The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 19, 2012

Shattered Newtown tries to make sense of tragedy

(Continued)

NEWTOWN —

Students Charlotte Bacon and Caroline Previdi were to be laid to rest later Wednesday, and a wake was held for Hochsprung, the school's popular 47-year-old principal. She and school psychologist Mary Sherlach rushed toward Lanza in an attempt to stop him and paid with their lives.

The massacre continued to reverberate around America as citizens and lawmakers debated whether Newtown might be a turning point in the often-polarizing national discussion over gun control.

Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management announced Tuesday it plans to sell its stake in Freedom Group, maker of the Bushmaster rifle, following the school shootings. In Pittsburgh, Dick's Sporting Goods said it is suspending sales of modern rifles nationwide because of the shooting. The company also said it's removing all guns from display at its store closest to Newtown.

Lawmakers who have joined the call to consider gun control as part of a comprehensive, anti-violence effort next year included 10-term House Republican Jack Kingston, a Georgia lawmaker elected with strong National Rifle Association backing.

The National Rifle Association, silent since the shootings, said in a statement that it was "prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again." It gave no indication what that might entail.

And no indication has been made publicly about the motive of 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who, clad all in black, broke into Sandy Hook Elementary and opened fire on students and staff.

Authorities say the horrific events of Friday began when Lanza shot his mother, Nancy, at their home, and then took her car and some of her guns to the nearby school.

Investigators have found no letters or diaries that could explain the attack.

A Connecticut gun shop owner said Wednesday that he sold a gun several years ago to Nancy Lanza, and was "appalled" that it may have been used in the killings. David LaGuercia, owner of Riverview Gun Sales in East Windsor, said in a statement he is cooperating with police.

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