UPDATE: Reports indicate 20 children were killed in the assault.
The Hartford Courant is reporting that 27 people are dead, including 18 children, as a result of multiple shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Frenzied parents gathered Friday at a fire station near the school. The person suspected of the shootings is dead, the Associated Press has stated. It is currently not clear whether the shooter’s death was caused by a self-inflicted wound or by police.
The masked shooter reportedly opened fire in the main office of the school during an administrators’ meeting. According to the Courant, many of the shootings took place within a kindergarten classroom.
Crying children who were holding hands were reportedly told to “close their eyes” as they were led outside by police officers past the school office.
Danbury Police Chief Al Baker brought in extra officers to Danbury Hospital to manage the “chaos expected as parents and media arrive.” Police are planning a press conference for early Friday afternoon.
Children from the school were evacuated to the firehouse, where parents were picking them up. All schools in the district are all in lock down, and Sandy Hook Elementary School is barricaded.
AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks