In the wake of today's – which has left nearly 30 people dead, including 20 young children – the Troy School District and Mayor Dane Slater are offering their thoughts and condolences to the victims' families and loved ones.
“Any time you hear that innocent people died, it tears at you," Troy Mayor Dane Slater said. "How do you respond to something like this?”
Details are still emerging about the incident, which many are calling the worst school shooting in U.S. history. According to Newtown Patch, the male gunman, a New Jersey resident in his 20s, "deliberately went to Sandy Hook Elementary School with the intention of killing his mother, who was a kindergarten teacher at the school."
He opened fire inside the school, killing 20 children and 6 adults, including his mother and the school's principal. The gunman was killed, though police are not yet saying how he died.
Troy School District Superintendent Barbara Fowler sent the following message to parents Friday afternoon:
The tragic news out of Connecticut today reminds us how precious life is and how we must do everything we can to ensure the safety of all of our children every day.
This afternoon we alerted our buildings to be extra vigilant regarding visitors in our schools to ensure the safety of all of our students and staff. Please know that we regularly review our security and safety measures and that every District building has a crisis plan in place. In light of this occurrence, all plans will be reviewed immediately to assess situations of this nature. The Troy School District works cooperatively with our local police and fire departments in the development of these crisis plans. Please be assured that the safety of our children and staff is a priority.
Please join us as we put the families impacted by today's tragedy in our thoughts and prayers.
“It’s devastating, whenever you hear something like this, when innocent people die for no reason – especially children," Slater said. "What’s this world coming to?”
In a press conference Friday afternoon, a visibly affected President Barack Obama wiped away tears as he addressed the media, saying: "Our hearts are broken for the parents and the survivors, as well. ... There are no words that will ease their pain."
For more coverage of the shooting, visit Newtown Patch.