tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS December 17, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EST
i mean, it's a devastating event and it's heart breaking and it keeps getting more heart breaking. >> reporter: six-year-old noah pozner was eulogized as a kind, caring, slightly mischef vous boy who'd been looking forward to a buddy's birthday party on saturday. six-year-old jack pinto was described as all boy at his funeral. a huge new york giants' fan whose favorite player, victor cruz, played yesterday with jack's name on his gloves and cleats. jerry rhine holtz was at the funeral. >> the people that spoke, there were little stories about jack being in heaven tossing footballs at the angels and nothinging their halos off of their head and everyone got a chuckle out of that. >> reporter: the one funeral home in newtown will hold 11 funerals between now and christmas. funeral director shauna molloy came from a neighboring town to help out at jack pinto's funeral. did the kids seem to understand what was going on?
>> i think some do. you know, i don't know that they can fully -- i mean, they're so little. unfortunately they probably understand more than they should. >> reporter: investigators hoping to understand exactly what happened at sandy hook elementary school now hope to learn more from two staff members who were wounded last friday but are recovering. lieutenant paul vance is with the connecticut state police. >> they will shed a great deal of light on the facts and circumstances of this tragic investigation that we're undertaking. >> reporter: one of the two adults was the lead teacher at sandy hook elementary. she was with the principal who first confronted the gunman but, scott, as of tonight it's still unclear adds to exactly who the other adult is. >> pelley: jim, a lot was unclear on that first day. what we were told then tended to be wrong. it turned out the shooter's mother was not a teacher at sandy hook elementary. in fact, there doesn't seem to be any recent connection between the gunman and the school at
all. bob orr has pieced together what we now know of that morning. >> reporter: 20-year-old adam lanza launched his massacre at home. officials say lanza shot his mother nancy multiple times, killing her in her bed. lanza then took four guns-- legally registered to his mother-- and drove this black honda to sandy hook elementary school about five miles away. students there had finished reciting the pledge of allegiance and the building's doors had been locked. then, around 9:30 friday morning staffers in the front office heard popping noises. police say those were likely sounds of lanza shooting out the glass of one of the school doors. lanza entered the building carrying a bush master a.r.-15 assault rival with two sum automatic handguns inside the pockets of his military style cargo pants. police say he was also carrying hundreds of rounds of ammunition in multiple magazines. there were more popping sounds.
someone in the front office keyed the mike phone on the school's public address system in a frantic attempt to sound the warning. as the gunfire continued, 911 calls were made. and just before 9:36, a police dispatcher radioed the first alert. >> reporter: the precise sequence of what happened next is unclear. but we do nolan saa headed down a hallway towards the section of the school containing the classrooms of the youngest students. there he killed 20 first graders shooting all of them numerous times with the .223 assault rifle. six adult women-- including the principal, the school psychologist, and teachers-- were also killed. police radio logs suggest the shooting lasted about ten minutes. the slaughter ended as the first police officers arrived on the scene. sources say lanza was briefly
spotted at the end of a hallway. he duckd from view. the officers heard a final volley of shots. lanza had used one of the handguns to take his own life. a.t.f. officials now tell us lanza and his mother went shooting together at various ranges over the past several years but, scott, they still don't know if adam lanza practiced in recent weeks. >> pelley: bob, you mentioned there was a fourth gun. do the investigators have a theory on what he intended to do with that? >> that fourth gun was a shotgun capable of carrying a large drum of ammunition. lanza left it behind in the car's truck. police say they're not sure what he intended to do it with but it suggests maybe he was thinking of a broader attack. >> pelley: bob, thanks very much. we asked correspondent seth doane to talk to people who could paint a broader picture of adam lanza. >> reporter: what kind of kid was adam lanza as a classmate. >> just quiet. >> reporter: this girl remembers adam lanza from german class. >> on one side he did something
unspeakable, on the other, that's not how i remember him. i remember him as the nice kid that i sat near in class and, you know, we joked, he'd laugh, that kind of thing. >> reporter: it was the spring of 2009 and the two were enrolled at western connecticut state university while lanza was still in high school. >> we were all hanging out, outside of class afterwards one night and he walked by and we were like "hey, you want to grab a drink with us?" and he said "no, i can't, i'm 17." >> reporter: lanza was also being home schooled at the time. he took seven college level courses between the summers of 2008 and 2009. he received several as in computer classes and also one in american history. his overall g.p.a. was 3.26. dot remembers meeting adam lanza's mother. >> introduced herself, said he was sick, asked where the classroom was. when we walked in she was -- she was getting his assignments from the teacher. >> reporter: nancy lanza's
friends, mark and louise, told scott pelley on "60 minutes" that she told them adam had asperger's syndrome and taking care of him was a full-time job. >> i know he was on medication and everything. but she home schooled him at home because he couldn't deal with the school classes sometimes so she just home schooled him at home and that was her life. >> reporter: brian craft, who baby sat for the lanzas when adam was just about ten, got a glimpse of how difficult he could be. >> i received instructions from nancy to always supervise adam at all times and never turn my back on him. >> reporter: adam lanza's parents diversed in 2009. scott, we spoke a mediator in that divorce to who told us that his parents seemed to love him and wanted only the best for him. >> pelley: seth, thank you very much. in light of the story, we wanted to know more about asperger's so we turned to our doctor jon lapook.
doctor, nancy lanza told several of her friends that we've talked to that her son had asperger's syndrome. what is that? >> it's a mild form of autism that affects in about one in 88 children. with autism, tends tend to have problem with social communication and interaction, with asperger's they tend to be like little professors. they can be quirky, they can be very obsessed with specific subjects. but they tend to be very highly functional. now, we checked out with our experts around the world today about whether there was a link between violence and asperger's and although there's not a lot of study that have been done, the short answer is right now the answer is no. >> pelley: no connection between asperger's and violence? >> no known connection. >> pelley: thank you, doctor. all over the nation today children returned to schools where flags flew at half-staff. many schools conducted drills and reviewed their security and mark strassmann is in decatur, georgia, tonight. >> reporter: dekalb county's briarlake elementary was different today. an armed school police officer
patrolled outside and the principal ordered teachers to lock all classroom doors on the hallway side. lillian govus, the district spokeswoman, took us inside. all of dekalb's 138 schools have at least 32 security cameras installed in 1999 after the columbine shooting. >> what's new is the sense of awareness and the dialogue that's happening among our staff members and our families and the students who we serve in order to keep our children safe. >> i want everyone to get away from the hallway door and get down. >> reporter: this training video was attached to today's memo from the texas attorney general urging the states the school districts to review their emergency procedures. he said 78 of them have inadequate safety plans. the school district outside pittsburgh got a court order over the weekend to arm its school police. and in los angeles, each of the city's 10,000 police officers will stop by at least one school a day when classes resume next month. >> all we want to do is create a
this perfect, safe bubble for our children. >> reporter: newtown, connecticut, proved that perfect bubble doesn't exist but, scott, according to the national school safety center kids are one hundred times more likely to be assaulted outside of school than inside one. >> pelley: mark, thank you. the unprecedented loss of young lives brought new calls for stricter gun laws. at a prayer service in connecticut last night the president said this. >> in the coming weeks i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement, the mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. >> pelley: the white house said today the president would propose legislation but didn't say what. one advocate for gun rights-- democratic senator joe minute chin of west virginia-- said it's time for what he called an adult conversation on the subject. he said "never before have we
seen our babies slaughtered." others who support gun rights have been quiet on the subject. we contacted two dozen members of congress. all of them declined to comment. a cbs news poll taken immediately after the shootings finds more than half of americans-- 57%-- think gun control laws should be more strict. now, that's the highest number in a decade but, at the same time, when asked about what happened in newtown, 66% said stricter gun laws would have done little or nothing to prevent it. one outspoken advocate for strict gun laws demanded action from the president today. new york mayor michael bloomberg says president obama isn't vigorously enforcing background checks on gun buyers and he criticized mr. obama for not naming a permanent director for the federal agency that enforced gun laws. we talked to the mayor today and we pointed out to him that many
millions of americans disagree with gun control. >> lots of people think we shouldn't have speed limits. we still have speed limits. lots of people think we shouldn't have public schools. we still have public schools. lots of people are against a lot of different things. a democratic society you have to come together and what a majority of the people want. and every time somebody's on a poll the majority of people want sensible gun restrictions. >> pelley: and in your opinion sensible gun restrictions would include what? >> no guns in the hands of minors, no guns in the hands of criminals, no guns in the hands of people with psychiatric problems, no guns in the hands of people with substance abuse problems, no guns in the hands of people that we put on the no-fly list. we won't let you fly but we'll sell you a gun. what kind of craziness is this? >> pelley: so why is this your problem? >> why the murder rate around the country -- i'm an american! what's your question? >> pelley: why is this mike bloomberg's crusade? >> i live in america and i'm a human being. i don't know what your religion
teaches you, mine teaches you to take care of each other. in america, read the constitution, we're all equal and we're all americans. >> pelley: but what do you say to those who would make the argument that the guns are already out there. >> fine, let's get them off the streets. >> pelley: that we've lost this war. that there are three million ar-15s made in america already there. >> think of what you said. you want to go from -- i'll give you a list tomorrow of the 34 families who had somebody in their family killed tomorrow. do it by the end of the day. you really want to call them up and say "it's hopeless, we're just going to keep killing more and more people"? do you want that for your kids? i don't think so. >> pelley: mayor bloomberg. as we said, we wanted to hear from supporters of gun rights but we talked to more than two dozen members of congress, they all declined to talk with us but we will try again. with two weeks to go, the president and the speaker may be closing in on a path around the fiscal cliff. that story when the "cbs evening news" continues. the financial obstacles
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>> pelley: while our attention was on newtown, connecticut, in washington there was real progress on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff. that's the big tax increases for most americans and across-the-board spending cuts that would kick in in just two weeks. major garrett is at the white house for us tonight. major? >> reporter: scott, top white house advisors tell us house speaker john boehner broke the logjam when he agreed to raise some income tax rates. this comes with a price, one that president obama is not yet
agreed to pay. the president and boehner met in the oval office for just under an hour. in a call to mr. obama friday just after his statement on the connecticut school massacre boehner for the first time agreed to raise income tax rates he proposed raising the top rate from 35% to 39.6% on households earning one million dollars a year or more. mr. obama wants to raise rates on householdss making $250,000 or more. congressional sources say boehner has most house republicans with him. here's the catch, republicans want mr. obama to agree to one trillion in spending cuts, mostly coming from medicare and medicaid. republicans want to raise the medicare eligibility age and reduce cost of living adjustments to social security. these have been red lines for the white house but the president is considering them now aides to both leaders say the president and the speaker feel the weight of this moment and know they can help a
grieving nation by ending weeks of grieving acrimony. obstacles remain. but for the first time talk of a final compromise is no longer theoretical. >> pelley: major, thank you, senator daniel inouye died today in washington in a hospital where he was being treated for respiratory problems. inouye represented ohio in congress since it became a state in 1959. is he was awarded the medal of honor for his heroism during world war ii. he famously served on the senate watergate committee and as president pro tem of the senate he was third in line of succession to the presidency. daniel inouye was 88. a survivor of the newtown massacre tells us her story next. [ male announcer ] with free package pickup from the u.s. postal service the holidays are easy. visit usps.com. pay, print, and have it picked up for free before december 20h
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based on today's incredibly low interest rates... right from your iphone or android smartphone. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. >> pelley: there was a staff member at sandy hook elementary who was approached by the gunman but was not killed. in an interview for "60 minutes," school nurse sally cox
told us about the attack. >> all of a sudden a heard a very loud popping noise. a noise i've never, ever heard before. and my first thought was was it something with the heating system or did something fall? and i called out to the secretary, "barb, what is that?" and she called out to me by name she said "sally --" and i could just hear fear in her voice. >> pelley: it was something about the way barb called out your name? >> yes, yes. she just had this horrible sound of fear in her voice. and i just knew it was -- sounded like a bad thing. i know the popping kept going off and i just dove underneath my computer desk. the back of the desk has a small opening for, like, wires to come out and i just peeked. i could see his feet and his legs from the knees down and his feet were facing in my direction.
and i just froze with fear. and then he just -- it was just seconds and then he turned around and i could hear him walk out. i heard the door close and i just heard popping starting all over again and we heard screams. there was nothing we could do. >> pelley: after you came out of the closet you met the state police officers. am sot point you left the school and i wonder in that journey from your office through the door, what did you see? >> they told me to close my eyes. they took my arm and they guided me out, they said "we'll guide you out, we want you to close your eyes until you get to the parking lot." i don't know what was there that they didn't want me to see but they told me to close my eyes. >> pelley: and that's what you did? >> that's what i did. >> pelley: sandy hook school nurse sally cox. >> pelley: sandy hook school nurse sally cox. the president remembers the children. next. clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water.
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>> pelley: it was painful enough on friday when we heard the numbers: 20 children slain. but the enormity of the loss really hit the nation hard when the numbers became faces and the president read their names. >> charlotte, daniel, olivia, josephine, anna, dylan, madeline catherine, chase, jesse, james, grace, emilie, jack, noah,
caroline, jessica, benjamin, avielle, allison. god has called them all home. for those of us who remain let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of the memory. >> pelley: and that is the "cbs evening news" for tonight. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
which i amming new eyewitness accounts about what really took place during the sandy hook elementary school shooting. >> the popping kept going off. and i could see his -- his feet and his legs from the knees down. >> the dramatic stories. the parents in mourning. >> she was the type of person that could just light up the room. >> what we know about the killer now. >> and how hollywood is responding to the tragedy. from canceled premieres to heartbreaking tributes. >> join us as we observe a moment of silence. >> this was tragic. and if you're upset about it as a parent, it's okay for them to see you cry. >> dr. phil's advice for parents in this time of