First Funerals Held For US School Rampage Victims

Posted December 17th, 2012 at 4:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Grief-stricken families have buried the first two young victims of a shooting rampage last week at an elementary school in the northeastern U.S.

Two six-year-old boys were laid to rest Monday, one of them a boy whose twin sister survived the massacre. Meanwhile, classes at the school in Newtown, Connecticut where the shooting took place were canceled, and it is not clear when or if the school will reopen. Other schools in the state of Connecticut reopened Monday with tightened security.

Police say the school building and a secondary site are being held as crime scenes. They say authorities are still examining evidence and interviewing witnesses.

At the first two memorials, mourners placed teddy bears, flowers and papers angels outside the funeral homes. More services are planned this week.

Twenty children and six adults were killed in the shooting attack at the small town school. Authorities say the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, shot himself when police approached the school where he was gunning down people. He is believed to have shot his mother at her home first and then taken her guns to school where he broke a window to enter.

All the adult victims were women, and included the school's principal, who reportedly tried to stop the shooter, and a teacher who is credited with saving lives by putting herself between students and the attacker.

The horrific shootings have sparked yet another debate on gun control in the United States. Several Democratic Party lawmakers have called for a new push to restrict sales of guns and ban military-style assault weapons.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the author of an assault-weapons ban that lapsed in 2004, said she will introduce new legislation this week.

Friday's attack was the second worst school shooting in U.S. history. The worst occurred in 2007, when a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Before that, the deadliest U.S. school shooting was the 1999 rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, where two teenagers killed 13 students and staff before killing themselves.