NEWTOWN, Conn. - The suspected killer of 20 children at a Connecticut elementary school shot out a glass entrance to get into the building, a law enforcement source told the New Haven Register, and then proceeded to continue shooting in two classrooms.
As this small Connecticut town mourned Saturday, teams of detectives continued to put together the mysterious pieces at the school where 26 people in all were allegedly killed by suspect Adam Lanza, going over "every crack and crevice of that facility," a state police spokesman said.
Lt. J. Paul Vance said detectives already had recovered "very good evidence in this investigation" that will help determine how and why 20-year-old Lanza attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School.
On Saturday, flowers and candles were piling up at the school's sign near that entrance. Jessica Henderson, who lives in Shelton but attended Newtown High School, teared up after leaving flowers with her boyfriend, Nick Verderame.
The scariest part, they said, is that it could have happened anywhere.
"It could have been my little brother," Verderame said. "At that age you don't realize what's going on. This is so real, it's so personal."
On Saturday, authorities released the names of those killed in the chilling massacre, in which Lanza killed his mother and 26 others before committing suicide inside a local elementary school. Friends and co-workers identified Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherloch as two of the victims.
The shooting Friday began just after 9:30 a.m. in the school about 60 miles northeast of New York City, setting off a nightmarish scene in which students and teachers hid under desks and in closets before being escorted to safety and reunited with their families.
Brenda Lebinski, who was still with her daughter, Sofia Lebinksi, a third-grader at the school, near the school on Friday night, said she is "going to count every blessing" that Sofia survived.
"I'm going to hug her, I'm not going to let her go," Lebinksi said. "I'm going to try to help the families and help the community as much as I can."
The death toll at Sandy Hook - 26 students and adults - made it the nation's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, where 32 were killed. Police said the suspected shooter, Adam Lanza, killed himself at the school, and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at her nearby home, bringing the overall toll to 28.
There were multiple reports that Lanza, who lived with his mother, woke up and shot her to death. Then, he took her car and drove to the school, and unleashed bullets in two classrooms. There were also multiple reports that Nancy Lanza worked in some capacity the school, but doubt was being cast on those reports Saturday afternoon and officials told the AP they couldn't establish a connection between his mother and the school. A law enforcement official speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity said investigators believe Lanza attended the school several years ago but appeared to have no recent connection to it. However, police were investigating whether Lanza was the person who had some kind of alteration with four staffers at the school on Thursday, NBC News reported.
A custodian ran through the halls, warning of a gunman on the loose, and someone switched on the intercom, alerting people in the building to the attack - and perhaps saving many lives - by letting them hear the hysteria going on in the school office, a teacher said. Teachers locked their doors and ordered children to huddle in a corner or hide in closets as shots echoed through the building.