Locals react to national tragedy

Published 11:10 am Monday, December 17, 2012

Area residents responded with shock, sorrow and disbelief this weekend to news of the Friday mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.

The Tribune asked readers Saturday morning via Facebook to share their thoughts on the shooting, which left 28 dead, including the shooter, Adam Lanza.

Of those killed were 20 children ages 6 or 7 from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and six women who worked there. Adam Lanza’s mother, Nancy, was also killed at a separate residence. Investigators still are piecing together the details.

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“My heart shattered as I learned of this massacre, and the first thing I thought of was my four children and this could of involved one of them,” Tyler Turner wrote. “I broke into tears; I couldn’t even carry a conversation with my fiancee. I had to leave the room as one of my four children being 6 years old had seen me burst in tears and didn’t understand why.”

Turner said what has taken place is not comprehensible.

The shooting has left many people asking questions about Adam Lanza’s motives, the safety of their own children, and the future of mental health and gun laws in the country.

Glenda Torres-Talamantes said her first reaction upon hearing about the incident was to get her son out of his class and bring him home.

“It’s a scary situation,” she wrote. “It can happen anywhere. My heart is torn apart, and I’m not even a member of any of them. It’s sick. It’s scary. We need prayer for our nation, for our schools.”

Jenna Lageson, sister of Tribune Special Projects Editor Kelli Lageson, said the incident was heartbreaking for her.

“Working in a school makes it that much more real,” she said. “Watching and listening to the students yesterday made it hard to believe anyone could do something like that. And thinking about not only the families, but the school staff, too.”

National media outlets have featured multiple stories of heroism about the bravery of teachers and other staff at the school who protected students as Lanza entered and proceeded through the building.

Several people who posted on the Tribune’s Facebook page said they were in tears over the news.

“Shock, disbelief, horror, sorrow, nausea, grief, overwhelming sadness and great sympathy for all those poor deer grieving families. I cannot begin to imagine how they are all feeling, nor do I ever want to. God bless them,” wrote one reader, Laurel Yost.

For a full list of responses, visit the Tribune’s Facebook page.