Screams 'Over The Intercom,' Then The School Went Into Lockdown
NBCNEWS.COM - The first that some pupils heard of the mass shootings Friday at their
Connecticut elementary school was when screams started coming over the
intercom system, according to accounts from the scene.
Twenty children, all ages 5 to 10, and six adults were killed when a
masked gunman opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in
Newtown, Conn., authorities said. The gunman was later found dead, a
federal law enforcement official told NBC News.
"You can never be prepared for this kind of incident," an
emotional Gov. Dan Malloy said, his voice shaking as he recounted the
assault on "a number of our citizens, beautiful children, as well as the
adults whose responsibility is to educate those children."
brother of a little girl who made it out of the school safely told NBC
30 of Connecticut that his sister told him that her class knew something
was wrong "when she heard screams — screams were coming over the
intercom and the school went on lockdown."
As the children were being led out of the school, state troopers and
FBI agents told them to "hold hands and close their eyes until they
outside," said the unidentified young man, "so obviously what was in
there must have been very gruesome."
"It truly is disgusting. It's sickening," he said. "Unfortunately, it's a growing trend in the United States."
Another pupil said everyone "went into a total panic" when they started hearing the gunshots.
was going back to my classroom," the boy said. "Then I heard something
like a person was kicking on a door. Then I turned around and I saw
smoke. ... Then a teacher pulled me into her room."
Asked what his reaction was amid the chaos, the boy said simply, "Whoa."
father of a Sandy Hook pupil said he had "no words that I could come up
with that could come close to describing the sheer terror of hearing
that your son is in a place, or your child is in a place, where there's
"You don't know the details of that violence. You
don't know the condition of your child, and you can't do anything
immediately to help them or protect them," he said.
"That is a powerless and terrifying experience."
A staging area for parents to reunite with their children was set up at the neighboring firehouse.
"I was in the gym, and I heard, like, seven loud booms, and the gym
teachers told us to go in a corner, and we all huddled, and I kept
hearing these booming noises," a young girl said.
"We all started —
well, we didn't scream — we all started crying, so all the gym teachers
told us to go into the office where no one could find us," the girl
"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."
children who witnessed this are terribly traumatized," said Msgr.
Robert Weiss of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, who went to the
firehouse to offer support and comfort.
"They're crying, they're
trying to hold on to their parents, they want to go home, but they don't
want to leave their friends," Weiss told MSNBC.
"Right now, I'm
in a room full of parents who are waiting to hear what happened to their
kids," he said. "The anxiety in this room is just overwhelming."
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:43 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:43:51 GMT
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