SOLEDAD O’BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Newtown, Connecticut, small New England town that is suddenly and very tragically well-known. The bodies of 20 children and six adults killed by an alleged shooter named Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary school yesterday have now been removed from that school. The victims have been identified.
O’BRIEN: And as we try to learn more about the suspected shooter, we’re also learning more about some of the weapons that Adam Lanza allegedly used to target kindergarteners and first graders at the school. Police said he had access to six guns. Authorities found three of those guns near Lanza’s body inside the school classroom. That’s the latest we have been learning about that. All three guns were owned and registered by his mother. Also, investigators recovered three more guns, three other rifles. It is unclear and we don’t know where those weapons were found.
We want to get theft afternoon to Mike Bouchard. He is a former ATF assistant director to Washington D.C.
Mike, you supervised the ATF’s response to a tragic killing spree just about ten years ago that the Washington D.C. beltway sniper. So unfortunately, you have a lot of experience in these kinds of horrific tragedies. I want to talk specifically about the weapons.
Originally, we had heard that the Bushmaster .223, the rifle, semiautomatic rifle had been left in the car. And now we now understand that it actually was inside the school. Does that answer some questions for you about the large number of shots that people reported hearing and the amount of damage and the number of people who were killed in this spree?
MIKE BOUCHARD, FORMER ATF ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, Soledad, I think it leaves more questions that need to be answered. Obviously, he probably carried the pistols because they’re more easily concealed. That made it easier for him to approach the school. If he was walking up to the school with a rival, they could have obviously locked down, called the police. So, he may have left that the rifle in the vehicle as a backup.
O’BRIEN: So there are other rifles, three others, and it’s really the first time that we’ve heard about these other three. So, let’s walk through those. One is called a Henry repeating rifle. What is that?
BOUCHARD: The other three rifles that were described earlier are mainly hunting type rifles. They’re not typically called an assault type rifle, much like the Bushmaster is.
O’BRIEN: So we have been told and it’s not a lot of information, but there is some indication that the suspected shooter might earlier in the week on Tuesday have gone to purchase a gun at a local store. It’s unclear what happened. If he — if there was a waiting period as we know what happens here in Connecticut or what exactly stopped him. He’s 20-years-old. No criminal record. Would he have been able to just go and purchase a gun in this state?
BOUCHARD: At 20 years old, he could purchase a long gun. Obviously, you need to be 21 to purchase a handgun from a gun dealer. However, could you purchase one on the street, obviously between individual. But in order to go into a gun store licensed dealer, you could — you have to be 18-years-old to buy a long gun, which most sporting goods stores only sell long guns hunting type rifles.
O’BRIEN: So, we know that they have continued to seal off the school, and earlier in a press conference, we heard from the state police that it’s an active crime scene and that they’re going to go into every crevice and every corner. I would assume a lot of that is going to deal with the ballistics. What do they still need to understand? What are they searching for at this point?
BOUCHARD: Well, obviously, when they doing the crime scene, they’re going to look to recover all the fired bullets. Whether they — if they miss, went into walls and ceiling, et cetera, they’ll recover so they can get a good estimate as to how many shots were fired. If they find any different type of caliber, obviously, they’d like to know that. They have to verify that this was the only shooter which I think they’ve already done and that all the weapons that were used have been recovered.
DOCTOR H. WAYNE CARVER II, CONNECTICUT CHIEF STATE MEDICAL EXAMINER: Thank you, Paul.
First of all, on behalf of my wife and my sons, and on behalf of my other family, our people at the office, chief medical examiner, we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and everyone else who has been so hurt by this event. Our thoughts and our prayers are with you.
The office of the chief medical examiner got here, actually the chief medical examiner got here a couple hours after the building was secured. We were here until approximately 12:30 last night. We thank the emergency services who built us a temporary facility in the parking lot. And we took identification, photographs and did preliminary identification on all the victims. And had everybody transported back to Farmington by about 1:00 in the morning.
Our entire staff turned out started the postmortem examinations this morning. We’ve completed the children by about 1:30. And I believe everybody except the assailant and his mother will be finished tonight. And I’ll do those, tomorrow morning.
Lieutenant Vance and staff have a list of the names and the dates of birth. Anything else? No, no. And that will be distributed. Hope you’ve got enough copies. Everybody, death was caused by — every one that we’ve completed so far was caused by gunshot wounds. And obviously, the manner of death on all of these cases has been classified as homicide.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How many medical examiners worked with you today, sir?
CARVER: I have four doctors and, man. I think al ten of my technicians both the full-timers and part-timers were there. And one student from Quinnipiac University, this was her first day. That was kind of interesting. And the majority of our investigative staffs were working on this at some point whether they were with us last night or on the job today. And our — I think a lot of our chair cal or what they call processing techs who do the paperwork and so forth were there. They’re up all on the second floor and I didn’t get there today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Sir, you obviously by the nature of your job, you deal with horrible things at times. Is this one over the top? Is this one a bit different than anything you’ve done before, sir?
CARVER: Did everybody hear the question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
CARVER: It was given what I deal with all the time, is this one over the top. I’ve been at this for a third of a century. And it’s my sensibilities may not be the average man. But this probably is the worst I have seen or the worst that I know of any of my colleagues having seen. And that all the more makes me proud and grateful to our staff who to a man have just behaved most professionally and strongly and I hope they and I hope the people of Newtown don’t have it crash on their head later about you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor, on that examination, could you tell which caliber of the handgun compared to the rifle of these shooting victims were?
CARVER: It’s a good thing it’s not a prosecution because then I couldn’t answer you that. But, all of the wounds I know of at this point were caused by the long weapon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: So the rifle was the primary weapon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What caliber were the —
CARVER: The question was what caliber were these bullets. I know, I probably know more about firearms than most pathologists but if I say it in court they yell at me and don’t make me answer. So I’ll let the police deal with that for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor, can you tell about the nature of the wounds? Were they at very close range? Were the children shot from across the room?
CARVER: I only did seven of the autopsies. The victims I had ranged from 3 to 11 wound apiece. I only saw two of them with close range shooting. But, you know, that’s a sample. I really don’t have of detailed information on the rest of the injuries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: But you said it was the long rifle that was used?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: I thought the long rifle was discovered in the car. That’s not correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That’s not correct, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How many bullets casings did you find total?
CARVER: Oh. I’m lucky I can tell you how many I found. I don’t know. There were lots of them, OK? This type of weapon is not — the bullets are designed in such a fashion that the energy — this is very clinical. I shouldn’t be saying this, but the energy is deposited in the tissue and so the bullet stays in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor, did the children die quickly?
CARVER: That’s always a difficult question and obviously I don’t have — I don’t have detailed information on all of them, but this is a very devastating set of injuries.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Did they suffer?
CARVER: I don’t — I don’t — the best of my ability to answer that question which is always less than perfect, if so, not for very long.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Were most of the injuries multiple?
CARVER: All the ones — I believe so, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Doctor, what shape are the bodies —
CARVER: We did not bring the bodies and the families into contact. We took pictures of them. Of their facial features. You have — it’s easier on the families when you do that. There is a time and a place for up close and personal in the grieving process. But to accomplish this we felt it would be best to do it this way and you can sort of — you can control the situation depending on your photographer. I have very good photographers but –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do you know the difference in the time of death between the body that was recovered from the house and the bodies that were recovered from the school?
CARVER: No, I don’t. Sorry, I don’t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How young?
CARVER: Sorry, I don’t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How young was the youngest victim, doctor, how old was the oldest victim.
CARVER: You all have to look at the spread sheet when we pass it out, I’m sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: That you dealt with.
CARVER: All the ones I dealt with — everybody I dealt with, I believe they’re all first graders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Did the gunman kill himself with the rifle?
CARVER: No, I don’t know yet. I’ll examine him tomorrow morning. But I don’t think so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What about the woman in the home?
CARVER: Have I not seen her yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The children all in one location, one classroom or —
CARVER: OK. Paul and company will deal with that, Paul and company. Lieutenant Vance is going to handle that one. .
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE).
CARVER: We discussed this briefly with the staff before I came here. There was of — I believe everybody was hit more than once.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Was there any evidence of a struggle, any bruises or —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The nature of the shooting was there any sense that it was a lot of care taken to precision from the shooter or was it spread randomly?
CARVER: Both. It’s very difficult question to answer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Given the wounds?
CARVER: Yes. It’s really — you would think after the thousands of people I’ve seen shot I could answer that question, but it’s — if I attempted to answer it in court, there would be an action and they would win.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor, can you describe, what the kids looked like when they came to you, what were they wearing?
CARVER: They were wearing cute kids’ stuff. I mean, they’re first graders wearing cute kids stuff. You know? It’s the kind of stuff you’d accepted your kids or your grandkids out the door on to first grade in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Doctor, can we discuss the fatal injuries to the adults?
CARVER: Similar to those of the children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor, the children that you autopsied, where on the bodies were those wounds?
CARVER: All over. All over.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What about the mother?
CARVER: I have not examined her yet. That will be tomorrow morning.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor, were they at desks or running away?
CARVER: I’ll let the scene guys address that issue. OK? Obviously, I was at the scene. Obviously I’m very experienced in that, but there are people who are the number one professionals on that. I’ll let them handle it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor, you said that the bodies that you examined, the seven had three to 11 shots.
CARVER: That’s just the ones that I did.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Just the ones that you examined. So this man was shooting —
CARVER: I think the, yes, I think the guy who’s did the crime scene will be able to tell you something about how many cart ridges were found.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Is this protocol on how you did the autopsy? Like the mother and the –.
CARVER: Our goal — our goal was to get the kids out and available to the funeral directors first, just for — well, obvious reasons.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How many boys, how many girls?
CARVER: I have no idea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor.
CARVER: I don’t know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You said before when I asked you about, you said this is the worst you’ve seen. I know you’re a professional again and I know you have a veneer that you put up. Were you emotional at any point? Did this get to you at any point where you had to fight back tears?
CARVER: Not yet. OK? But yes, there have been times in my career when I’ve for reasons I don’t appreciate go in the locker room and sit down and cry, but — and I think if you — if you don’t have to do that, you shouldn’t be in this business, but for this one, not yet. Notice I said yet. All right, folks. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Could you say and spell your name.
CARVER: Yes, sure. I hope you all put this in your calendar because in 31 years, and 26 as chief medical examiner, this is only the second press conference I’ve given. It’s H. Wayne w-a-y-n-e, Carver, c-a-r- v-e-r, and it’s the second. That’s why I don’t use the H. Because when my father asked my grandfather, he said fine, but as long as you never call him Harold.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Can you just real quickly, did they set up a tent in the parking lot?
CARVER: It wasn’t a tent. It was this magnificent thing. And it’s sectional and it sticks together with Velcro and then they stake it to the ground and electricity and lights appear from the department of emergency management. And I think it came from the army but I’m not sure. I think it’s these things that they use in to set up field hospitals very quickly, mobile hospitals.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Have all of the children’s bodies been returned to the patients or mortuaries?
CARVER: I don’t know the mortuaries have all been called.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: But they’re waiting to be released, these bodies.
CARVER: The paperwork’s been done, as of 1:30 the paperwork was done. The usual drill is the funeral homes call us and as soon as the paperwork’s done, we call them back. That process was completed for the children at 1:30 today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You transported the bodies where?
CARVER: To our office in Farmington.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: OK. How did you transport them?
CARVER: We have transport vehicles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: So how many vehicles?
CARVER: We have three vehicles and a lot of guys that drive them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Vans or –.
CARVER: Actually, one of the highlights of my administration is that we make them as nondescript and un-marked as possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: One last —
CARVER: Just to foil you guys. No, they started out at 6:00.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: When you removed the bodies, can you tell us how the numbers were and list the victims in both of those classes?
CARVER: I don’t have the differential between the two classrooms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Were the majority of adults found in the front office or in the classrooms.
CARVER: I’m going to let the police handle that because they’re the scene guys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor, you said you’re going to examine the bodies of Nancy Lanza and her son tomorrow, is that correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Will you be doing that personally?
CARVER: Yes, it just so happen it was my weekend. UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doctor, you said you can’t confirm that the gunshot wounds of the assailant are self-inflicted?
CARVER: I just —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You don’t know?
CARVER: I can’t technically make that diagnosis until I examine him, OK? I mean, I don’t want to belabor the obvious. That’s what everybody believes at this point but in terms of my fishery responsibilities, I haven’t executed them yet. OK? All right. Thank you very much.
VANCE: Thank you, doctor. As the doctor stated, the two additional postmortem examinations will be conducted tomorrow. We’ll have additional information relative to the results of those examinations tomorrow.
Again, I would implore you as has been stated many times, we’re asking for privacy for the families. As we’ve stated before, the colonel has in fact assigned a trooper and or officers to each family to provide an open line of communication to them from us. And they will be with the families as the all times in an effort to instill that privacy.
We do have a list of the deceased. I’d ask you to share. We’ll put it up on our Web site if you don’t get one. Trooper Grant will be out behind us and she’ll be handing out. Please take one per unit, if you will. And again, if you don’t get one, it will be on the Web site within the hour. I’m sorry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What’s the address?
VANCE: Any search engine to connect to the state police Web site. I’ll take any brief questions. Again, understanding, please, that this still is an active case. We still are actively pursuing leads and we are still anticipating to do so for the next 24 to 48 hours. Sir? Sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE)
VANCE: We didn’t discuss the location of any of the weaponry at all. There’s been a lot of speculation out there relative to the location of the weapons. And we’d like to do that when give to you about the caliber, about the ownership and about — so I’m going to hold that question until probably tomorrow morning, OK? Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Two questions. What can you tell us, were all three of the weapons fired, and number two, what can you tell us about a previous altercation involving the gunman at the school?
VANCE: OK. First question I cannot answer. I’ll have to get that information for you. I don’t know. It’s that simple. The second question is, there has been talk and speculation about that. But in conversations with the superintendent and the authorities here in town, there is no information about any confrontation. UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Lieutenant, what was the mother doing with this sort of weaponry in her house when she had a son that had some mental issues?
VANCE: That’s something certainly we need to look at and our investigators will, again, peel back the onion and look at the layers in their investigation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: That’s pretty large fire power.
VANCE: Again, we’ll have to examine that sir. Yes, ma’am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Does that mean that no altercation happened or there is no information?
VANCE: There have been no reports filed of any altercation in the school involving the individual.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Can you tell us anything about this Asperinger’s (ph) and his condition and state?
VANCE: I can just simply tell you we have not officially identified him at this time and it’s our policy until positive identification and postmortem is complete, we can’t discuss the facts and circumstances of the deceased. Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
VANCE: NO, sir. Speaking with the superintendent, there was no relation at all. One more question. One more question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Can you tell us about the Latino families that need help with communication?
VANCE: What’s very important to note and I would be neglectful not to mention this. The support from people not only in the community but first of all especially in the community of Newtown has been outstanding. The support outside of the community has been more than outstanding. The outpouring of assistance, the offer of help, as has been reported, not only as Newtown police are involved, state police are involved, federal authorities, other state agencies, other local police departments, other paraprofessionals, professionals, they’re all here and support the family.
So, we’re certainly attempting and we will and we had provided support for the first responders. The fire, police, EMS and we’re going to continue to do that and we’ll do that as long as necessary.
I’m going to thank you for this. I’m going to simply say to you, this is the last briefing for today, All right? We will be here tomorrow morning. I’ll give you any updates tomorrow morning. But there will be no more briefings or interview. If anything were to break, breaking news, I would direct you to our Web site. We will post it on our Web site. Again, we don’t anticipate anything as our investigators continue their work.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Anything more on a motive?
VANCE: No, there is nothing more today, nothing more at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Can you tell us the time the female was shot?
VANCE: I don’t know, sir. I can’t — I’m not going to read the names. I’ll provide copies. I have some. Kelly Grant — trooper Grant is back there with other copies.
O’BRIEN: That will be Lieutenant Vance from the Connecticut state police. He is the man who has been holding these press conferences over the last 24 hours-plus.
He said a couple things about the case before he began. He really mentioned that he was once again going to plea for the families of these children who are — have been killed in this terrible tragedy they would be left alone in solitude. He’s assigned each family, he reminded us, a trooper, to make sure that happens.
He said a couple things about the case still being active. And he said there’s still information that they’re still trying to get about the caliber of the weaponry, the ownership of the guns. And so, they have no information at this point they are releasing officially, at least in this kind of press conference format. He said they haven’t even officially identified the alleged shooter. And they’re waiting for the postmortem that we know will take place tomorrow.
But he also pointed out — word of the community has been outstanding and the support of the folks outside of the community, he says, has been even more than outstanding.
Before we heard from Lieutenant Vance, we heard from the medical examiner of the state of Connecticut, Wayne Carver II, and he started off by saying his prayers and thoughts were with the entire community, had some information that he wanted to talk about. Number one, all the folks were killed by gunshots, all ruled a homicide. He believes that the children all were first graders who were killed by the gunman. He said they are working at this point from a temporary facility, taking photos and that, in fact, by 1:30 this afternoon, all of the autopsies had been completed, and the examinations had been completed on the children. And that the mortuaries had had all been called, meaning at that point they would be ready to deliver the bodies back to the families of the children so far.
He said that there were examinations still to be done, the shooter and his mother, the alleged shooter and his mother. Those examinations, those postmortems will be done tomorrow. They will — he talked about the wounds. He said that the wounds were caused by one weapon. At least those they’ve looked at so far and that was the semiautomatic rifle. He said he himself did seven autopsies and two of them were close-range shootings and he said he used pictures from the family members to I.D. those bodies. He said that as long as he has been doing this, it was a very tough thing that while he was holding up well, he has a lot of experience. He said he has not sort of collapsed emotionally yet, emphasizing the word yet, because he said this is one of the toughest things he has seen in his career.
He believes that everybody of the 26 killed, and then the two others, including the shooter and his mother, but of those 26, he says he believes that each one was hit by more than one bullet. Wounds described when he was asked by reporters, he said all over and gave some details but not very many about the scene inside of that shooting.
So, we’re getting a few more details from the medical examiner, who, we have been waiting to hear from. And also from the lieutenant Vance from the state police who said this would be it in terms of updates for the rest of the day. They have been very good at updating reporters during the day. But also reminding them they want the family members whose children are deceased to be left alone, left in solitude as they are grappling with this terrible, terrible circumstance.
So that is their update from this evening press conference, the last one of the day. And, of course, they were then able to release the names of those who have been killed who they have already done the postmortems on. So that is where it stands right now.”
More to follow.