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December 18th, 2012
07:03 AM ET

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks inside the violent mind; researchers say none of 10 killers studied had just "snapped"

Newtown, Connecticut is a town in mourning in the aftermath of the tragic shooting that took the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many questions are being asked in the wake of the devastation, especially why the shooter did what he did. A body of research on previous mass murders may provide clues as to what the killers share in their minds. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is exploring that story.

“A close look at ten of the most analyzed mass murder cases in history provides some remarkable insight,” Dr. Gupta says. "According to this research published in the journal, Aggression and Violent Behavior, doctors typically start by placing killers into three categories: traumatized, psychotic,  psychopathic."

In each case studied, "the killers showed signs of psychotic behavior, severe delusions and paranoia," Dr. Gupta says. "Looking back, none of them had snapped. They had all left clues, pieced together after it was too light. Hindsight.”

December 18th, 2012
06:33 AM ET

Newtown kids return to school today, but Sandy Hook Elementary remains closed; CNN's Sandra Endo reports

Schools in Newtown, Connecticut will reopen today for the first time since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which is an active crime scene and remains closed. Classes there are still suspended, but classes will resume two hours later than usual in the rest of the district. "For the students and their families, it's a return to a healthy and helpful routine," Zoraida Sambolin says. CNN’s Sandra Endo has the story on Newtown students returning to school.

“Grief and shock may replace subjects like reading and math when kids return to class in Newtown,” Endo says, “but facing fear may be the first step to overcome this tragedy.” All schools in Newtown were closed Monday as teachers and administrators trained with national expert on kids and bereavement to prepare for the students' return.

The solution many parents agreed with is getting kids back to school for some sense of normalcy. For Sandy Hook’s kids, that will eventually be by attending classes at Chaulk Hill School in neighboring Monroe. Furniture and supplies were moved there so “when the children come in whenever the school has started,” Steve Varek says, “they walk into a classroom that looks as close as possible as their classroom that they left.”

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Filed under: Education • Sandy Hook • School shooting • Shooting
December 17th, 2012
08:19 AM ET

California Rep. Mary Bono Mack & Florida Rep. Connie Mack discuss the U.S. mental health system; Rep. Connie Mack: 'We need to...recognize those warning signs and then act'

Newtown, Connecticut is a town in the prayers of the entire country today. As the nation grieves in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, people all over the country are debating two old arguments over gun control and America’s mental heath system with renewed vigor. California Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack expressed concerns about the mental health system over the weekend. She and her husband, Florida Congressman Connie Mack,  join the show with their thoughts this morning. Both are republicans, and both are leaving congress when this term is up.

Congressman Connie Mack mentions the mental health information coming in about the gunman and “the challenges that this young man had.” Rep. Connie Mack says, “There’s warning signs left and right about this young man. We need to have our communities in a position where they can recognize those warning signs and then act on those warning signs.”

Rep. Mary Bono Mack talks about the role of the government when it comes to mental health. “I think we have to recognize that mental health is a part of physical health, and treat it as such, and highlight the importance of it and the need for it in our society,” Rep. Mary Bono Mack says. “But it isn’t just a governmental role. It’s a family role. It’s a societal role. It’s a cultural role. It’s everywhere.”

December 17th, 2012
07:21 AM ET

Preventing future tragedies; Dr. Irwin Redlener shares his advice

Newtown, Connecticut is a community in the prayers of the entire country today. As the nation grieves the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, experts are examining how it could have been prevented. Dr. Irwin Redlener is the Head of Columbia University National Center for Disaster Preparedness. He joins Soledad O’Brien live in Newtown this morning with his advice. Dr. Redlener is also the President and Co-Founder of the Children's Health Fund.

Dr. Redlener reflects on the response the administrators and students had during the tragedy. He says the Sandy Hook Elementary School faculty was actually very prepared and had trained for emergencies. Dr. Redlener says there was “heroism and a really defined plan of action” here.

He stresses the need for schools all over the country to be prepared for all kinds of emergencies. “It is very important that people are keeping their heads, they’re following a plan, they know what to do and they’re keeping things under as much control as possible under the worst possible circumstances.”

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Filed under: Recovery • Sandy Hook • School shooting • Shooting
December 17th, 2012
06:47 AM ET

Heroism at Sandy Hook; Victoria Soto, 27, sacrificed her life to save her first-graders

Administrators and teachers at Sandy Hook are being hailed for their heroism for saving the lives of the children before worrying about themselves. One of those teachers was 27-year-old Victoria Soto. Soto shielded her first grade students from harm when she hid them in a closet before the gunman entered her classroom. She was shot and killed. Zoraida Sambolin shares her story through the words of her family.

“Vicki Soto's family says the first grade teacher died doing what she loved, and spent her final moments protecting the children that meant the world to her,” Sambolin reports. Her sister, Jillian Soto, says, “There's kids now that will be able to say that they're here today because she sacrificed her life so they could live another day.”

Her mother Donna Soto says she is not surprised by her daughter's actions. “She was truly selfless. She would not hesitate to think to save anyone else before herself and especially children,” Donna says. “She loved them more than life and she would definitely put herself in front of them any day, any day and for any reason.”

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Filed under: Sandy Hook • School shooting • Shooting
December 12th, 2012
07:21 AM ET

Oregan mall shooting investigation is ongoing, Undersheriff Matt Ellington says 'no indication as to what the suspect's motive was'

A shooting in a suburban Portland, Oregon mall yesterday afternoon has the county in shock this morning. Police say ten thousand people were inside the Clackamas Town Center yesterday when a gunman opened fire.

He killed two people and critically wounded a third before reportedly taking his own life. Undersheriff Matt Ellington from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office in Oregon joins "Early Start" live over phone this morning with details.

While the police have tentatively identified the suspect, Undersheriff Ellington says the sheriff's office isnt releasing that information at the moment out of respect to the victims. He discloses, however, that the gunman was a male the police believe to be in his early twenties. 

"The investigation is still ongoing," Ellington says. "At this point, we do not have any indiciation as to what the suspect's motive was." The names of the victims are also being witheld, but Ellington confirms "that one victim was an adult female, and one was an adult male." The 15-year-old young lady who was critically injured was last reported to be in stable condition, he confirms.

According to reports, the gunman was wearing a hockey mask and a bullet proof vest. Ellington says he cannot confirm the bullet proof vest.  "But I can confirm that we did recover a hockey-type mask,” he says. He does not yet know whether he worked at the mall.

August 16th, 2012
07:23 AM ET

National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown on Family Research Council shooting, says hate talk 'totally unacceptable'

This morning, investigators are looking for a motive into the shooting at the headquarters of the Family Research Council.

The FBI says the suspect is 28-year-old Floyd Lee Corkins. He allegedly shot a security guard, who then wrestled him to the ground. Corkins is in custody and is charged with assault with a deadly weapon. The guard is in stable condition.

The motive is still unclear, but a source working with the DC Center for the LGBT community tells CNN that the suspect had worked as a volunteer at that center.

Earlier on "Early Start," National Organization for Marriage's Brian Brown weighs in on if 'hate talk' may have contributed to Family Research Council shooting.


Filed under: Family Research Council • Shooting
July 20th, 2012
12:42 PM ET

Video: Chaos at Aurora theater shooting scene

First aired on "Early Start" this morning, cell phone video captured the aftermath of a shooting inside a Colorado theater at a "Dark Knight Rises" premiere.


Filed under: Shooting
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