'They had their entire lives ahead of them'

Published: Dec 16, 2012, 08:32 IST | Agencies |

US President Barack Obama wiped tears and spoke of his grief as the authorities scrambled to piece together the mayhem at a Connecticut elementary school where 28 people, including 20 children, were shot dead

Twenty out of the 28 people who were gunned down at a Connecticut elementary school by a heavily armed young man — identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza — were kids aged between five and 10.

US President Barack Obama (below) mourned the death of 28 people who were slaughtered by a gunman in Connecticut yesterday. People gather for a prayer vigil at St Rose Church. Pics/ AFP 

“There’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same grief that I do,” Obama said, visibly struggling to keep his emotion in check.

“The overwhelming majority of those who died today were beautiful children, who had their entire lives ahead of them. Birthdays. Graduations. Weddings. Kids of their own,” he said.

“Our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers, of these little children and for the families of the adults who were lost,” Obama said.

Among the seven adults killed were Dawn Hochsprung, the school’s principal, and school psychologist Mary Sherlach. A 28th person was found dead in a house in the town. That victim, believed to be shot by Lanza, according to a law enforcement official, was Nancy Lanza, a teacher at the school and his mother.

As the killer went on a rampage, there were tales of heroism. Maryrose Kristopik, a music teacher, saved 20 children from being shot dead. She said prayers and told them: “I love you”. 

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