Police identify Newtown victims as mostly first graders | News | DW | 16.12.2012
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Police identify Newtown victims as mostly first graders

Connecticut's Chief Medical Examiner has revealed that all 20 of the young victims of the school shooting in the town of Newtown were first graders aged six or seven. Six women who worked at the school were also killed.

Dr. H. Wayne Carver said in a press conference on Saturday that the violence was "the worst I have seen."

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Newtown Connecticut mourns victims of school shooting

Carver oversaw all the autopsies on the victims of the school shooting and personally conducted seven of them. Twenty-six people were shot dead in Friday's shooting. The shooter also took his own life.

The autopsies revealed that the shooter had used a Bushmaster .233 semi-automatic rifle to kill the victims. Carver said he believed all the victims had been shot multiple times. The bodies he examined had between three and 11 gunshot wounds.

"All of the wounds I know of at this point were caused by the long weapon," Carver said, referring to the assault weapon.

Details emerge

It was previously believed the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, had used two pistols to carry out the killings. The pistols were found along with the rifle at the crime scene at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Autopsies on him and his mother - who was shot at the home they both shared before the school shooting took place - have yet to be completed.

Previous reports that Nancy Lanza was a kindergarten teacher at the school have proven to be false.

Police have also released the names of the victims. In addition to the students, six women between the ages of 27 and 56 who worked at the school were killed.

Obama to visit

On Saturday, some family members of the victims came forward and shared what they have been going through.

Robbie Parker, whose six-year-old daughter Emilie was one of the victims, told reporters Emilie was a "bright, creative and very loving" girl.

"My daughter Emilie would be one of the first ones to be standing and giving her love and support to all those victims," he said.

Peter Lanza, the gunman's father, released a statement saying "our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy," adding that "no words can truly express how heartbroken we are."

White House spokesperson Jay Carney said in a statement that President Barack Obama would travel to Newtown on Sunday to "meet with the families of those who were lost and thank first responders."

Obama is also scheduled to speak at an interfaith vigil, Carney said.

mz/ch (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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