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Gunman Had Ammo To Kill All Students

Lanza carried hundreds of rounds; school has 670 enrolled

December 17, 2012
By MATT APUZZO Associated Press Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

NEWTOWN, Conn. - The gunman in the Connecticut shooting rampage was carrying an arsenal of hundreds of rounds of especially deadly ammunition - enough to kill just about every student in the school if given enough time, authorities said Sunday, raising the chilling possibility that the bloodbath could have been far worse.

Adam Lanza shot himself in the head just as he heard police drawing near to the classroom where he was slaughtering helpless children, but he had more ammunition at the ready in the form of multiple, high-capacity clips each capable of holding 30 bullets.

The disclosure on Sunday sent shudders throughout this picturesque New England community as grieving families sought to comfort each other during church services devoted to impossible questions like that of a 6-year-old girl who asked her mother: "The little children, are they with the angels?"

Article Photos

AP Photo
David Freedman kneels with his son Zachary, 9, both of Newtown, Conn., as they visit a sidewalk memorial for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims Sunday.

With so much grieving left to do, many of Newtown's 27,000 people wondered whether life could ever return to normal. And as the workweek was set to begin, parents weighed whether to send their own children back to school.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said the shooter decided to kill himself when he heard police closing in about 10 minutes into the attack.

"We surmise that it was during the second classroom episode that he heard responders coming and apparently at that decided to take his own life," Malloy said on ABC's "This Week."

Authorities said they found hundreds of unused bullets at the school, which enrolled about 670 students.

"There was a lot of ammo, a lot of clips," said state police Lt. Paul Vance. "Certainly a lot of lives were potentially saved."

The chief medical examiner has said the ammunition was the type designed to break up inside a victim's body and inflict the maximum amount of damage, tearing apart bone and tissue.

By late afternoon, President Barack Obama arrived to console families and speak at a vigil for the 26 dead.

Newtown officials couldn't say whether Sandy Hook Elementary School, would ever reopen.

"We're just now getting ready to talk to our son about who was killed," said Robert Licata, the father of a boy who was at the school during the shooting but escaped harm. "He's not even there yet."

Jim Agostine, superintendent of schools in nearby Monroe, said plans were being made for students from Sandy Hook to attend classes in his town this week.

The road ahead for Newtown was clouded with grief.

"I feel like we have to get back to normal, but I don't know if there is normal anymore," said Kim Camputo, mother of two children, ages 5 and 10, who attend a different school. "I'll definitely be dropping them off and picking them up myself for a while."

Also Sunday, a Connecticut official said the gunman's mother was found dead in her pajamas in bed, shot four times in the head with a .22-caliber rifle. The killer then went to the school with guns he took from his mother, got inside by breaking a window and began blasting his way through the building.

As churches opened their doors, federal agents checked out dozens of gun stores and shooting ranges across Connecticut, chasing leads they hoped would cast light on Lanza's life.

Investigators have offered no motive for the shooting, and police have found no letters or diaries that could shed light on it.

At a Mass at St. Rose of Lima, the priest stopped midway through the service and told worshippers to leave, because someone had phoned in a threat. Police searched the church and the rectory but found nothing dangerous.

 
 

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