Police press conference under way here.
Reports about the devastating shooting attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, are variously saying that 26 or 27 are dead, 18 of them children. Three people are said to be in a local hospital where the emergency room is locked down.
The alleged gunman has been variously reported as being 20- or 24-years-old, with unspecified connections to the school. He is dead at the scene. Another person is in police custody. Neither has been identified. At least two semi-automatic handguns were used. Some reports say there were four guns in all, one of them a .223 caliber rifle. That could be an AR-15, the semi-automatic civilian version of the military's automatic M-16, or any number of other rifles.
People said dozens of rounds were fired. Some children were said to see the gunman shoot their teacher.
...White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said "today is not the day," to engage in a policy debate over gun control. [...]10:53 AM PT: 11:01 AM PT: 11:15 AM PT:
"I think that day will come, but today's not that day, especially as we are awaiting more information about the situation," Carney told reporters in a somber press briefing at the White House.
Carney ducked the question when asked when would be a good time to engage in a substantive debate on gun control, repeating that today isn't the time. Obama has drawn criticism for never making gun control an administration priority.
Asked about reinstating the Assault Weapons Ban, which Obama has supported but never invested political capital in, Carney said it "does remain a commitment" of the president's.