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[Updated at 10:21 p.m. ET] The current total of casualties in this shooting is 26–20 of the victims were children.

[Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET] From the president: “I offer Gov. Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation.”

The president appears to be emotional, he’s wiping his left eye.

Here’s more of what he’s saying:

“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. Each time I learn the news I react not as a president but as anybody else would as a parent.

“That was especially true today.

“I know there’s not a parent in America that doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.

“The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10.

“They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”

Obama sighed.

“Our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these children and the families of the adults we lost.

“As a country, we have been through this too many times.

“This evening Michelle and I will do whah every parent in America will do – hug our children a little tighter and tell them that we love them.

“There are families in Connecticut that cannot do that tonight and they need all of us tonight.

“May god bless the memory of the victims and in the words of scripture heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds.”

[Updated at 3:14 p.m. ET] The president will talk soon. You can watch him onour live stream here.

[Updated at 3:12 p.m. ET] President Obama has ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff as a mark of respect for the victims “of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut,” according to a release from the White House.

[Updated at 3:09 p.m. ET] The suspect’s mother was shot and killed at the school, according to source close to the investigation. She was a teacher there.

And we now know that Ryan Lanza, the suspected gunman, was 24.

[Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET] The principal and guidance counselor at Sandy Hook Elementary School were both killed during the shooting, according to a witness that spoke to CNN.

[Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET] We have just learned via a tweet from House Speaker John Boehner that flags at the U.S. Capitol will be lowered[Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET] President Obama will make a statement on the tragedy at 3:15 p.m. ET. We’ll have that live on CNN TV and right here.

[Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET] Various locations are being used as staging areas around Newtown. This is outside the Newtown Methodist Church near the school where a woman is hugging a child.

[Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET] Federal law enforcement officials have told CNN’s John King that the shooting happened quickly and happened in a concentrated area.

[Updated at 2:32 p.m. ET] Connecticut Gov. Malloy will be in Newtown and talk about the tragedy today at 3:30 p.m. ET.

[Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET] We are now hearing from CNN’s Mary Snow, who is reporting from outside the suspect’s home, that dozens of law enforcement officials are on the scene.

Neighbors are “shaken,” Snow said.

[Updated at 2:11 p.m. ET] CNN’s Susan Candiotti has just reported that a law enforcement official tells her the suspect is named Ryan Lanza and he is in his 20s.

[Updated at 2:09 p.m. ET] We’re hearing even more devastating news out of Newtown, Connecticut. CNN’s Susan Candiotti has been told that 18 to 20 of the dead are children.

[Updated at 2:07 p.m. ET] CNN’s Jessica Yellin is reporting that we’re likely to hear from President Obama today on the school shooting, according to a senior administration official. We don’t know when or where we may hear from President Obama.

[Updated at 2:04 p.m. ET] Lisa Procaccini, the parent of an 8-year-old at the school, tells CNN that her daughter said school officials kept her calm during the shooting and told her the loud noise was hammering going on.

Eventually police came in and let her daughter and her teacher leave the school building.

“I’m even kind of numb about what’s going on,” she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I’m in a state of shock. I don’t know how Im going to handle having [my daughter] know … about the whole situation.””I

[Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET]  The death toll is closer to 30 than 20, a federal law enforcement source in Washington told CNN’s John King.  Most of those killed are children, the source said.

The source also said the suspected gunman, who is dead, had a connection to the school. He would not elaborate on that connection. The source is in touch with authorities on the scene.

[Updated at 1:53 p.m. ET] Congresswoman-elect Elizabeth Esty, who was recently won a seat representing a district that includes Newtown, Connecticut, just released the following statement on the tragedy:

As a mother, I can only begin to imagine what the students, parents, teachers and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary must be experiencing. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this horrific tragedy. While details are still emerging, I hope for the safety and well being of the children, teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary and for the Newtown community.

[Updated at 1:51 p.m. ET] We have just learned that the suspected shooter is 20-years-old, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation tells CNN’s Susan Candiotti.

[Updated at 1:47 p.m. ET] A few more details from the White House press briefing earlier. White House spokesman Jay Carney said while today is not the day to debate gun policy, an assault weapons ban “does remain a commitment” of President Obama.

[Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET]  We are now learning that a male is being questioned by investigators, but he is not being called a suspect, CNN’s Susan Candiotti reports.

[Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET] Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said the shooter is dead inside the school.

Vance said there are a number of fatalities that includes both children and adults. He did not add more details about how many people were killed during the school shooting.

[Updated at 1:41 p.m. ET] Police have now begun their briefing on the shooting.

[Updated at 1:32 p.m. ET] We’re hearing more from the scene of the massacre through tweets and interviews.[Updated at 1:23 p.m. ET] President Obama has spoken to FBI Director Robert Mueller and Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy to get the latest information and express his condolences, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

[Updated at 1:21 p.m. ET] We’re now hearing that it may be a while for the briefing from the police.

[Updated at 1:17 p.m. ET] This was the scene from the air earlier, taken by News 12 Connecticut, with emergency vehicles in the school parking lot.

source: CNN

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