said, detailing Jessica's love of horses and playing with her two little brothers. "We can not imagine our life without her."

* Prinicipal Dawn Hochsprung's 30-year-old daughter Cristina Hassinger wrote on Twitter, "My mom, Dawn Hochsprung, was taken tragically from me. But she went down in a blaze of glory that truly represents who she was." Hochsprung was one of the seven adults, including Lanza, killed inside the school Friday.

* Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered his "condolences and sympathy" in light of the Connecticut mass shooting. "I hope that one day, we witness all nations living together in a world filled with love, kindness and friendship," he said in a statement reported by Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.

Evacuations and threats

* St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown was evacuated Sunday after a "violence threat." About 500 people were inside the church at the time, said Brian Wallace, a spokesman for the diocese in Bridgeport. The church was checked and, eventually, reopened, though by then all Sunday activities had been canceled.

* Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance later referenced that and perhaps other incidents in saying, "Anyone who harasses, threatens or intimidates or interferes with the investigation - utilizing any social media of any type relative to this horrific crime - will be fully investing and fully prosecuted to the extent of the law."

What happened at Sandy Hook

* Adam Lanza has been positively identified as the shooter, with Vance, the state police spokesman, saying Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself with a handgun.

* Vancy also announced that authorities have identified the woman found dead in a Newtown home as Nancy Lanza, the shooter's mother. She suffered "multiple gunshot wounds," and her death is considered a homicide, Vance said. Nancy and Adam Lanza lived together in the same house.

* Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15 "assault-type weapon" at Sandy Hook school, Vance said. He fired "multiple magazines" - each with 30 bullets - from that weapon.

* Lanza shot his way into the school; he wasn't buzzed in through the security system recently implemented by Principal Dawn Hochsprung. "He penetrated the building by literally shooting an entrance into the building," Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said. "That's what an assault weapon can do for you."

* The governor said Sunday that he broke the news to families in Newtown -- some of whom had waiting around a firehouse for hours, "clinging to hope" -- that their loved ones were not among the dead. "You can never be prepared for that," Malloy told CNN.

The gun control debate

* Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, vowed on NBC's "Meet the Press" to introduce a bill on the first day that the new Congress convenes to ban assault weapons.

* In his sermon at Washington National Cathedral, the Rev. Gary Hall offers a similar sentiment and urges action by religious leaders nationwide. "The entire American faith community can no longer tolerate this persisting and escalating gun violence against our people," Hall said. "Enough is enough."

* And in Newtown, a grassroots citizen's group calling itself Newtown United holds its first meeting. The group's aim is to compel national political leaders -- whom its members accuse of doing little or nothing about things like gun control and mental illness after other mass shootings -- to make changes after Friday's massacre.

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