Prayers, anguish over school shooting fill social media

Dozens of people were killed, many of them children, in a school shooting Friday morning in a small Connecticut town. People flooded online networks with heartfelt responses.

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The incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a town about 60 miles northeast of New York, is already being called the nation’s worst school shooting.

According to authorities, a man identified as Adam Lanza entered a classroom round 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday morning. He shot and killed 20 children between the ages of five and 10, along with six staff members at the school, and himself. Lanza also shot and killed his mother, who was not a teacher at the school, as earlier reports had said.

As the story unfolded on Friday afternoon, the world watched with shock and disbelief that such a terrible thing could occur, two sentiments shared by many social media users.

Shortly after news of the shooting emerged on Twitter, people began tweeting prayers and condolences for the victims and their families. A number of Twitter users also expressed shock and anguish over the tragedy. By midday, the top trending topic on Twitter was #prayfornewtown.

Thoughts and prayers go out to all those in Newtown,CT. #PrayForNewtown

— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) December 14, 2012

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