Newtown Church Evacuated After Phone Threat
(Newtown, CT) Police say there’s no danger at a Connecticut church following a phoned-in threat days after 20 children and six adults were massacred at a school.
Deborah Metz, a Trumbull police officer on the scene, gave the all-clear after an hour in which armed police in SWAT gear searched the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church and adjacent buildings.
The evacuation unnerved worshipers in the wake of the worst shooting of school-age children in U.S. history.
Brian Wallace, director of communications for Diocese of Bridgeport, said people were asked to leave shortly after the call came in during the homily.
To interrupt people trying to heal, Wallace said, is a very “tragic and difficult thing.”
The St. Rose school, church and rectory were all searched. The police said they feel “very comfortable” that everything is secure.
Since Friday’s shooting, the church has been open 24 hours for people to come and pray. Police say the church will be on lockdown for the rest of the day.
Wallace said the church should reopen tomorrow.
Shooter Adam Lanza, his mother and eight of the child victims attended St. Rose of Lima. It is a Roman Catholic Church with an adjacent school, which Lanza attended briefly.
It will be the site of funerals for eight of the murdered children, and possibly one of the teachers, sources told CBS News.
Anna Wood, who was inside the church, described the scene as “surreal” to CBS News.
Wood said she was from Oxford, Connecticut, but came to St. Rose because of the shooting, and said the church was packed, including children.
She said no one seemed scared as they left the church, and that one boy who asked why people were asked to leave was told they were in recess.
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