Bodies of shooting victims are removed from elementary school

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- State officials moved the bodies of those slain in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School as officials on Saturday prepared to give new details about the rampage that left 20 children and six adults dead there.

The bodies were sent to the state medical examiner for autopsies to determine the manner and cause of death, state police announced Saturday morning.

Earlier Saturday, speaking on CBS’ “This Morning,” Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said the bodies were removed from the school after investigators worked through the night to complete the identification process.


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Vance was scheduled to give more details on the victims and the suspect at a news conference scheduled for 8 a.m. Eastern time. The news conference, however, was delayed with no reason given.

Officials have said that 20 children were killed in the Friday morning attack. Eighteen children were pronounced dead at the school and two died were pronounced dead at a Danbury, Conn., hospital.

Six adults were pronounced dead at the scene, officials have said. The suspect, Adam Lanza, killed himself at the school after having killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, a teacher at the school, at their home -- bringing the death toll to 28.

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Reporters gathered at the news conference site as the sun rose. The road was blocked off and a big banner over Highway 84 read: “sandy hook elementary school we [heart symbol] you.”

Less than 24 hours after the shootings, the town was still reeling. Vance said grief counselors have been provided to families, and will be available to those who responded to the scene.

“Crazy can happen anywhere,” said Colleen Bryant, who teaches at another elementary school in Newtown. She said the strict security measures, which include requiring all visitors to wear badges and all people picking their kids up from school to sign them out, can’t prevent every tragedy.

“Everyone did what they were supposed to do,” she said.


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Susman reported from Newtown, Conn., and Quinones from Los Angeles.