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Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM   |   0 comments

Sandy Hook school closed indefinitely

NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Newtown, Conn., school were 26 people died in a mass shooting Friday, will be closed indefinitely, officials said.

The grim task of burying the victims of Friday's massacre was to begin Monday, with funerals of two 6-year-old boys, Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner, CNN reported.

Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said faculty and staff from Sandy Hook -- where 20 children and six adults were shot to death Friday before alleged shooter Adam Lanza killed himself -- planned to meet at Newtown High School Monday to discuss how the district will move forward, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Other funerals were scheduled throughout the week.

"It's incomprehensible, the pain here," Darla Henggeler told CNN. "You can't imagine. We're still in shock. I can't let my heart go there because it's so overwhelming. I think once it settles in, I think my heart will break."

Other schools in the district were to resume classes Tuesday, but Sandy Hook Elementary School will remain a crime scene and has been seized under warrant, Vance said.

Authorities also seized the home where Lanza allegedly killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, before going to the school.

Vance said Lanza, 20, had no prior contact with police in Newtown before the shootings and authorities were examining every aspect of his past.

"We will go back to the date of birth," Vance said. "We will answer every single question."


NRA silent on Connecticut school shooting

NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Organizations and lawmakers favoring tighter gun laws have been outspoken after the Connecticut grade school massacre, but the gun lobby has been silent.

Nothing has been posted on the National Rifle Association's website since November, well before Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In Newtown 20 children and six adults died before the suspected shooter, Adam Lanza, killed himself. Police said Lanza also killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, before going to the school.

A check of the NRA's Twitter and Facebook pages also indicate no recent postings from the lobbying group. ABC News reported NRA deactivated its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Lanza used a Bushmaster .223 semi-automatic rifle to kill the children and adults. Two handguns were also found at the scene, but law enforcement officials described the Bushmaster as Lanza's primary weapon.

News reports indicated several of the guns, including the ones used in the massacre, were registered to Lanza's mother.


Suspect taken in Topeka cop shooting

TOPEKA, Kan., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- A suspect was taken into custody Monday in the shooting deaths of two Topeka, Kan., police officers the day before, officials said.

The suspect, identified as David Edward Tiscareno, 22, of Topeka, was removed from a home after a standoff with law enforcement officials, WDAF-TV, Kansas City, Mo., reported.

The condition of Tiscareno -- or whether he was dead or alive -- was unknown, WDAF said.

Police said Tiscareno allegedly shot Cpl. David Gogian, 50, and officer Jeff Atherly, 29, Sunday evening outside a Dillons grocery store when they responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Gogian and Atherly were shot in the head and taken to area hospitals, where they died, officials said.

Police said Gogian has been with the Topeka force since 2004 and Atherly started in April 2011.

"It's a tragedy," Police Chief Ron Miller said Sunday during a news conference. "It's clearly beyond words. It's unspeakable, almost, about why this happens."


Dukakis likely interim successor to Kerry

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis could be the interim successor to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, if Kerry is tapped to be secretary of state, insiders said.

President Obama reportedly will nominate Kerry to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has announced she would step down next month, The Hill reported Monday.

Dukakis, 79, has remained politically active since his unsuccessful run as the Democratic presidential candidate against George H.W. Bush in 1988. He recently campaigned for Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat who won a hotly contested Senate seat. He teaches at Northeastern University.

Kerry is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Observers indicate the Democratic contest for Kerry's seat will be strong and that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, is expected to fill the seat with someone who would pledge not to run in the special election.

"He'll most likely appoint a placeholder. A lot of people speculating that's Mike Dukakis," Jim Spencer, president of the Boston-based Campaign Network political consulting group, told The Hill. "That's the most obvious choice. Everybody thinks it's Dukakis."

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