California's Superintendent of Schools, Tom Torlakson, issued a statement Friday about the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. in which several fatalities have been confirmed by law enforcement.
"This morning’s shooting in Connecticut is a terrible, senseless tragedy," Torlakson said. "Our grief is made all the deeper when we think of the innocence of the lives lost and the valiant efforts of teachers and school leaders to protect them. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the entire school community."
The shooting was reported at about 9:30 a.m. Eastern time in the town with a population of about 28,000. As of 3 p.m. Eastern time, law enforcement had not yet released a total number of fatalities or identified any victims.
Authorities confirmed the alleged shooter was dead inside the school, which serves children in kindergarten through fourth grade.
In light of the tragedy, President Barack Obama has ordered flags to be flown at half staff at all public institutions until Dec. 18. Teachers and students died, he said.