The 20 children and six adults who were killed at the Sandy Hook Elemenatary School in Newtown, Conn., were hit by a barrage of bullets from a semiautomatic rifle.
The gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, 20, blasted his way into school and then sprayed the children with bullets, first from a distance and then at close range, hitting some of them as many as 11 times, according to the New York Times.
A .223 Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle was one of the several weapons police found in the school. The other guns were semiautomatic pistols, including a 10-millimeter Glock and a 9-millimeter Sig Sauer.
Connecticut’s chief medical examiner, H. Wayne Carver II, said the wounds of the victims were “all over, all over.”
“This is a very devastating set of injuries,” he said at a briefing in Newtown. When he was asked if they had suffered after they were hit, he said, “Not for very long.”
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The gunman had what is being described as an "altercation" with four staff members at the school the day before the heinous shootings.
According to NBC News, federal officials said Lanza killed three of those four staff members on Friday; the "fourth staff member was not at school that day and is being interviewed by federal and state investigators."
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Three days before the massacre, Lanza tried to purchase a rifle at a sporting goods store in Danbury, CT but was turned away.
Lanza refused a background check and did not want to abide by Connecticut's waiting period for gun sales, leading to him being denied a rifle.