December 14th, 2012
04:43 PM ET

Connecticut school massacre: A living hell

This morning, a group of people gathered around a table in a meeting room at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

The topic was a struggling second-grader. Attendees included the mother of the child, the principal, the vice principal and the school psychologist.

It was about 9.30.

"Pop. Pop. Pop."

That's what the mother of the second-grader said it sounded like.

The sound was coming from the hall.

The principal, the vice principal and the school psychologist left the room, and went into the hall.

The mother ducked under the table and called 911.

"I cowered," she said.

"He must have shot a hundred rounds," she said. Asked if literally, unbelievably, it was a hundred rounds, she said, "At least."

"Just shooting and shooting and shooting."

The vice principal came back into the room with an injured foot, the mother said.

She never saw the shooter.

She saw bodies, though. She said two adults were dead in the hallway, in a pool of blood.

"They marched us out, right past them," she said.

"They had to walk these children past a pool of blood."

How would this happen? She wondered aloud. "It's a locked school; you have to be buzzed in."

"It was a living hell" she said.

Read more about the slain principal, Dawn Hochsprung

Here's our full story on the massacre

And this live blog shows how the news and reaction came in

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Filed under: Connecticut • Gun violence
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. sarah

    I just have one question...what is our country going to do about how come these people with mental illnesses can possess firearms?

    December 14, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Devin S.

      Absolutely nothing, just like with the other mass shootings. Politics will always take precedence.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan in NH

      The answer is HIPPA. Mental records can not be accessed during the mandatory firearms background checks done in every state.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      Ask the NRA.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • krehator

      Okay and how do you identify them? What kind of mental illness? Are people banned forever, even for a short bout of depression. Marked for life? What about the people who do not seek professional health? What about the people who cannot afford it?

      Sounds real simple but it is not.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • RapidOne

      Yep, ask the freaking NRA. Protecting their money interests over those of you and your childrens'.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Porter

      There should be no question about affording healthcare. The question is, how many more massacres can America afford?

      December 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rokihsa

      NRA's fault really? What about the monsters fault? What about the family not instilling some form of morals into this monster? What about the school not securing the property correctly?

      December 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobbynou

      The guy took his mom guns to kill innocent people including her. REDUCE GUN CONTROLS + STOP SHOWING VIOLENCE ON TV AND BAN VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES + PARENTS STOP DRINKING AND FOCUS ON YOUR KIDS, TAKE TO CHURCH + LETS ALL PRAY BECAUSE WE ARE LIVING THE LAST DAYS.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Adrienne

    Sarah it's called gun control.

    December 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarah

      Yes, agreed. And home schooling keeps sounding better and better.

      December 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • yessireee

      We have some really good gun control here in oakland and 122 have been murder this year alone. That the equivalent of 5 of these shootings every year here. Of course the murdering is done a couple at a time and not usually by "evil white males", so the media doesn't really think its important.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • krehator

      Yes, because creating a law will stop criminals..... Please check the dictionary and get a definition of criminal. They are the guys/gals that DO NOT obey laws.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • RapidOne

      It takes time and the effort to rid ourselves of WAAAAAAY too many guns. Look to Canada, Britain, Germany, etc etc... and look at the crime rates and gun deaths compared to ours. Seriously, folks, LEARN TO THINK.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • mke

      how would gun control helped the guy in china that just stabed 22 people huh ???????? such n easy fix huh?

      December 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned_parent

      @yessireee, thank havens for having gun controls. If not oakland would have been a butcher shop. Haveing gun controls just in oakland is not effective cause Oakland is not faraway from US to get guns from other places. Gun controls should be uniformly implemented across all states.

      December 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lance Raaen

    This is TERRIBLE!!!! I live in Canada and I have to say.....when will the two governments realize that NO ONE should have a gun!
    Now, I do have to get this off my chest. I know that there is a thing called "freedom of the press" and that reporters will do anything to get "the story". However, this morning, three of your CNN reporters went way over the line. One reporter (female) at the news room and two reporters (one female and one male) at the scene were "heartless" First, how did these reporters get to the victims before the "professionals" who deal with this?????? People were just killed and your reporters were interviewing 6, 7 and 8 year old kids!!!!!!!! Asking them what they say.......asking what the vice-principal looked like when he came crawling back into the room.........Asking them how they felt!!!!!!!!!! Alot of words to describe these reporters come to mind.....but the main words are.... "YOU HAVE NO SOUL" Your staff have gone over the line to "get the story".
    And finally, why do your staff have to feel like they are the police and are helping????? At 2:00 pm (5:00 pm your time), the police were not releasing the killers' name.....yet, this morning one of your female reporters gave the name over the air!!!!!! (Wolf even had her spell the guys name). I wish the police would lay charges to the grounds of interferring in an investigation.

    Thank you for listening to "My Opinion". I hope that, if there is a next time, that these reporters "think" of the victims first before "their story". Also, the government has to put more restrictions (muzzles) on reporters.

    December 14, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • maggie

      Lance love your reply about governments needing to get together about gun control; but whether our media is shocking in its lack of compassion or not; the real story is covering how guns get into the hands of people who don't need them (that would be everyone), and why, when we live in a democracy, citizens stand by and let it happen over and over.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • stickyhumid

      Actually, this isn't too far from the mark.
      The media is providing the killers with EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT! The media may as well pay killers to create these sensational news stories.
      Not sure about this particular killer, but many.... like the one in Oregon.... was probably WELL aware that he would become a household name THANKS TO THE MEDIA.
      Yes. Heartless is a word that can be used.
      Mass killings would be far rarer if they media were into SELF control even if we had zero GUN control.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Monica

    This is why no one, and I mean no one should be able to own a gun!

    December 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Knippel

      Absolutely right, in the same way ALL RELIGION should be banned because a few nut cases twist it around in their minds and use it as an excuse to kill people.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      Are you Serious. Let only Criminals have guns. Good Choice. Guns did not cause the horrible event. It was a person. Takings Guns away from the world does not stop this. I feel so bad for the families. I can not begin to imagine how they feel.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • krehator

      Good luck convincing CRIMINALS of that. I know.....only the law abiding citizens should pay for what criminals do.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      How naive..

      December 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alice Sylvester

    This is simply the worst aspect of America! It's appalling and hideous. Shame on us. When are we going to take control of the gun situation? Get rid of the guns. Round 'em up! Turn them all in! Jail anyone found owning or carrying a gun. Whatever it takes - just do it.

    Trust me, the Chinese aren't going to storm the borders the next day. We don't need a militia. we don't need guns in the hands of citizens any more.

    December 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • krehator

      You might hurt someone's feelings with that statement. Maybe we should take away your right to free speech.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Laurie

    Why are our schools not secured!! What more will it take?

    December 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laurie

      Maggie, Gee, thanks for setting me straight on that. So you're not for securing our schools. Hmmmm.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. maggie

    Laurie it's not lack of security in schools; it's lack of gun control laws; there is nothing stopping anyone from giving guns to anyone they want no matter what permitting/registering laws require.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. maggie

    Who gave the gun and ammo to the shooter?

    December 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Judy

      His mother did! She obviously wasn't of a sound state of mind herself. She was infatuated with guns.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ctl

    Horrific tragedy. Could've happened with a knife like it did in a school in China today. We should outlaw knives. Oh, let's outlaw cars too because in 80% of states more people die in car accidents than from guns. Just sayin'.

    All we can do for now is pray for the families of the victims.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      Yes. This person could just as easily have killed dozens of people with a knife as with a gun. ...Not.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike in Indy

      Both are horrible. I'm thankfull all the children in the China tragedy will go home to their parents. Not the case in Conneticuit where a gun was used...

      December 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Yes, both are truly tragic incidents. And nobody died in China in that knife attack. Please look it up yourself. Innocent kids died here in this gun attack. So, you are really making a very strong case for banning guns.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned_parent

      @Mikes, There is one thing I see among all these gun propoents. That is their inability to think. Their brain is dead

      December 14, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fiona

    Wait...the mother who was in that meeting - where was her child????

    December 14, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pat

    If a nut job like this one wants to cause harm, They can/will do it no matter what. Take the guns, he will use a knife, take knifes he will use a car, take the car he will use a rope. Get it, no matter what there always will be something that can cause horrible damage to a group like this. Again I feel horrible that this happened.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • rixter

      Pat - I agree with you... much like yourself a nut job, A nut job can only kill a limited number of people with their weapon of choice, would you rather face a nut job with a rope or a gun? If I was going with the intent to kill as many school kids as I could, my weapon of choice would not be a knife, rope or car.... you ask the parents of these kids given the choice today what would they pick? guns kill, crazies kill, crazy people with guns kill more!!!!

      December 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • shk

      exaclty take the guns and he will use a knife, and alot more people will be alive. guns do alotttt more damage. there is no way to eliminate the possibility of death, but that does not mean it cant be controlled to a certain extent.

      December 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • concerned_parent

      Guys, let us solve this problem. Let us pit against people like pat and criminals with guns. Who ever wins that weapon mode should not be allowe in US. This way can get rid of two problems. One will put rest to which is dangers in the hands of people. Two would put an end to irrational minds

      December 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Al

    Ohhhh c'mon, it a lot easier and faster to gun down 30 people than to chase them with a knife.......... there really is no comparison. He could gun down 30 people in seconds

    December 14, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bkgrandma

    Are there any Democratic Senators in Washington who will try to pass a bill outlawing automatic weapons?
    We know that the Republicans are owned by the NRA so they won't do it. This has to stop and "we the people" have to insist that gun control happens.

    December 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Gurgyl

    Criminal has gun, why not we–is a BS argument...

    December 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chris

    I'm not in a favor of everyone owning guns. I'm considering getting permit to carry gun. In old cowboy days, I"ll bet no could do this with out getting shot

    December 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
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