An emotional President Obama mourned the deaths of at least 26 people, including 20 children, following Friday’s horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
“Our hearts are broken today for the parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers of these children,” he said at a brief press conference. “As well as the families of the adults who were lost,” he added.”
The commander-in-chief, who was seen wiping away tears, also made a call for action to prevent such tragedies from happening again.
“We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics,” said Obama, who did not elaborate on what that might entail.
He said as a father of two, incidents like these weigh heavily on him.
“I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. The majority who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5- and 10-years old,” said Obama.
The gunman, who stormed the 600-student Sandy Hook Elementary school, has been identified as Adam Lanza, 20, who was also found dead at the scene, according to NBC News.
A second person is currently in custody for a possible link to the attack.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama was alerted to the massacre at 10:30 a.m. from Homeland Security adviser John Brennan. He added that “today’s not the day” for a discussion about gun control. “…That day will come, but today’s not that day.”
During the press conference, Obama said he was in contact with Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and other government officials. He said he would give them “every single resource” they need to investigate the “heinous” crime.
In a separate press conference, Malloy called the shooting a “tragedy of unspeakable terms.”
He added, “You can never be prepared for this kind of incident. What has transpired at that school building will leave a mark on this community and every family impacted…A number of our citizens, beautiful children, had their lives taken away from them.”
The attack is one of the worst school shootings in the history of the U.S. A shooting at Virginia Tech University in 2007 claimed 32 lives, while the one at Columbine High School in Colorado claimed the lives of 12 children and a teacher in 1999.