[Updated on 12/14/12 at at 6:23 p.m. to correct that the name of the shooter, identified by a number of news orgainizations as Ryan Lanza, has been corrected by those news outlets, and that the shooter was actually his brother, Adam Lanza, 20.]
Local and network television outlets suspended regular programming this morning to report on a mass shooting in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Details were still emerging at midday Pacific time, but media sources said at least 27 people, including at least 18 small children, were known to be dead, with the number of dead potentially as high as 30.
No motive for the shooting was known. The shooter was identified as Adam Lanza, 20, and some reports indicated his mother worked for the school and was among the victims.
NBC News reports: “Students — mostly under age 10 — described the terror that gripped Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown when the rampage began around 9:30 a.m., sparking a massive police response that included SWAT officers going room to room to search for victims.”
Many of the victims were reportedly in a kindergarten classroom.
One young student told an NBC reporter: "I was in the gym and I heard a loud, like seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in the corner, so we all huddled. And I kept hearing these booming noises. And we all … started crying.”
"All the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us," the young girl added. "So then a police officer came in and told us to run outside. So we did and we came in the firehouse and waited for our parents."
A number of people were wounded in the shooting. “Bracing for a large influx of wounded, Danbury Hospital went on lockdown and cleared four trauma rooms,” NBC News reported. “It received only three patients, including a teacher shot in the foot, the Associated Press reported.”
NBC News added: “Two 9mm handguns were recovered from the scene, an official told WNBC’s Jonathan Dienst. The Associated Press said one of the guns was a .223-caliber rifle.”
Many broadcast outlets in Los Angeles — both English-language and Spanish-language — continued to pre-empt regular programming as of midday to provide coverage of the shooting.
The death toll was thought to be the highest in a school shooting in the U.S. since a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007. The shooting also brought back memories of a 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which two teenagers killed 13 people and wounded 24.