Obama: 'We've Been Through This Too Many Times'
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
We're going to go now to a briefing being given in Newtown, Connecticut by Lieutenant Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police.
J. PAUL VANCE: ...to establish positive identification of those victims. That is a time-consuming process. That's something that's going to take a great deal of time. The medical examiner has already arrived at the scene. He's going to work very closely with us to expedite that, get that done as efficiently as possible. As I told you, the families have been assigned a trooper, an officer, as a line of communication.
That was done specifically to ensure the families that they have constant communication with this ongoing investigation. And they won't have to sit and watch television news or anything else. They will be the first to know any of the progress that's made as this investigation continues on.
As I stated earlier, the assets that were utilized initially, certainly when the call came in, Newtown Police Department immediately responded and immediately called for help. Surrounding local agencies sent officers and the Connecticut State Police sent all off-duty and on-duty troopers to respond so that we could immediately gain access to that building and begin that search process that I alluded to before.
We had the State Police Tactical Team, we had K-9 teams out here. We certainly had Trooper 1 in the air and it was probably keeping some of your helicopters away, quite frankly. But we had every possible asset came out to this scene the minute that this alarm came in, or this call came in. And it was certainly to do everything we could to protect, certainly, life and property.
The community has been outstanding in supporting this effort. As you can see, you've taken over their park and they're showing up. They're offering condolences. They're doing everything they possibly can to support the victims' families of this horrific tragedies. The FBI Crisis Management Team has offered to respond, is going to respond here tomorrow to assist in crisis management, to assist not only with the families, the family members, but with all the first responders, the police, fire, EMS, all working at what I described before as a very horrific and difficult scene.
Certainly, local mental health, the crisis intervention teams had been on scene and have been here all of today, working and assisting and helping. I just want to make it very clear that there were 18 children that were pronounced dead at the scene. There were two children that were transported to area hospital, pronounced dead at the hospital. There were six adults. They were pronounced dead at the scene and obviously the shooter was also pronounced dead at the scene.
I don't have much more detail about that secondary scene, but there is a related scene that we discovered as we were continuing the criminal investigation and specifically investigating the shooter. And you probably saw and someone asked me on the way in here about the bomb squad. Yes, we brought all our assets in, in case they were needed. And when we went out with Newtown officers to search or to execute search warrants or to examine other possible secondary scenes, we took all those assets with us to ensure that they were right there immediately so that we could react if it was necessary.
That's about all I have as far as details are concerned. I want to give you one more briefing probably just before six o'clock. We'll try to get back up here for one more briefing. I'll take a couple of brief questions, but I must, again, tell you that there are certain things we cannot discuss.
SIEGEL: That's Lieutenant Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police, briefing reporters in Newtown, Connecticut on today's shootings.
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