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Initial Responses to Reports of School Shootings

Initial Responses to Reports of School Shootings

Ambulances arrive at the scene of the shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Ambulances arrive at the scene of the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

A period of grieving and mourning has begun for victims of the shooting on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that claimed the lives of 27 people, including 20 children.

Police and medical examiners were continuing their investigations on Saturday, and the names of the victims had not yet been released to the public. Police identified the gunman as Adam Lanza, 20.

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy called for flags to be flown at half-staff in recognition of the tragedy, his office announced on Friday.

As soon as he heard about the attack, Rabbi Sholom Deitsch, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Ridgefield, Conn., jumped into his car and raced over to the one-story firehouse near the school where families, officials, counselors and clergy were gathering. “I texted everybody I know personally to make sure they were okay,” he said. He reported that the governor spoke with him at the firehouse, saying “Rabbi, today is Chanukah, it was supposed to be a brighter day.”

Deitsch said that he tried to share some words of inspiration with the governor. “Chanukah is a time that light overpowers the darkness,” he said. “We will get through this as a community,” he told the governor, as parents, friends and family members anxiously awaited news about their loved ones. "But for the families, the tragedy is unfathomable. We will be there for them," concluded Deitsch.

Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach, director of Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest Connecticut, found out about the shootings on Twitter and immediately contacted area parents, some of whose children attend the local Chabad Hebrew School. He said that three children he knew of were in the school at the time of the shooting, but were not injured in the attack.

“It’s a very, very horrifying and sad day for the state, and especially for any parents or grandparents,” he said. “Our prayers are with the victims. There are no words to articulate the pain and suffering that all are going through, and we just hope and pray that those that are hurt should have a full recovery, and for those who are grieving, that G‑d should show them true comfort.”

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Anonymous sakaka,saudi Arabia December 17, 2012

victims of school shootings Every time the Menorahs and celebrations of lighting candles bright all over the world;the evil powers try to overshadow the festivals with clouds of darkness,but in vain. i do express my strong sympathy with the famlies,parents and friends of the loved ones,may their souls rest in peace. Reply

Eddie scyffore December 16, 2012

school shooting May the grace, care and love of Hashem be with the families who have lost loved ones. Shalom. Reply

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