No danger at Newtown church after threat

2012-12-16 21:58
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US school shooting

A gunman has killed 26 people, including 20 children, at a Connecticut school. See the pictures of the aftermath.

Connecticut - Worshippers hurriedly left a Newtown church on Sunday when someone phoned in a threat as parishioners remembered 20 children and six adults who were massacred at a nearby elementary school, but police later said nothing dangerous was found.

The threat interrupted a crowded Mass, sent worshippers hurrying from the church and touched off a large police response days after the worst massacre of school-age children in US history.

Halfway through the noon service, the priest stopped and said, "Please, everybody leave. There is a threat," said Anna Wood of Oxford, Connecticut, one of the worshippers who left.

At least a dozen police in camouflage gear and carrying guns arrived at the St Rose of Lima Church.

An Associated Press photographer saw police leave carrying something in a red tarp. Guns drawn, they searched the church and adjacent buildings.

Gunman Adam Lanza, his mother and eight of the child victims attended St Rose of Lima. It is a Roman Catholic Church with an adjacent school, which Lanza attended briefly.

The church hosted overflow crowds at all three morning Masses Sunday.

Wood said everyone left calmly but described a congregation on edge. One boy, about 9, left with his mother.

"He asked his mom, 'Mom, why are we leaving?," Wood recalled.

"The mom couldn't answer. She just started crying."

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