First school shooting victims buried

Dec. 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM
share with facebook
share with twitter
1 of 9
| License Photo

NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Townspeople in Newtown, Conn., Monday began burying the 26 victims of last week's massacre at an elementary school -- two 6-year-old boys.

One eulogizer at Jack Pinto's funeral said the boy commanded attention as soon as he "arrived into this world," The New York Times reported.

"Who could ignore that beautiful energy, the sparkle in his eye, or that spirit that clearly said, 'I am here and I am something special'?" asked Mary Radatovich, a family friend.

Pinto and Noah Pozner were the first of the funerals for the victims of the slaughter inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in which 20 children and six adults died, before shooter Adam Lanza killed himself Friday. Police said Lanza also killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at the home they shared before he went to the school.

Police on Sunday officially confirmed Lanza, 20, was the killer in all 27 deaths before he shot himself.

Also Monday, investigators said it could be months before a complete account of the events up to and during the shooting spree on the school is available.

Connecticut State Police spokesman J. Paul Vance said investigators still had to talk to many witnesses, including two adults who wounded during the shooting at the school, as well as analyze the ammunition and details of the weapons.

When asked about reports that authorities were analyzing a computer hard drive taken from Lanza's home, Vance declined to comment, but said computer specialists were available if investigators needed them, the Times said.

Police said most of the shots Lanza fired were from a .223 Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle. Lanza had a 10-millimeter Glock and a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer. A shotgun was found in the car.

The guns were legally bought and registered by Lanza's mother, who sometimes took her son shooting ranges, law enforcement officials and the mother's friends said.

Because the school has been seized as a crime scene, Sandy Hook students will attend school at another facility in a nearby community, police said. It was unclear when, or if, the building would reopen.

Authorities also seized the Lanzas' home.

Vance said Monday the faculty and staff at Sandy Hook did all they could to protect the children, and that the emergency responders' arrival also saved lives.

"It broke our hearts when we could not save them all," he said.

At the White House, press secretary Jay Carney said Monday there is no single answer to the complex issue of gun violence.

"It's a complex problem that will require a complex solution. No single piece of legislation, no single action will fully address the problem," Carney said, repeating the gist of Obama's comments on the matter. "So I don't have a specific agenda to announce to you today. I would simply point you to what the president said last night about moving forward in coming weeks. And I would look for him to do that."

Repeatedly saying he had no specific policy outline, Carney said Obama supports reinstating the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

"I think that it's important to remember that this is about our gun laws and enforcing them, but it's also about a broader series of issues, including issues of mental health and education and -- and the like," Carney said.

"So the president's position on the assault weapons ban has not changed. He still supports its re-enactment," the spokesman said. "But, you know, you'll hear from him, I think, as he said last night, in the coming weeks to -- to speak more specifically about what he thinks we can do moving forward."

In Newtown, all schools in the district were to resume classes Tuesday except for Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Meanwhile, school buses brought students to Branchville Elementary School in Ridgefield, Conn., after police declared the school safe following a report of a man carrying what appeared to be a rifle along a road near the elementary school, The Ridgefield Press reported.

A modified lockdown at other schools in the area was lifted as well.

The Press said unconfirmed reports later indicated the man was going to work with an umbrella slung over his shoulder.

During a multifaith memorial service Sunday at Newtown High School, President Obama vowed to "use whatever power this office holds" to stop massacres like the one in the Connecticut community.

"No single law, no set of laws, can eliminate evil from the world -- but that can't be an excuse for inaction," Obama said. "Surely, we can do better than this."

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories