As word spread of the magnitude of the tragedy in Newtown, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy talked on the telephone Friday with President Obama about the incident.
The conversation was part of the federal, state, and local response to the shootings and deaths of 28 people, including 20 children, at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown.
“The governor is in the room with the families,” Roy Occhiogrosso, Malloy’s senior adviser, told Capitol Watch shortly before 1:30 p.m. Friday. ”He is attempting to make sure they get the information they need. It is an unspeakable scene.”
Above, Malloy was headed to a nearby senior center in Newtown following the shootings.
Later Friday, Occhiogrosso said that Obama was “calling to express his condolences” and “pledged whatever resources” were necessary to respond to the tragedy.
State officials were reacting with shock and alarm to the shootings at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, where multiple people were killed this morning by a gunman.
Multiple media outlets initially reported that more than a dozen people were killed. Eventually, police said that 18 children died at the school, two more children died at the hospital, and six adults died at the school. In addition, the shooter died at the school, and another adult was found dead in Newtown.
House Republican leader Larry Cafero and Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams were both stunned upon hearing that 27 had been killed. Cafero put his hand over his mouth in an immediate reaction. Williams sat down after hearing the news.
Malloy headed immediately to Newtown, where he was there with his top staff members.
“The governor is on scene,” said Andrew Doba, a gubernatorial spokesman. ”He has spoken to the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, which has pledged any resources we need.”
The state departments of public health, education, mental health and addiction services, and the state police are all working on the incident.
Whitney Phillips, a spokeswoman, said, “Senator Lieberman and his staff are closely monitoring the situation in Newtown. The Senator’s and Hadassah’s prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy today. What is important now is to give the first responders and local authorities the support needed to address the situation as it changes and keep the community of Newtown safe.”
Incoming U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who represents Newtown as part of the 5th Congressional District, said, “As a mother, I can only begin to imagine what the students, parents, teachers and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary must be experiencing. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this horrific tragedy. While details are still emerging, I hope for the safety and well being of the children, teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary and for the Newtown community.”
U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, an East Hartford Democrat, said, “There are no words to express the horror of this senseless violence aimed at our children in what should be a safe place of learning. My heart aches, having children of my own, to think of what the families of the victims must be going through. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims of this tragedy and I know everyone will come together to help the community in this time of need.”
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes said, “Words cannot express the sadness and horror I feel at the horrendous shootings in Newtown. As father to two young girls, I don’t know how life would go on after the murder of my child or one of their teachers. But if community means anything, the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School are our children, as were the children of Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Aurora. I hope and pray that the flood of sympathy and condolences offered to the victims and survivors of this unspeakable crime will ignite the dedication and ingenuity of our nation to end this scourge of violence.”
(Photo of Malloy in Newtown by Hartford Courant reporter Denise Buffa).