- (Photo: REUTERS)
The gunman who killed 26 people, including 20 children, at an elementary school on Friday has been described as "odd," according to media reports.
Neighbors of Adam Lanza have told ABC that he displayed characteristics associated with mental illness.
At a 5:00 p.m. ET press conference, Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police said that while they have a tentative identification, they will not confirm the identity of the shooter as of yet. Media reports, including that of Fox News and The Associated Press, meanwhile, have identified the gunman as Lanza.
Lanza is the 20-year-old son of a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where the shooting took place Friday morning. According to Fox News, the gunman shot his mother and her entire class. The gunman was found dead inside the school, apparently from a self-inflicted wound, according to AP. Three guns were found at the scene.
Lanza's older brother, Ryan, is being questioned by police.
Eighteen children were pronounced dead at the scene along with six adults (not counting the gunman). Two children were transported to the hospital where they were later pronounced dead. One person was injured.
There was also a secondary crime scene in Newtown where one adult was found dead. No further details were given.
Vance reported that the medical examiner is currently reviewing the manner and cause of death of all of the deceased.
"We've been meeting with all the family members," said Vance. "It's a tragic scene."
Family members of victims have asked for privacy during their time of grief.
Lt. George Sinko called the shooting the "worst thing we've experience here in town."
Christians across the country have been offering their support and prayers to the families affected by the tragic shooting.
"There is a time to mourn and this is it. We mourn for these children. We mourn for their parents," said Greg Stier of Dare 2 Share ministry. "We pray for God to act on behalf of this Connecticut school, it's teachers, administrators, children and parents. We ask for him to comfort them in their grief."
As someone who resigned from the pastorate to reach out to teenagers full time after the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, Stier tells Christians that they need to get the Gospel out to more people.
"This nation needs the gospel now more than ever. We need to reach everyone with the hope of Jesus Christ. Who knows how much violence has been averted because a potential killer or school shooter was led to Christ and had their soul transformed by the power of God."
Evangelist Franklin Graham called Friday's shooting "senseless" and said his heart aches for the victims and the families.
"My hope and prayer is that our entire nation will embrace the community of Newtown with our love and cover them with our prayers, asking for God's perfect comfort and peace in the midst of this dark hour," said Graham.
Sherri Shepherd, co-host of "The View," also expressed her shock.
"My heart is broken for the parents, family & faculty of #SandyHook Elementary School... can't stop praying & crying. Such a senseless act," she tweeted. "So many residents of Newton (sic) gather together in church...feel so helpless...all they can do is cling to the Lord. Praying for them."