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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:23

Newtown 911 calls show calm response to shooting

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Recordings of 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting show town dispatchers calmly responding to a janitor, a teacher and others and assuring them help is coming.

The operators urge the people inside the school to take cover as they reach out to town officials and state police for help. The operators also ask about the welfare of the children.

A gunman shot his way into the school on the morning of Dec. 14 and gunned down 20 children and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle. He committed suicide as police arrived.

The calls to Newtown police were posted Wednesday on a town website. A court ordered the release of the tapes last week, despite the objections of prosecutors, after a legal challenge by The Associated Press.

Published in National News

   HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Investigators are planning to release a long-awaited report on the Newtown school shooting, nearly a year after the massacre of 20 children and six women inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

   The summary report by the lead investigator, State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, could provide some of the first official answers to questions about the history of the gunman and the police response to one of the worst school shootings in American history.

   The Dec. 14 shooting plunged the small New England community into mourning, elevated gun safety to the top of the agenda for President Barack Obama and led states across the country to re-evaluate laws on issues including school safety.

   The report expected Monday afternoon will not include the full evidence file of Connecticut State Police, which is believed to total thousands of pages. The decision to continue withholding the bulk of the evidence is stirring new criticism of the secrecy surrounding the investigation.

   Dan Klau, a Hartford attorney who specializes in First Amendment law, said the decision to release a summary report before the full evidence file is a reversal of standard practice and one of the most unusual elements of the investigation.

   "What I found troubling about the approach of the state's attorney is that from my perspective, he seems to have forgotten his job is to represent the state of Connecticut," Klau said. "His conduct in many instances has seemed more akin to an attorney in private practice representing Sandy Hook families."

   Sedensky said he could not comment.

   Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother inside their Newtown home before driving to his former elementary school, where he fired off 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle within five minutes. He killed himself with a handgun as police arrived.

   Warrants released in March detailed an arsenal of weapons found inside the Lanza home. But authorities have not provided details on the police response to the shooting, any mental health records for Lanza and whether investigators found any clues to a possible motive for the rampage.

   Sedensky has gone to court to fight release of the 911 tapes from the school and resisted calls from Connecticut's governor to divulge more information sooner.

   The withholding of 911 recordings, which are routinely released in other cases, has been the subject of a legal battle between The Associated Press and Sedensky before the state's Freedom of Information Commission, which ruled in favor of the AP, and now Connecticut's court system. A hearing is scheduled Monday in New Britain Superior Court on whether the judge can hear the recordings as he considers an appeal.

Published in National News
Saturday, 01 June 2013 09:10

Memorial service planned for Nancy Lanza

KINGSTON, N.H. (AP) - A memorial service is planned in New Hampshire for the mother of the gunman who killed 20 students and six educators at a Connecticut elementary school before turning the gun on himself.

Adam Lanza shot his mother to death at their home just before his December rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

The police chief in Kingston, N.H., where Nancy Lanza once lived, says a memorial service is planned for her Saturday at First Congregational Church. He says only friends and family are invited.

A private funeral for Lanza was held in town less than a week after the Dec. 14 shootings.

Published in National News
St. Louis police are hoping education can help employers and schools prevent mass shootings on their grounds. So they've arranged for an expert to conduct a pair of free seminars Friday - one for business and one for educators.

The department-sponsored sessions will be conducted by police Major Joe Spiess. Spiess began studying mass shootings in 2010 after the ABB shooting in north St. Louis that left four people dead, including the gunman.

Spiess told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his research led him to focus on what he calls the "Mr. Uncomfortable" who exist in almost every workplace or school. Spiess acknowledges that most "Mr. Uncomfortables" don't lash out, but he says, ignoring one can be deadly.

Spiess recommends using committees to handle anonymous reports about potential problems and installing panic alarms.

The seminars will be Friday, Febreuary 15 at Ameren corporate headquarters on Chouteau. The Workplace violence prevention session is from 8:00 a.m. to noon. A second seminar on school violence prevention will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 is the registration deadline. Space is limited.

To register, send an e-mail to registration@slmpd.org, specifying which session and listing place of employment and supervisor's name and contact information.
Published in Around Town

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