CRIME
12/17/2012 11:32 am ET

Sandy Hook Crime Scenes: Police 'Indefinitely' Seize All Sites Connected To Shooting

Connecticut State Police announced Monday they will be holding all crimes scenes connected to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for the foreseeable future, while they investigate the horrific mass murder.

"[We have] seized the crime scenes under search warrant [and are] holding on to them indefinitely," Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance told reporters at a midmorning news briefing.

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Vance said it could take months for investigators to complete their examination of the crime scene at the school -- where police say 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 children and adults -- and the Newtown, Conn., home -- where investigators say Lanza killed his mother, 52-year-old Nancy Lanza.

"State police crime detectives have been working 24 hours a day since this tragedy occurred ... [They are] processing the evidence. Every single round of ammo will be analyzed for evidence -- each singular round," Vance said, referring to the task as a "painstaking process."

Vance declined to detail any of the evidence investigators have recovered to date, but did say Adam Lanza's electronic devices are being examined for clues to a possible motive.

"The computer crime unit [is] working nonstop examining any evidence seized, whether it be cell phones or computers ... We will certainly dissect [them]," he said.

Police say Lanza forced his way into the school around 9:40 a.m. Friday, about 30 minutes after the school day began. Lanza fired his weapons at least 100 times. The victims -- 12 girls, eight boys and six adult women -- were shot up close multiple times, police said.

Authorities have since confirmed that two adults who suffered gunshot wounds survived and are recovering at the hospital. Their names have not yet been released.

Investigators are still determining a timeline in the case to establish when Lanza's mother was killed.

SANDY HOOK SHOOTING PHOTOS: (Story Continues Below)

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

Vance declined to discuss any other details of the shooting spree.

"I simply don't want to go any further with that," he said. "The faculty and staff in that school did everything they possibly could to protect those children ... The families in this situation are really our focus right now."

Vance also declined to discuss any possible psychological or medical conditions Adam Lanza may have suffered from. He did, however, say local authorities had no prior contact with Lanza and had not received any reports of concerns about Lanza on behalf of the public prior to the shooting.

A second police briefing has been scheduled for 12 p.m. Monday.

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12/17/2012 4:43 PM EST

Details On Funeral And Burial Process

The president of the Connecticut Funeral Director's Association said the funeral and burial process for Newtown victims, which began Monday with the separate burials of Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto, who both were six-years-old, is unlike anything he has seen before.

"I've unfortunately seen lots of kids who have died," said Pasquale Forino, 46, who runs Neilan Funeral Home in New London, Conn. "But this truly shakes your foundation to the core, and in a small town like Newtown, they need lots of help to handle this week of burials."

Forino and a group of morticians who have volunteered have driven to Newtown every day since Friday to help tend to families who are grieving and prepare arriving bodies for viewings and burials. The main funeral home in the town, Honan Funeral Home, is handling the process for 11 victims. Of those, Forino said he has worked on three -- all kids.

"It's not about me, it's about the families and victims. But it still affects us," he said. "We do what we can do to take care of the families. We'll deal with our own emotional needs later."

--HuffPost's Jaweed Kaleem

12/17/2012 4:42 PM EST

Officials: Local School Building Will Be Safe For Sandy Hook Students

Sandy Hook School students will be attending Chalk Hill School in Monroe, CT as an alternative education facility in the wake of the shooting. Monroe police answered questions during a press conference briefing about the preparations of the building for use by Sandy Hook Elementary School, and outlined how police officers will keep children safe and secure on their first day back to school.

12/17/2012 4:41 PM EST

Time to Rise Up and Say 'Enough' to Gun Violence

Via Patch:

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, a New Jersey columnist urges people and politicians to fight for stronger gun control laws.

"Every time there is a mass shooting, we shake our heads and bemoan the tragic violence. We wonder aloud why our elected officials cannot stanch the flow of weapons. We rue the fact that there are so many troubled individuals out there, desperate for help and poised to commit terrible crimes, for no apparent reason. But nothing ever changes," she writes. "This holiday season, can we all rise up as one and say ENOUGH?"

12/17/2012 1:57 PM EST

NH Sen. Shaheen: 'We Need to Get Assault Weapons Off Our Streets'

Via Patch:

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, issued a statement Monday in the wake of last week's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., saying it's time to get assault weapons off the streets.

"After a heartbroken weekend where the nation grieved with the families of Newtown, it's time for elected leaders to come together and determine what we can do to help end the culture of violence that is leading to these tragedies," Shaheen said. "We need a comprehensive approach that includes improving access to mental health services, better enforcement of our current laws, and we need to get deadly assault weapons off our streets."

12/17/2012 1:56 PM EST

NIH Study: Only 1/2 Kids In U.S. With Severe Mental Illness Get Treatment

A nationally representative face-to-face survey of more than 10,000 teens ages 13-18 turned up alarming findings about their access to professional mental health care.

Only about one-third of those with any lifetime mental disorder got professional help, and just half of those severely impaired by mental disorders received professional help, the study found. State and federal efforts to increase youth mental health services aren't working, it said. Racial and ethnic minority youth were least likely to get help, the study found.

-- HuffPost's David Wood

12/17/2012 1:54 PM EST

Crowds Forming at Services for Sandy Hook Victims

Via Newtown Patch:

Lines are forming outside funeral homes in Newtown, Fairfield and Monroe, CT as people assemble to pay their respects to three 6-year-olds who were among the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14. In Newtown, services for Jack Pinto, 6, are set to start at 1 p.m. In Fairfield, mourners gathered for services for Noah Pozner, 6.

A wake is scheduled today in Monroe for James Mattioli, 6. The three 6-year-olds are the first of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to be laid to rest. Funeral services for the other victims will take place tomorrow and Wednesday.

12/17/2012 1:53 PM EST

Westboro Baptist Church Member: Legalizing Gay Marriage 'Brings the Shooter Like it Did in CT'

Via Patch:

The controversial Westboro Baptist Church has announced plans to protest outside of the Anne Arundel Circuit Court on Jan 2.—the first day same-sex couples will be able to wed there. "On that day the court starts committing that abomination that brings the shooter like it did in Connecticut," said Shirley Phelps-Roper, the daughter of the church's founder.

She also made headlines this weekend when she claimed via Twitter that Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, was sent by God. She told Annapolis Patch, "God keeps sending the shooter."

12/17/2012 1:53 PM EST

AFT Urges Michigan Gov. Snyder To Veto Gun-In-Schools Bill

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and AFT Michigan President David Hecker on Sunday urged Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Sunday to veto legislation that would allow concealed firearms in schools and other locations.

The tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, is a “chilling and heartbreaking reminder” that “firearms have absolutely no place in our schools,” they wrote. “Gov. Snyder, please show the kind of leadership that students, families, educators and community members need to be as safe as possible in their schools. You can set an example for Michigan and the nation by taking this small but significant step to reduce gun violence by vetoing S.B. 59.”

View the letter here.

12/17/2012 10:23 AM EST

Small Acts Of Kindness

@ TVMarci :

Wow. Someone from CA just called the #Newtown General Store saying she wants to buy coffee for everyone in town. Every cup is billed to her

@ TVMarci :

Clerk @ #Newtown General Store started crying when woman offered to pay for every coffee purchased today. What an amazing #actofkindness

@ TVMarci :

This sign now hangs in front of the #Newtown General Store. Thank you, Tom Cabanaugh! #actofkindess http://t.co/DsLk5B2W

12/17/2012 10:20 AM EST

Police: Suspicious Person Puts Ridgefield Schools On Lockdown

From Patch:

Reports of a suspicious person at the Branchfield train station in Ridgefield Monday morning brought out police and placed all local schools on lockdown. Authorities, along with a K-9 unit, are canvassing the area after receiving a report of a man with an unknown item slung over his back. Police were first informed of the suspicious person at about 9 a.m.

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