Parents of Woodbridge students shivered in horror as the news broke this afternoon about the school shooting in Connecticut that claimed the lives of 27 people, including 18 children.
For those who had no idea it had happened, their cell phones started going off with Honeywell alerts that Woodbridge police were at township schools after the news of the Connecticut massacre came out.
"We are there to give the parents reassurance," said Captain Roy Hoppock, who was shocked and horrified by the killings. "We have an emergency plan in place. We're up on what's happening."
Parents crowded around bus stops, chatting quietly and nervously waiting for the yellow school buses that would drop their children off, whole and in one piece.
"It's awful, awful. I've been shaking since I heard. I won't feel right until I see my daughter," said one mother as she waited for the bus to drop her third grader off.
Police patrol cars were dispatched to each of Woodbridge's 16 elementary schools, said Woodbridge Police Lieut. Chris Laudadio.
"Can you imagine how you'd feel if that happened and your kids were in school? We want to make people feel at least a little more comfortable," he said.
The tragedy started earlier today, in the Southwestern Connecticut town of Newtown, in what will likely go down as the deadliest school shooting in American history.
The gunman had initially been identified as Ryan Lanza, 24. The Hoboken man, who hails from Newtown, CT, was at work in New York City when the massacre happened. Lanza posted on his Facebook page and Twitter feed that he wasn't the killer.
The gunman delilberately went to Sandy Hook Elementary School with the
intention of killing his mother who was a kindergarten teacher at the school, according to NBC Channel 4.
State Sen. Barbara Buono released the following statement regarding the indident.
"What happened today in Newtown is every parent's gravest fear. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, particularly those who face the unspeakable heartache of losing a child to such senseless violence. Connecticut's loss will be felt all across the country, and Americans will stand together to comfort the grieving families and take steps to ensure a tragedy like this isn't
U.S. Rep. Rush Holt also released a statement, urging a discusson on ways to bring gun violence under control.
“We can’t just keep saying, ‘Our hearts ache for the victims and their families.’ We have to bring gun violence under control.
“Of course we are all horrified by today’s violence in Connecticut. Such tragedies are always senseless, but it is especially sickening to see gunfire turned against children in a place of learning.
“Yet it is not enough to feel sickened. In the aftermath of these horrific events, there will, as always, be those who will warn us against ‘politicizing’ this tragedy by discussing gun safety. These claims are ideologically motivated, and they are profoundly wrong.
“When, after a hurricane strikes, we advocate for funding to mitigate future floods, that is not ‘politicizing’ a tragedy. When, after a terrorist attack, we advocate for better measures to prevent future deaths, that is not ‘politicizing’ a tragedy. The notion that gun violence is somehow different—that it deserves unique immunity from serious conversation in our political dialogue – is nonsensical.
“Policymakers have an obligation to respond to problems by finding solutions. The solution to gun violence is, in part, to address gun safety. Arguments that deny this fact strike me as illogical or blindly ideological.”