Official: Death Toll Closer to 30 in Connecticut School Shooting

(CNN) — The death toll in Friday’s shooting at a Connecticut elementary school is closer to 30 than 20, and most of the fatalities are children, a federal law enforcement source in Washington told CNN. He also said the suspected gunman, who is dead, had a connection to the school. At a news conference hours after the shooting, state authorities would not confirm a death toll, saying the priority is making sure the families of the victims are informed first. The federal official is in touch with authorities on the scene.

The suspected gunman behind Friday’s shooting at a Connecticut elementary school has been identified as Ryan Lanza, in his 20s, law enforcement source told CNN. He died at the scene.

At least 10 of the dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School were children, the source said. At a news conference Friday afternoon, state police Lt. Paul Vance would say only that there had been “several fatalities.”

The school was secure, and the public was not in danger, Vance said.

“Why? Why?” one woman wailed as she walked up a wooded roadway leading from the school.

A parent who was inside the school at the time of the attack said she heard what sounded like at least 100 rounds being fired. She said she saw two school employees who had died.

Hospital officials in neighboring Danbury said they were treating three people wounded in the shooting. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said the victims were in “very serious” condition.

The shooter is dead, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN’s Susan Candiotti. The suspect’s body is in a classroom at the school, the source said.

A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said a male was being questioned but he is not being called a suspect.

Federal officers in tactical gear were on the scene, coordinating with local and state police. At least four ambulances remained at the school Friday afternoon.

Police have recovered two weapons from the suspect, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, the source said. It’s unclear if police killed the suspect.

Police and teachers rushed students from the building as police swarmed the area shortly after the first calls came in, around 9:40 a.m. ET. Officials moved students to a nearby firehouse, where parents frantically sought information about their children.

Third-grader Alexis Wasik said police and teachers barged into her classroom and told students to hide in the corner.

“Everybody was crying,” she said. “And I just heard the police officers yelling.”

Aerial images from CNN affiliate News 12 New Jersey showed police officers armed with rifles following a dog into woods near the school.

Other officers, some in tactical gear, stood around the school with guns drawn, CNN affiliate WFSB reported.

All schools in the city were on lockdown Friday as police assessed the situation, Vance said.

Gov. Dan Malloy is “horrified” by what happened, a spokesman said.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration feels “enormous sympathy” for affected families and pledged federal support for state and local law enforcement.

Newtown is about 60 miles north of New York.

From CNN’s John King and Susan Candiotti.

Meredith Artley and David Ariosto contributed to this report.

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