Medical examiner: Conn. shooting victims shot multiple times
The examiner said the youngsters that were killed were shot between three and 11 times
By Lucy Thorton
NEWTOWN, Conn. — A doctor choked back tears yesterday as he described the horrific aftermath of America's bloodiest school massacre.
State medical examiner H. Wayne Carver II revealed that each of the 20 youngsters and six adults mown down by crazed Adam Lanza was shot between three and 11 times.
He said the children were all first-graders - aged six or seven and mainly girls. Most were shot with a rifle, only two at close range. "Everyone was hit more than once," he said.
His voice cracking with emotion, the case-hardened medic added: "Their injuries were devastating... probably the worst I have seen, or the worst I know any of my colleagues have ever seen."
Many police and emergency workers were visibly shaken by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
One distraught hospital nurse who did not want to be named said: "It was like a war zone. The hospital was full of police and snipers at first because they thought there might be another shooter.
"Doctors were fighting to save several children and many of the staff were in tears. Some only realised later that they were related to those who died." Last night it was revealed that a number of the tiny victims were blasted by a semi-automatic rifle that fired rounds so large they are normally reserved for combat.
Lanza, 20 - who is said to have rowed with teachers at the school the previous day - launched his murderous rampage on Friday after shooting his mother Nancy four times in the head.
She was found in bed, still wearing her pyjamas, at her home a few miles away.
After smashing through the school's glass security doors and leaving a trail of death in a killing spree that lasted only minutes, Lanza killed himself with a single bullet to the head from a 10 mm gun. The bullet was recovered from a classroom wall.
Three unnamed survivors were treated in nearby Danbury hospital and are now being given trauma counselling.
President Barack Obama was due to visit the Newtown area to meet families and speak at a memorial vigil. After the attack, he urged "meaningful action" against gun crime in the US.
Earlier police told how children who survived the horror may never have to return to the school. Some officials believe it is likely to be closed indefinitely.
Already the 436 pupils have been offered places at other local schools. But police spokesman Lt George Sinko said: "The most important thing is that these children need to be kept together, they need each other."
Detectives have already interviewed wounded survivors and say they may quiz youngsters who escaped the carnage.
Among those who died was British-born Dylan Hockley, six - just two years after his family moved to the US in search of "a better life". His eight year old brother Jake, who was at the same school, heard the sound of the gunfire, but survived. The boys' English father Ian and American mother Nicole left Eastleigh in Hampshire with their young sons in January. 2011 - moving in virtually opposite the killer's home.
yesterday Dylan's devastated gran Theresa Moretti revealed they chose Newtown specifically because the school was so good. She said: "My daughter told me, 'It's safe and lovely here, Mum'."
Theresa added: "Dylan was a lovely boy. He had dimples and blue eyes and a mischievous grin. We are shattered and will never be the same."
She was out buying Christmas presents when she heard the news. She said: "I called Nicole and she just kept saying, 'Mum, how do you tell an eight-year-old his six-year-old brother is dead and not coming back?'" Mr Hockley, a finance director for IBM in New York, went to the US on assignment before deciding to move out permanently.
Peter Missen, 55, who worked with him in Hursley, Hants, for more than 10 years, said: "He is a doting dad and seemed very happy with their new life over in the States. The shooting is devastating - especially gutting as they settled there for a better, safer life."
Mr Hockley returned to Eastleigh only last week to finalise the sale of their former home. Heartbroken Maria Sweet, 81, a retired nanny, lived next door for nine years.
She said: "When I saw the news on TV I recognised Dylan's face straight away because of his lovely smile of his.
"He was always outside on my front garden playing with his brother, Jake. I would often give him biscuits and he'd come up to me and give me a cuddle.
"He was always so polite too, every Christmas I would get him some chocolates. He had a very sweet tooth, and he never failed to thank me for them."
Prayers were said and candles lit yesterday for the family at their local church, St Nicholas' in Eastleigh. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, a state trooper was posted outside the Hockleys' home, like many others in the Newtown area. The innocent youngsters being mourned last night included Olivia Engel, six, who was due to be an angel in her church nativity on Friday night. Rev Robert Weiss told the congregation: "Now she's an angel in heaven." The family of Charlotte Bacon, six, told how she was killed in the new pink dress and boots she had picked out for Christmas - after begging her mum to be allowed to wear them to school.
Chatty Jesse Lewis was at his local deli gulping down hot chocolate minutes before dashing to class, where he met his death.
Daniel Barden was a Spider-Man fan who never stopped smiling, according to his devastated dad Mark. Little Josephine Gay celebrated her seventh birthday just three days before Lanza took her life.
Youngest to die was Noah Pozner, who was six last month. Ana Marquez-Greene, was the daughter of jazz saxophonist Jimmy Greene. He wrote a song about her, Ana-Grace, on an album he released in 2009.
Tearful Jimmy said last night: "As much as she's needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise. I love you, sweetie girl."
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