• UPDATE: 18 CHILDREN CONFIRMED DEAD AT CONNECTICUT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

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    NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday left 27 people dead, including 18 children, an official said.

    The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way. Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown was killed and apparently had two guns.

    Stephen Delgiadice said his 8-year-old daughter heard two big bangs and teachers told her to get in a corner. His daughter was fine.

    “It’s alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America,” he said.

    The superintendent’s office said the district had locked down schools in Newtown, about 60 miles northeast of New York City. Schools in neighboring towns also were locked down as a precaution.

    A dispatcher at the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps said a teacher had been shot in the foot and taken to Danbury Hospital. Andrea Rynn, a spokeswoman at the hospital, said it had three patients from the school but she did not have information on the extent or nature of their injuries.

    State police said Newtown police called them around 9:40 a.m. A SWAT team was among the throngs of police to respond.

    A photo posted by The Newtown Bee newspaper showed a group of young students — some crying, others looking visibly frightened — being escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line, hands on each other’s shoulders.

    Mergim Bajraliu, 17, heard the gunshots echo from his home and raced to check on his 9-year-old sister at the school. He said his sister, who was fine, heard a scream come over the intercom at one point. He said teachers were shaking and crying as they came out of the building.

    “Everyone was just traumatized,” he said.

    The White House said President Barack Obama was notified of the shooting.

    Associated Press writer Michael Melia contributed to this report from Hartford.

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