Vigils held across state for Connecticut residents to grieve
By WFSB Staff
NEWTOWN, CT (WFSB) -
The Newtown United Methodist Church was open all Friday after the news that someone had shot and killed 27 people including 20 children at an elementary school less than a mile away.
Connecticut State Police have confirmed that 28 people including 20 children and the gunman as well as another adult at a secondary scene are dead after a shooting inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning.
Church officials said they made themselves available because they knew residents would be in shock and need somewhere to go.
"How could someone do this to our kids," asked one parent in Newtown.
It's the question on everyone's lips in town as grieving residents walked past the Christmas nativity scene for comfort, and prayer.
"You see the blank faces of people as they come through the church doors not knowing what to do and what to say," said Brad Tefft of Newtown. "People who are trying to give comfort to others. They don't know what to say either. You just hug them... And pretty much share that quiet."
In the small town, residents are turning to each other. Parents picking older students up safely from the high school just wanted to hug their kids.
"The crying came for all the little ones that are still there, mom and dads that are still there," said mother Linda Jones. "I can't wait to hold my little one. Sorry, it's just sad."
During the shooting, students at the high school were in lockdown for about two hours. They said they were sitting silent in the dark, not knowing where else that shooter may go.
"After the lockdown was over, everyone was in the lobby crying and making sure everyone was OK," said freshman Laurel Jones.
As churches across the town and the country open their doors for vigils. Some here wonder how they'll ever move on.
"It's just going to be something you're never going to forget," said Caitlin Tefft of Newtown
One mother told Eyewitness News she knew it would just get worse, as they start to realize who these victims were. In this town, the woman said it's almost guaranteed they knew some of the dead.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >
It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >