Update: Sources now indicate that the shooter is Adam Lanza. Earlier, law enforcement officials mistakenly said the shooter was his brother, Ryan Lanza.
Adam Lanza has been identified as the shooter in the deadly attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in which at least 27 people died, 20 of them children between the ages of five and 10.
According to NYTimes, Lanza, 20, was the son of a kindergarten teacher at the school.
His mother, Nancy Lanza, 52, lived in Newtown and was shot and killed by her son. He then shot students in her class, several adults, and finally himself.
Lanza was previously from Hoboken, N.J., and lived in Sandy Hook, Conn. before the shooting. Law enforcement officials searched a New Jersey home where a relative of Lanza’s lived. They believe that relative was also killed by Lanza.
Several media outlets have reported that the relative’s body was his father, Peter.
The shooter entered Sandy Hook wearing dark clothes, a mask, a bulletproof vest, and was carrying four guns.
At 10:30 am, President Obama was briefed on the incident.
Obama gave an emotional nationally televised address about the shooting. He had to take a few moments to compose himself before saying, “They had their entire lives ahead of them: birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”
“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in these past few years and each time I learn the news I react not as a president but as anyone else would as a parent and that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.”
Students described the scene as loud and horrifying. One 9-year-old student was in the gym when the shooting began.
“We were in the gym, and I heard really loud bangs,” the boy said, as he shivered and wept outside of the school beside his father.
"We thought that someone was knocking something over. And we heard yelling, and we heard gunshots. We heard lots of gunshots. We heard someone say, ‘Put your hands up.’ I heard, ‘Don’t shoot.’ We had to go into the closet in the gym. Then someone came and told us to run down the hallway. There were police at every door. There were lots of people crying and screaming.”
Another student told NBC that they, too, heard loud booms and people crying. This student also explained that gym teachers told them to go into a corner of the room and huddle. They then told them to go into an office where they couldn’t be seen.
After the call was made to authorities, Newtown police were immediately on the scene and began looking for the shooter.
At the scene, 18 students were pronounced dead while two others were taken to hospitals and later declared dead.
Managing editor of CNN.com, Meredith Artley, said someone at the school provided her with a thorough explanation of the shooting, explaining that the first noises she heard were popping sounds. The sounds prompted three people to enter the hallway, but only one person came back. The vice principal was shot in the leg or foot and came crawling back.
The woman explained that she crawled under the table and called 911. While she never saw the shooting, she explained to Artley that there “must have been a hundred rounds.”
There are about 626 students enrolled in kindergarten through fourth grade at the elementary school, and 46 faculty members.
This shooting comes just two days after a gunman in Oregon shot and killed two people at an Oregon mall.
Police are continuing to investigate the matter and the elementary school has closed for the day.