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Bells toll for victims one week after Newtown shooting

  • Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, center, stands with other officials to observe a moment of silence while bells ring 26 times in Newtown, Conn., Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, in honor of the victims who were killed last Friday during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The chiming of bells reverberated throughout Newtown on Friday, commemorating one week since the crackle of gunfire in a schoolhouse killed 20 children and six adults in a massacre that has shaken the community — and the nation — to its core.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy gathered with other officials in rain and wind on the steps of the town hall as the bell rang 26 times in memory of each life lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman also killed his mother before the massacre, and himself afterward.

Officials didn't plan any formal remarks Friday morning, and similar commemorations took place throughout the country.

Though the massacre does not rank as the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history — that happened at Virginia Tech — the tender age of the victims and the absence of any apparent motive has struck at Americans' hearts and minds. The gunman used a military-style assault rifle loaded with ammunition intended to inflict maximum damage, officials have said.

The White House said President Barack Obama privately observed the moment of silence.


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