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August 21st, 2013
10:20 AM ET

Georgia Elementary School Shooting

The suspected gunman who entered a Georgia elementary school Tuesday, heavily armed and opening fire on police, is now in custody.

Witnesses say 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill told them he wasn't afraid to die.

While no one was injured in the shooting, hundreds of young students were fearful for their lives as they ran for safety when gunfire erupted in their school.

The lone gunman took office workers hostage inside, telling them to call a TV station with a chilling message.

WSB Assignment Editor Lacey Lecroy says, “He wanted us to start filming as police died.”

“The gunman fired at police, maybe a half dozen times,” CNN’s David Mattingly reports. “Officers returned fire, when suddenly, the gunman gave up.”

One office worker, Antoinette Tuff, asked him to put down his weapons and convinced him to surrender and told police he was giving himself up.

“Police searched the suspect's car for explosives,” Mattingly says.

“Children had to be escorted to buses away from the school as a precaution before being reunited with their anxious parents.”

Parents complain they were not properly notified and that many heard about it on local news.

“After they put the school on lockdown and they secured the kids, the parents should have been called immediately, right then and there,” Grandmother Celisa Raysor says.

While parents express new fears about their children’s security, students are set to go resume classes today at a nearby high school and return to their regular school building tomorrow.

Follow along at CNN.com as the story develops.

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Filed under: School • Security • Shooting
March 22nd, 2013
07:15 AM ET

Manhunt underway for suspect who fatally shot 13-month-old in stroller in Georgia – Nick Vallencia reports


Police responding to a 911 call in southeastern Georgia found a baby boy shot dead and a mother with a leg wound Thursday morning.

The incident in Brunswick prompted a search for two young male suspects, one between 13 and 15 years old, and the other possibly as young as 10.

While the mother said she was the victim of an attempted robbery, police said they had not identified a motive so far. They did not provide any other details of the alleged crime, other than to say that after the "senseless act," both suspects fled on foot.

The mother, who was treated and released from a hospital, told CNN affiliate WAWS that she was walking her 13-month-old in his stroller Thursday morning when the two youths approached her and demanded money.

CNN's Nick Vallencia reports on the search for the two youths accused in the shooting.

 READ MORE: Georgia mom says 2 kids shot her, killed her baby boy

Filed under: Crime • Shooting
March 19th, 2013
08:06 AM ET

Police: Fmr. UCF found dead in dorm room, planned a larger attack at school – Ed Lavandera reports

This morning, CNN has new developments in the apparent suicide of a former student at the University of Central Florida. Police were called to a UCF dorm early Monday morning by a student who said his roommate had pulled a gun on him. The suspect, 30-year-old James Oliver Seevakumaran, was dead by the time officers arrived.

Investigators say they found a detailed plan for an attack, homemade bombs, a handgun, an assault weapon and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Investigators now believe Seevakumaran was planning a massacre on campus. CNN’s Ed Lavandera has more on the investigation.

Police say they don’t know what made Seevakumaran turn his gun on himself, but “it could have been a very bad day for everybody” on campus. Police Chief Richard Beary told reporters, “All things considered, I think that we were very blessed here at the University of Central Florida."

Investigators say they discovered several weapons among "writings laying out a timeline of what Seevakarum planned to do," Lavandera reports. "A plan, investigators say, was designed to, quote, ‘give them hell.' We don't know who he planned to target, but investigators say he was acting as a ‘lone wolf.’”

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Filed under: College • Crime • Shooting • Suicide
March 14th, 2013
07:05 AM ET

Police searching for man suspected of killing four, injuring two in upstate New York – Deborah Feyerick reports


A man suspected of killing four people and injuring two others in a 10-minute shooting spree in Herkimer County, New York, is believed to be surrounded by police, authorities said Wednesday.

The upstate New York man also is believed to have blown up his house, according to a federal law enforcement source briefed on the investigation.

Policing searching for Kurt R. Myers, 64, surrounded an abandoned building, State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. Myers ditched his vehicle following shootings at a barber shop and an auto maintenance business, police said.

This morning on "Early Start," Deb Feyerick reports on the latest in the search.

READ MORE: Four killed in upstate New York shootings, police say

Filed under: Crime • Law enforcement • Shooting
January 7th, 2013
05:38 AM ET

Prosecutors set to unveil evidence against Aurora massacre suspect; CNN's Casey Wian reports

James Holmes, the suspect in the tragic movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, will be in court for a key preliminary hearing today. The 25-year-old is charged with killing 12 people and wounding dozens more. Prosecutors will begin presenting evidence and are expected to call scores of witnesses before Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester. He’ll determine whether the evidence is sufficient for Holmes to stand trial on more than 150 counts, including murder, attempted murder and weapons charges. The weapons included explosives allegedly used to booby-trap Holmes's apartment.

Holmes’s attorneys are expected to present a diminished mental capacity defense in the preliminary hearing that is expected to last several days. Up until now, the judge had ordered a sweeping gag order, so this will be first time the public will hear details of what went on inside the theater during the shooting rampage back in July. CNN's Casey Wian is live in Centennial, Colorado this morning with more.

December 21st, 2012
07:09 AM ET

Moms wage war against guns after Newtown tragedy; Zoraida Sambolin reports

A group of mothers who were inspired by the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School are now banding together to push for stronger gun laws. Prompted to take action in the wake of the tragedy, they began the group, Women Against Assault Rifles, or "Waar". Their goal is to have as much as an affect on gun legislation in America as the group "Madd", or Mothers Against Drunk Driving, has had on drunk driving laws. Zoraida Sambolin met up with a group of these motivated mothers yesterday.

Sambolin says what all the mothers “agree on is a federal ban on assault rifles.” Erin Combs doesn’t want the Newtown tragedy to become the new normal and believes it’s the group’s responsibility to protect not only their own children, but all children. “It’s power in numbers and emotion,” Erin Combs says. “The formula for me that I see in my brain is very clear. Less gun availability equals less gun violence.”

Medha Thomas realizes that their fight is a long one and tough one. “This is not a one-month fix. This is not a one-year fix. This is a decade-long fix,” Thomas says. The challenge is to keep the conversation going in Washington for decisive action to occur. “To find out more about WAAR, you can check out their website,” Sambolin says. http://www.waar.org/.

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Filed under: Gun control • Guns • Sandy Hook • School shooting • Shooting
December 20th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Global gun control, CNN's Kyung Lah compares policy in Japan with policy in the U.S.

In 2008, Japan had 11 gun-related murders while the United States had 12 thousand. Perhaps other countries can offer America ideas for more effective gun control policies. CNN’s Kyung Lah, who has reported extensively on Japan as CNN"s Tokyo Correspondent, looks into it this morning.

In Lah’s five years of living and reporting in Japan, she says she never covered a shooting because there wasn’t one. “In Japan, there are almost no guns. The average person just can’t get one,” she says. “It’s the safest place I’ve ever lived.”

Living in the U.S. has been strikingly different for Lah.  The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre is the third mass shooting she's covered in just six months. “But these mass shootings, which are now a part of our American narrative, follow a familiar pattern: The shock, national outrage, memorials, funerals, then the conversation fades.”

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Filed under: Gun control • Guns • Japan • Sandy Hook • School shooting • Shooting
December 19th, 2012
08:33 AM ET

Child survivors of 1999 mass shooting grow up; CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports: 'shooting still haunts them sometimes'

Newtown, Connecticut is a town in mourning since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While the entire nation grieves and feels for the victims and their families, the young children who survived the shooting have now taken a major hit to their innocence that may scar them forever. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen speaks to two men who survived an earlier mass shooting as young boys to learn how they coped with their trauma.

Child witnesses to the Sandy Hook massacre say they heard shots go off, or bullets go past the hall. Their “innocent eyes have witnessed unspeakable horrors” and “images that could haunt them forever,” Cohen says.

Ben Kadish and Josh Stepakoff are among the few people who've experienced what the Sandy Hook children have experienced and worry about them. "Thirteen years ago, the boys were at summer camp at a Jewish community center when a gunman stormed in and shot them,” she says. Now 19, “Josh and Ben say the shooting still haunts them sometimes, but with great parents and therapy, they've worked through the trauma.”


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Filed under: Medical • Sandy Hook • Shooting
December 19th, 2012
05:49 AM ET

Newtown students' emotional return to school yesterday ; CNN's Sandra Endo reports: 'teachers and students spent time to reflect'

Newtown, Connecticut continues to mourn today. Four more funerals will be held as Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Vicki Soto, and slain students Daniel Barden, Caroline Previdi and Charlotte Bacon are laid to rest. Funerals for six-year-olds Jessica Rekos and James Mattioli were held yesterday, when all Newtown students except those from Sandy Hook returned to school. Sandy Hook kids will resume classes in a neighboring town after the winter break. CNN’s Sandra Endo tells us more.

Children returning to classes Tuesday carried with them the painful reminder of the tragedy at Sandy Hook. “At schools, teachers and students spent time to reflect,” Endo says. “For students at Sandy Hook Elementary, the next time they'll return to class will be in the new year. Newtown's superintendent says teachers and students need more time to deal with the trauma and get used to a new space in a neighboring town.” 

Many parents believe, however, that returning to the routine of school is essential to overcoming the tragedy for everyone. “You want to be brave and get back into things as normal as possible,” mother-of-three Melanie Drohan says. “We realize that we have to go on, but it’s…hard to think about what happened.”

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Filed under: Education • Sandy Hook • School shooting • Shooting
December 18th, 2012
08:24 AM ET

Hartford Courant Reporter David Owens says "it could be months, certainly weeks" before Sandy Hook investigation offers solid answers

Authorities are currently investigating what could have caused the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School to occur. They are digging deeper into the gun and computer use of the 20-year-old man responsible for the massacre. The gunman in the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting killed himself before anyone could get the reasons that compelled him to kill more than two dozen people. David Owens has been a crime reporter for the Hartford Courant for the past 18 years. He helped cover this story from the beginning. Owens joins us live from Hartford, Connecticut this morning with the latest on the investigation and the reaction from the community.

Although state police say they have obtained helpful evidence that “they believe will help lead them to an answer as to why this happened,” they are suggesting that concrete information will not be released for some time. Owens says an investigation into a previous shooting in Connecticut took a year before there were answers.  “I think it could be months, certainly weeks,” Owens says about this shooting. “The state police are not in a rush to get this done. They’ll take as long as it takes.”

Owens, who is familiar with the Newtown community, shares how much the tragedy has impacted people. "The whole state is mourning," Owens says. "And the more I talk to people about it, the more I find that people are linked somehow to this tragedy." Owens himself knows someone personally affected. A colleague of his told him Friday morning that his step-daughter, Lauren Rousseau, was a substitute teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. He'd asked Owens to be on the lookout for her when he was outside the school. "And of course, we found out later that she was one of the teachers who died."

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Filed under: Sandy Hook • School shooting • Shooting
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