It will be weeks before authorities can piece together a complete picture of Friday’s mass shooting at a Newtown, CT, elementary school, in which 26 children and adults were murdered. Speaking at a news conference Sunday, officials said their goal is to answer every single question, but forensic analysis and interviews of witnesses would take considerable time. Those interviews might extend to children who survived the attack. Officials added that misinformation being spread via social media sites by “people posing as other people” adds an additional burden to an already difficult investigation process. In Newtown, a constant stream of people continues to come and go from the makeshift memorial at the entrance to the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Many people have come from out of town –some as far as an hour away– to lay flowers and light candles. As for the children who survived the shooting, it’s not known when, if ever, Sandy Hook Elementary will re-open. Still unclear is when they’ll return to class, although reports are it might be later this week, but when they do, it will be in the neighboring town of Monroe, which has offered the use of school which is currently vacant, but in good condition. The traumatized children and staff will almost certainly need some help in dealing with the tragedy, as will the families of victims and survivors, and even residents of the town of 27,000. Several agencies are already on the ground and offering assistance, and are accepting donations.
Save the Children has opened a Child Friendly Space in Newtown, where children can play, socialize and begin to recover while their parents get counseling, support and other services.
United Way of Western Connecticut and Newtown Savings Bank has set up the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, which will provide support services to those affected.
Newtown Youth and Family Services is a non-profit mental health clinic which has been providing grief counseling.