- (Photo: REUTERS)
Two days after the deadly Sandy Hook shooting, the Roman Catholic church in Newtown, Conn., where eight of the 20 child victims as well as the shooter attended, was evacuated Sunday after a bomb threat. A SWAT team later determined there was no danger.
The threat came during a noon mass at the St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown, when a parishioner received "a menacing call that threatened to disrupt the Mass in a violent way," according to Brian Wallace, a spokesman for the local diocese.
"I'm going to kill everyone there. My friend didn't finish the job," the man on the phone said, according to The Washington Post.
Conn. State Police Lt. Paul Vance said earlier Sunday that the church was closed due to a "threat of violence."
Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old suspect, and eight of the 20 children who were killed in Friday's mass shooting at nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School attended this church, according to The Associated Press.
Some congregants were in the midst of planning funerals this week. While the church hosted overflow crowds at all three morning masses Sunday, the noon service was promptly interrupted, and the congregation evacuated.
At least a dozen police in camouflage SWAT gear and carrying guns arrived, and gave the all-clear shortly after the evacuation. However, the church was locked up for the day.
"I came to church with my family and we were scared," Evelyn Leon, a 17-year-old, told FoxNews.com.
"This is a very difficult time for all the families. We have seen incredible dignity in the faces of these people," Msgr. Robert Weiss was quoted as saying. "I don't think anyone can be surprised about anything after what has happened."
Sandy Hook's superintendent announced Sunday that there will be no school this week, after which the students will attend an unused school in a neighboring town.
Lanza, whom family friends said suffered from Asperger's Syndrome, a mental disorder, killed his mother at their home in Newtown, and then opened fire inside the Sandy Hook school and killed 20 children and six adults before shooting himself.
Conn. Chief Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver II said Saturday all the victims had been hit with bullets more than once – some even six times. Bodies had wounds "all over," he said of the 12 girls and eight boys – all six or seven years old – and the six women who had been killed in the shooting.