WASHINGTON -- Choking up and wiping away tears, President Obama offered support and prayers for the families of those shot in an elementary school in Connecticut and called for “meaningful action” to stop such violence.
“Our hearts are broken today,” the president said in the briefing room at the White House.
Obama spoke hours after a gunman shot and killed more than two dozen people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Eighteen of the dead were children, according to officials.
Obama noted that he always responds to such tragedies as a parent and “that was especially true today.’”
“I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do,” he said, wiping away a tear and pausing to collect himself. “The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”
White House staffers who accompanied the president into the briefing room fought back tears as they sat by for his statement.