Posted on | December 14, 2012 | 55 Comments
UPDATE 6:20 p.m. ET: Nearly everything originally reported about the gunman was wrong, as Ace of Spades notes. Reports had ID’d 24-year-old Ryan Lanza as the shooter, but now it is reported that in fact the shooter was his 20-year-old brother Adam Lanza:
According to a report from ABC News, neighbors of the Lanza family “described Adam Lanza to ABC as ‘odd’ and displaying characteristics associated with mental illness.”
It is unclear who makes the accusation, but ABC is updating with new reports here.
PREVIOUSLY (12:15 p.m. ET)
Shortly before 10 a.m. ET, there was an incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 12 miles from Danbury.
The early information indicates that the school’s principal was the target of the attack. It was initially reported that three people have been wounded or injured and one person, the suspected shooter, is dead. We have additional reports from ABC News and the Hartford Courant, but I emphasize that early reports on events like this can be often be confusing and/or inaccurate.
A 1 p.m. ET press conference has been scheduled.
UPDATE: Chicago Tribune:
Multiple people have been killed in a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. Police said some of the shooting victims are children, but it is not clear if they are among the dead. An official with knowledge of the situation says a gunman is dead.
NBC News is reporting that 20 people have been shot, including some children. It is not known how many are dead and how many are wounded.
UPDATE II: Now being reported by NBC News that, according to law enforcement, 17 adults and 7 children have been shot dead. I repeat that early reports can be inaccurate or confused.
UPDATE III: The death toll is now reportedly at 26 — 18 adults and 8 children — and I’m watching this on MSNBC, where they’re alternating between reporting the news and advocating gun control. As far as the news half of their programming is concerned, it is being reported that the shooter was 20 years old and was dressed in all black. As far as the opinion/advocacy:
Blaming guns for school shootings is like blaming spoon manufacturers for Michael Moore’s obesity.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) December 14, 2012
I’m trying to update the actual news here, and it’s not made easier by having to listen to idiots like Andrea Mitchell rhetorically bathing themselves in children’s blood in order to advance a political agenda.
UPDATE IV: There were “several fatalities at the scene,” Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said at a press conference in Newtown. Both students and staff of the school were among those dead, as was the shooter.
Lt. Vance did not give information about the shooter, nor give a number of those dead or wounded in the incident. He said that the first 911 call came “just after 9:30 a.m.. When state troopers and local police arrived on the scene, they “immediately entered the school” and began a thorough search for the gunman, Lt. Vance said, emphasizing that officers’ first priority was the safety of the children.
Lt. Vance added that are now “many agencies working together” to investigate this atrocious crime, explaining that search warrants have been used to gather additional evidence.
UPDATE V: It is now being reported that police have found the body of one of the 20-year-old gunman’s parents at a home in New Jersey. Summarizing more from The Hill:
Twenty-seven people including 18 children were killed Friday in a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, according to the Associated Press. . . .
NBC news reported the gunman at the school was a 20-year-old man from Connecticut who carried two handguns. Law enforcement authorities were continuing to search the school and it was not clear immediately whether the gunman — who is dead at the scene — acted alone.
At this time, it is unknown when, how or why the gunman traveled to New Jersey and then back to this school in Connecticut.
UPDATE VI: OK, sources are now telling WNBC in New York that the shooter was actually 24 years old, not 20. His father’s body was apparently found in Hoboken, N.J., and that his mother was a teacher at the school in Connecticut.
The gunman’s name is being reported by MSNBC as Ryan Lanza, and reports also that Lanza’s mother is among those slain at the school.
UPDATE VII: The earlier report about a parent being killed in New Jersey was, apparently, incorrect: The gunman’s mother was shot dead in Connecticut, not in New Jersey, according to the latest reports from NBC. Lanza’s mother was a kindergarten teacher at the school, and it is reported that most of the dead children were in her classroom. Meanwhile, it’s being reported that Lanza’s attack on the school involved three weapons, a rifle and two 9mm pistols.
UPDATE VIII: Just now, one of my 20-year-old twin sons came by the house to help with the family Christmas tree. The TV was reporting this crime, which was the first he’d heard of it. “Twenty-seven people? What the hell happened?”
“Evil,” I said, and made the darkly sarcastic suggestion that Congress would pass the “Evil Control Act of 2013” to outlaw evil.
Dark sarcasm is just a habit, and perhaps not the best way of expressing my frustration toward idiots (like Alex Wagner of MSNBC) whose reaction to news like this is to share her cheery enthusiasm for new federal gun-control legislation.
What a pathetic soul. Ace of Spades has an excellent contemplation on why pathetic souls are capable of evil:
[A] certain form of intensely narcissistic psychopathy . . . spurs people to kill everyone close to them rather than just . . . suicide. . . .
nutters see themselves heroically, sort of as bigger-than-life agents of mayhem and evil. Now that may sound like a bad thing to you, but it doesn’t sound bad to them: They’ve embraced it. . . .
Yes, Evil is horrible, but these guys are embracing it for the Power of it. Because they are failures and hopelessly inadequate in their own lives, they contrive a fantasy in which they become Dark Heroes — larger than life and big as death — by murdering a lot of people. . . .
Read the whole thing. There was just another press conference in Newtown, and it was reported that there 20 children dead and 6 adult victims at the school, plus the shooter, as well as another victim at an “ancillary” scene, which we may guess was the shooter’s father.
UPDATE IX: Twitchy has a good round-up of tasteless remarks about today’s shooting made on Twitter by various celebrities, among them CNN’s Piers Morgan (who was hashtagging #GunControl) and Michael Moore, about whom my personal regard is just slightly higher than my opinion of Ryan Lanza.
My own previous outburst on Twitter, I actually rather regret, but decided to include it so that I could put it in context: I was sitting here trying to update the news as quickly as I could and, while NBC’s news reporting about the crime was very good, it was being sandwiched in between irrational lectures about gun control from Andrea Mitchell and others.
Focusing on the gun as The Source of Evil is simply absurd, an idea so false it deserves to be ridiculed at every opportunity. And so, after more than an hour of this on MSNBC — “We now interrupt our breaking news for another tendentious lecture about the need for new gun-control laws” — I simply felt an overwhelming urge to mock those useless assholes. Perhaps this wasn’t the appropriate time or venue for such mockery, and I apologize to anyone offended.
Except that fat fool Michael Moore, who can kiss my ass.