NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) – A shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday left at least 26 people dead, including 18 children, CBS News reports.
A law enforcement official in Washington said the attacker at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a 20-year-old man with ties to the school and that one of the guns was a .223-caliber rifle.
The official also said that New Jersey State Police were searching a location in that state in connection with the shootings. That official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak on the record about the developing criminal investigation.
This isn’t the only public shooting to occur this week – a masked gunman wearing camouflage opened fire Tuesday in a busy Portland, Ore. mall, leaving the gunman and two others dead and forcing the mall’s Santa Claus and hundreds of Christmas shoppers and employees to flee or hide among store displays.
Of the three people shot by the gunman, who was identified as 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, only one survived – 15-year-old Kristina Shevchenko. She remained in serious condition as of Wednesday
Police said Roberts had no connection to the two people he fatally shot and wanted to kill as many people as possible, according to AP.
Many – in particular those who are in support of more stringent gun legislation – have drawn parallels between these gun-related attacks to other large-scale school shootings that took place in the United States, most notably those at Columbine High School in Colorado and Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
The 1999 high school massacre resulted in multiple deaths after students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire, killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school’s library. On the Blacksburg college campus, Seung-Hui Cho, 23, killed 32 people and himself on the Virginia Tech campus.
The Friday morning shooting in Newtown is the second most devastating attack on an establishment of learning in the United States, in regards to the amount of people killed. The worst was a 1927 bombing of schools in Bath, Mich., which ultimately took the lives of 38 elementary school children. Two teachers and four other adults also died in the bombings, as well as the bomber himself. In addition, 58 people were injured.
Two mass shootings also took place just this past summer, at a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colo. in July and the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wis., in August.
A total of 12 people died in Colorado, and 58 injured, during a premiere showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the suspected hands of James Eagan Holmes, the 24-year-old former graduate student at the University of Colorado who has been charged with the killings and injuries. In Wisconsin, six people were killed by Army veteran Wade Michael Page and three were wounded. Page subsequently took his own life after sustaining a gunshot wound from a police officer.
Last year also saw its share of shootings. Last January, a gunman killed six people and wounds 13 others, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in a shooting spree outside a grocery store in Tucson, Ariz. Doctors say Jared Lee Loughner, who has been sentenced to life in prison, suffers from schizophrenia.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence compiled a list of shootings that have taken place since 2005 that have resulted in the death of more than one person. The list presently has 431 shootings, according to the Daily Mail.
The Brady Campaign additionally shared a with the Daily Beast a map detailing where shootings have occurred over the past seven years. The data shows that a shooting occurs approximately every 5.9 days.
This morning’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary is the only documented shooting within 25 miles of Newtown, Conn., according to the map. Additionally, Daily Beast learned that Chicago was ranked as the deadliest city during this time period with a reported 17 shootings logged since 2005, which led to 30 deaths and 72 injuries.
CBS Chicago reported on nine-hour period in late August of this year, during which 19 people were injured and eight murdered in the span of one night.
And at one point last spring, the city’s murder rate was up about 60 percent over last year, mostly due to gang feuds in some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods. More recently, murders were up about 25 percent.
The most recent entry on the list is from another school shooting in February of this year, in which three students at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio died. It was one of five incidents of shots fired in a school in 2012.
According to “The Bully Society” by Jessie Klein, school shootings in the United States are on the rise, Slate is reporting.
School shootings that took the lives of over a dozen people have also occurred outside of the United States, such as in the 1996 Dunblane massacre in Scotland where Thomas Hamilton, 43, murdered 16 kindergarten children and their teacher in elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and then kills himself., and the Enfurt massacre of 2002, where an expelled student of Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Enfurt, Germany killed 13 teachers, two former classmates and policeman, before committing suicide.
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