Conn. Governor Speaks At Mass For Shooting Victims
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And joining us now from Newtown, Connecticut is Craig LeMoult of member station WSHU. And, Craig, what's the latest on the investigation?
CRAIG LEMOULT, BYLINE: Well, as you heard Lieutenant Vance say right there, 18 children were pronounced dead on the scene, two in the hospital and six adults dead. They have not yet confirmed the name of who the shooter was or the name of any of the victims. Apparently, he, as you just heard, was the son of the teacher at that school there. And it's just a terrible tragedy for everybody here in Connecticut, that's for sure. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The mother of the gunman was not a teacher at the school; she was the adult found dead elsewhere.]
SIEGEL: I understand that you've been on the scene since this morning. What's it been like?
LEMOULT: Yeah, I arrived this morning when we heard the news. There's a fire station just around the corner from the school that was being used as a staging area. The scene was basically gridlocked between all of the emergency vehicles that were there - fire and ambulance and police - and all the parents who, many of who were just ditching their cars and running towards the school and the firehouse to collect their children.
I talked to several parents and to several kids who just seemed very relieved to be connected, to be there with one another safe. Some of the kids described to me that they had heard banging. They didn't know what it was. They were told it was a lockdown. The kids actually knew what a lockdown was. I guess they've practiced this in earlier years. And they went through a coat closet before they were being evacuated. I understand that they held hands, that they ran out of the school and that's what we know right now.
SIEGEL: Craig, tell us a little bit about what kind of a place Newtown, Connecticut is and how the community has been reacting to this today.
LEMOULT: It's a small community. It's part of the Newtown, Connecticut - Sandy Hook is where this happened. And I think that, you know, it's a suburban community, almost rural, really, in its nature and it's a beautiful little town. And I think the people are just shocked. The people I talked to, you know, said what you hear unfortunately all too often when we have these kinds of things happen, that, you know, they just can't believe that it happened in a town like this.
There's a little cafe just down the block from where the school is and they had a sign out that usually, I think, probably has menus and things like that, but today, there was just the words, say a prayer. And I think people are just completely in shock and I think there's just going to be an enormous amount of grief in this community.
SIEGEL: Now as we heard from State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance earlier there, they're being very careful about releasing details, about releasing names because their actually getting search warrants, looking at all the places that might be conceivably related to this event. But what more do you think we can expect to learn this evening in later briefings from the police?
LEMOULT: You know, I think it's going to be a little while before they really unravel all of this. I'm hoping that we can get some kind of identification on the name of this shooter and also the teacher who evidently was his mother. We'll be waiting to hear that. And, you know, over the next few days, I think the names of all the victims are going to start trickling out and we're going to start hearing the stories of these lives that were tragically cut short today.
SIEGEL: Okay. Well, Craig, thank you very much for reporting and for talking with us.
LEMOULT: No problem.
SIEGEL: That's WSHU's Craig LeMoult speaking to us from Newtown, Connecticut. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.