Gov. Dave Heineman says the thoughts and prayers of Nebraskans are with the families of Newtown, Connecticut grieving over the deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning.
“This evil tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 20 First Graders and six adults is difficult to explain and shocking to all Americans,” Heineman tells reporters during a conference call this morning. “However, as Americans, we are resilient and we will move ahead as best we can.”
Heineman calls the tragedy unthinkable.
“There are a lot of issues. This is complex, complicated and we need to be careful in that regard,” says Heineman. “But after an appropriate time of reflection, I think we ought to have the conversation.”
The shootings began around 9:30am as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, after killing his mother in their home, opened fire in two classrooms. He killed 20 First Grade students and six adults before shooting and killing himself. Lanza had used a semi-automatic rifle owned by his mother. He also carried two handguns, one of which it appears he used to commit suicide as police closed in. Authorities say he had enough ammunition on hand to kill everyone in the school.
Heineman says the killings will prompt discussions to seek solutions to curb such violence.
“We need to recognize while we try to do all we can to prevent future incidences like this, someone who is determined is very hard to stop,” according to Heineman.
The governor praised the principal who lunched at Lanza to try to stop him. She was shot and killed.
“This is such an evil tragedy, it’s unspeakable, it’s unthinkable,” Heineman says.
While the shootings in Connecticut have already sparked discussions of what society should do, Heineman says solutions might be hard to find.
“I don’t think there are any easy answers,” Heineman says. “It troubles all of us. Like I say, at the very core, I can’t believe any American would do this; to shoot 20 innocent, young 6 and 7-year-olds, that’s unfathomable.”
AUDIO: Gov. Dave Heineman’s statement on Newtwon, CT shootings. [:30]