NEWTOWN, Conn.-- The gunman in the massacre here Friday forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School where he killed 20 children and six adults before taking his own life, Connecticut State Police said today.
"He was not voluntarily let into school at all," state police Lt. J. Paul Vance told reporters in a morning briefing. "He forced his way into the school."
He wasn't more specific about just how the gunman was able to force his way through the school's security system, which required a visitor to be buzzed through a locked front door.
The school, where more than 600 students from kindergarten through fourth grade were educated, is now an active crime scene where detectives are trying to examine "every crevice...inside and outside the building," Lt. Vance said.
He said investigators are obtaining "very good" evidence about the actions of shooter Adam Lanza, 20, both at the school and at his home where he fatally shot his mother, who some news agencies have described as a substitute teacher at Sandy Hook. Lt. Vance declined to be more specific.
A surviving shooting victim, a woman who was shot in the foot, is going to be "very instrumental in this investigation," he said.
Lt. Vance said he is not putting a time limit on the investigation but estimated it could be concluded within two days.
Processing of the crime scene began immediately after the building was secured. The immediate focus was to work with the Office of the Chief State's Medical Examiner to establish the identity of the deceased victims, Lt. Vance said. That goal was accomplished overnight with the notification of next of kin and subsequent positive identification. Autopsies will be conducted to determine the cause and manner of death, he said.
The family of each victim was assigned a trooper or police officer to maintain an open line of communication with law enforcement authorities. Families have requested no press interviews, he said, urging reporters to honor that request.
The United Way of Western Connecticut has established a fund for the victims' families.
"People across the country have been asking how they can help. So we set this fund up. We'll figure out later how to distribute the money, how the families can best use it."
Anyone wishing to contribute to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund can do so by mailing a donation c/o Newtown Savings Bank, 39 Main St., Newtown, Conn. 06470.
More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.