AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
We end this hour with a recap of our main story today: the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. A total of 28 people, including the gunman, are confirmed dead. Federal law enforcement officials tell NPR that the shooter was Adam Lanza, 20 years old of Newtown. They say he walked into Sandy Hook Elementary and opened fire, killing six adults and 20 children. Lanza also died at the school.
State police say another adult was killed before the rampage at the Lanza family home in Newtown.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
When second grade teacher Abbey Clements first heard gunshots at Sandy Hook, she wondered if they could be folding chairs falling to the ground. She soon realized they were gunshots and quickly pulled two students from the hallway into her classroom. She described what happened next to member station KPCC.
ABBEY CLEMENTS: We went into lockdown, which meant that I ran to get the keys. I told the kids to sit in the place where we practice for emergencies and I - the thing was that the - the P.A. system was on the entire time, so you could hear the shots, and there were a lot of gunshots. And so it was scary, because even though we didn't see what was going on, we could hear it.
CORNISH: Abbey Clements says some of her students are as young as 6. She did her best to keep them calm.
CLEMENTS: Some of them were crying, and some, you know, were really, really scared. And others kind of just looked like shocked, you know, just quiet and sitting and waiting, and they just, you know, wanted their moms and dads. They wanted to go home, and I was just trying my best to keep everybody calm. And I was actually - I wanted them to be quiet so I can hear what to do, but I also wanted to make a lot of noise so that they didn't have to hear all that but - so I read them a couple of books, and we did the best we could. And thank God, all my guys got out, but I just didn't think this - the parents of the kids that...
(SOUNDBITE OF SIGH)
CORNISH: Second grade teacher Abbey Clements speaking on member station KPCC's program "Air Talk."
SIEGEL: President Obama spoke about the day's events at the White House. He said meaningful action must be taken to prevent tragedies like this in the future regardless, he said, of the politics.
The Sandy Hook School shooting is among the deadliest in U.S. history. In honor of the victims, the president has ordered flags to be flown at half staff on all federal buildings until December 18th. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.