NEWTOWN — Six more victims of the Newtown school shooting were honoured at funerals and remembrances today, including the school principal who was killed with 20 of her students and five other staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The massacre of so many children, most of them just six or seven years old, has shocked the United States and the world, renewing debate over gun control in a nation where the right to bear arms is protected by the Constitution and fiercely defended by many.
Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter, carried hundreds of rounds of ammunition in extra clips and shot his victims repeatedly, one of them 11 times. He also shot and killed his mother before driving to the school, and then killed himself.
The family of Principal Dawn Hochsprung invited mourners to visit at a local funeral home this afternoon, though the burial was due to be private at an undisclosed time.
Another of the teachers, Victoria Soto, was among those to be buried at a funeral today.
Funerals were also scheduled for six-year-old Charlotte Bacon, seven-year-old Daniel Barden and six-year-old Caroline Previdi, while the family of seven-year-old Chase Kowalski invited mourners to a public visitation and prayer vigil.
The surviving children from Sandy Hook Elementary faced another day at home as school authorities and parents made plans for an eventual return to a different location – the unused Chalk Hill School in nearby Monroe, where a sign across the street read, “Welcome Sandy Hook Elementary!”
At Sandy Hook itself, well wishers and mourners had left tributes such as candles, flowers and stuffed animals. A heavy rain that fell most of yesterday had soaked many of them and extinguished some of the candles, leaving a smell of burned wax in the air as police continued their investigations inside.
They have said the investigation could take months and have revealed nothing yet about Lanza’s motive.
Well wishers came to the town from as far afield as Iowa. Beth Howard said she had driven 17 hours from Eldon, Iowa, in an effort to do whatever she could to help. She joined a group of people from New Jersey who decided to bake pies for residents of the town to show their solidarity and support. (Reuters)