At least 27 were killed when the gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, 20, began shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning.
The killer died at the scene and the body of his mother, Nancy Lanza, shot in the face was found at his family home, The Telegraph reports.
Dressed in black, and apparently wearing a bullet-proof vest, Adam used weapons including two handguns — a Glock and a Sig Sauer — and a 233 Bushmaster rifle was found not far from the school.
The school is attended by about 700 children from kindergarten to the fourth grade, of the age from 5 to 10, and many of the victims appeared to be the smallest ones.
After shooting his mother at his home, the 20-year-old drove her car to the school where she worked, walked into her classroom around 9.30 am and opened fire. Six adults and 18 children were shot at the place and two children died in hospital.
Some students rescued through nearby woodland and back yards. Other survivors being shocked were led to safety in a line with their hands on the shoulders of the child in front.
“I was in the gym,” one young pupil recounted to reporters outside later. “We heard lots of bangs and we just thought it was the custodian knocking things down. But then we heard screaming.”
“And so,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion, “we moved to the wall, and sat down. Police ran in and said, ’Is he in here?’ Teachers said to get to a safe place, so we went into the closet.”
Brenda Lebinski said that her eight-year-old daughter had been among children saved by a teacher who locked them in a closet.
“My daughter’s teacher is a hero,” she said. “Everyone was in hysterics – parents, students. There were kids coming out of the school bloodied.”
Reuters informs that more than 12 hours after the bloody massacre, police began removing the bodies from the school and bringing in parents to make identifications.
Newtown, an small sleepy town about 60 miles of New York City, was mourning its dead in community vigils.
“We’re just praying – just need to pray to God that this does not happen again, no matter where,” Amelia Adams, 76, said on her way into St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church with her husband Kenneth, 81.
The town’s church was packed inside and out on Friday with a crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people.
“It was just, it was brutal. I can’t think of a better word. It was just brutal, to have to witness the pain today,” Monsignor Robert Weiss said after the service.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy told reporters that he never thought something would happen that would remain the grief he and others felt after the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
“Evil visited this community today,” the governor said.
President Barack Obama addressed the nation on television and appeared to weep as he said: “Our hearts are broken today.”
Referring to the dead children, he added: “They had their entire lives ahead of them. There is not a parent in America who does not feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.”