Schools Reopening in U.S. Town Where Mass Shooting Occurred

Posted December 18th, 2012 at 4:00 am (UTC-5)
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Students will begin returning to their classes, on Tuesday, in Newtown, Connecticut, the site of one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history.

Classes are resuming at all the town's schools except Sandy Hook Elementary, where a gunman opened fire on Friday and killed 20 children and six adults before taking his own life.

Town officials say counselors and police officers will be on hand as students and school administrators return. They also say plans are underway to relocate students who attended Sandy Hook to an unused school in the nearby town of Monroe.

Authorities believe the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed his mother at her home and then took her guns with him to the school. Lanza shot himself as police approached the school. Investigators say the motive for the shooting remains unclear.

Meanwhile, funerals are scheduled Tuesday for two six-year-old victims, James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos.

The first two young victims, six-year-old boys, were laid to rest on Monday. More services are planned this week.

Mourners have placed teddy bears, flowers and papers angels outside the funeral homes.

All the adult victims were women and included the school's principal, who is reported to have 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.