Following drills that many US children are taught as to how to react during an emergency, Aiden and his classmates quickly made their way to the door where the gunman was standing and ran past him. Some of them survived.
“He really, really, really cared about his teacher. He was very close with her, and she really loved that class. He keeps saying, ‘I really hope she’s okay, I hope it’s not her’,” the boy’s mother said.
“He knows that she’s been hurt but he doesn’t know the end result. He knows the kids that he saw getting shot.”
A police spokesman said Lanza is believed to have shot his mother at the home they shared before heading to the nearby school and launching his attack.
He had two handguns, but the coroner told reporters that most of the children and staff were killed by multiple gunshots from his assault rifle, a .223 calibre Bushmaster, a civilian version of the US military’s M4.
Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver said the rifle fires rounds “in such a fashion that the energy is deposited in the tissue, so the bullet stays in.”
Lanza’s father Peter expressed shock and grief at the horror caused by his son.
“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.”
Connecticut State Police released the identity of the victims, aged six to 56. They included 16 six-year-olds and four seven-year-olds.
Twelve of the 20 slain children were girls and eight were boys.
The six adults killed at the school were all women, including the school’s principal and its psychologist.
The motives of the shooter were the biggest mystery. Carver was to have conducted a post-mortem on Lanza and on his mother late on Saturday.
Asked whether any suicide note, emails or other clues into the killer’s mind had been found, Connecticut State Police spokesman Lieutenant J. Paul Vance said investigators have gathered “some very good evidence.”
Vance said the crime scene investigation could go through the weekend.