Since before 10 a.m. Friday, the Web has been abuzz as people learned about a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
On Twitter, people shared, retweeted harrowing details as the events unfolded; sentences such as “an entire classroom is dead” and “one entire classroom is unaccounted for” drew widespread attention as the death toll climbed.
Early afternoon, the Associated Press was reporting that 27 people died including 18 children, making it one “largest and deadliest in recent U.S. history.”
Hashtags such as #PrayforNewton and #PrayforSandyHook trended rapidly as people called on President Obama to start a national discussion on gun control. Others railed against reporters interviewing children. And many mused that as we approach close out Hanukkah and approach Christmas, parents should tell their children NOW that they love them and that the children of Sandy Hook will need more than presents, but the presence of caring people who can counsel them after this tragedy.
But more said that the shooting made them want to drop what they were doing to pick up the kids from school. And others asserted that not the time for politics, but for prayer.
Updated: 3:43 p.m.:
With red eyes, he paused and wiped away tears as President Obama spoke at the White House briefing room Friday afternoon.
“Our hearts are broken today,” he said.
“I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between five and 10 years old.”
President Obama, after listing shooting in 2012, said, “These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children.”
He closed by saying, “May God bless the memory of the victims.” He didn’t take any questions.
Related content from On Faith:
* Stanley: In tragedy we grieve; in God, we hope
* Thistlethwaite: God weeps: 27 children, staff killed in Conn. school shooting