CAIRO - Muslims joined fellow Americans Sunday, December 16, in mourning 20 children slaughtered by a gunman who forced his way into their school in the northeastern state of Connecticut.
The Muslim Community at the Al Hedaya Islamic Center in Newtown CT and at other area Masajid in Danbury CT (Danbury Masjid & Baitul Mukarram) share in the grief of the families of the children in today's tragedy, the center said in a statement on its website.
This is an especially painful time for all of us across the Greater Danbury Region.
At least 26 people, including 20 children aged 5 to 10 years old, were killed when a heavily-armed gunman stormed into their school in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday.
The gunman walked into a classroom where his mother was a teacher, shot her and then 20 students, most in the same classroom, before shooting five other adults and killing himself.
I came out to show my support and remember those who were lost to family members, Kisha Slater, who attended a vigil at the Toledo Children's Memorial, told Toledo Blade.
Pain is everywhere. It's not just in one location. It could happen in our city. I know what the parents are feeling, said Slater, who was joined at the vigil by her daughter, grandson and two nieces.
Standing in silence, the mourners flickered candles in their hands in remembrance of the victims.
One large brown teddy bear wore a sign, the printed letters rain-streaked: Praying for the children in Connecticut. God bless.
This is hard, but I had to be here. I had to, said Nancy Snyder, who showed up to offer sympathy for families of the victims.
To know somebody you don't even know cares, it helps. That's what I'm doing here hoping it sends comfort and support.
US President Barack Obama was set to attend a vigil in Newtown on Sunday to mourn victims of the school tragedy.
Many American were still in a state of shock two days after the massacre.
I'm still in shock, Greg Sadowski, 45, a registered nurse at St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, who lives in Newtown and has a son who attends Sandy Hook Elementary, told The Journal News.
This is unimaginable. I know many of these kids that lost their lives.
Police on Sunday released the names and age of those killed in the school massacre. They included 16 six-year-olds and four seven-year-olds.
Police said they had assembled "some very good evidence" on the killer's motives but revealed little.
The killer, Adam Lanza, had struggled at times to fit into the community and his mother Nancy pulled him out of school for several years, to home-school him.
The killer's mother legally owned a Sig Sauer and a Glock, both handguns commonly used by police, and the military-style Bushmaster long gun, according to law enforcement officials.
His father, Peter Lanza, issued a statement saying the family was in a "state of disbelief."
"No words can truly express how heartbroken we are," he said in a statement vowing to continue cooperating with law enforcement.
"We, too, are asking why," he said. "Like so many of you, we are saddened and struggling to make sense of what has transpired."
The United States has experienced a number of mass shooting rampages this year, most recently in Oregon, where a gunman opened fire at a shopping mall on Tuesday, killing two people and then himself.
The deadliest came in July at a midnight screening of a Batman film in Colorado that killed 12 people and wounded 58.In 2007, 32 people were killed at Virginia Tech university in the deadliest act of criminal gun violence in US history.