18 Children among Dead in Connecticut School Massacre

Special to The Informer from NBC News | 12/14/2012, 2:10 p.m.

A young man clad in black and carrying two handguns shot up an elementary school in a small Connecticut town on Friday, leaving 18 small children and eight adults dead in one the nation's worst school massacres, law enforcement officials said.

The gunman, described as a 20-year-old man from Connecticut, was later found dead, a federal law enforcement official told NBC News. A second person was in custody for a possible connection to the shooting, NBC's Pete Williams reported.

Students - mostly under age 10 -- described the terror that gripped Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown when the rampage began around 9:30 a.m., sparking a massive police response that included SWAT officers going room to room to search for victims.

The Hartford Courant, citing unnamed sources, said many of the victims were in a kindergarten classroom.

"I was in the gym and I heard a loud, like seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in the corner, so we all huddled," one student told NBC Connecticut. "And I kept hearing these booming noises. And we all ... started crying.

"All the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us," she added. "So then a police officer came in and told us to run outside. So we did and we came in the firehouse and waited for our parents."

Dozens of emergency vehicles from across Fairfield County raced to the 600-student school, along with panicked parents hoping to be reunited with their children.

"It was horrendous,'' Brenda Lebinski, mother of a third-grader, said at the scene.``Everyone was in hysterics -- parents, students. There were kids coming out of the school bloodied. I don't know if they were shot, but they were bloodied,'' she said, according to Reuters.