Police to release new report on Sandy Hook massacre

Five Years Later, Police Examine Lessons From Newtown

Five Years Later, Police Examine Lessons From Newtown

Connecticut State Police say in a new report on the Newtown school massacre that unnecessary personnel potentially contaminated the crime scene by stepping on bullet casings and glass shards before they were collected for evidence.

The report will detail state police response to the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School, one of the five deadliest mass shootings by a single gunman in US history. Additionally, a number of the recommendations in the report proposed continuation of and enhancements to specific types of training, including crime scene management, medical, and active shooter tactical training, all of which have been integrated into CSP's training curriculum. A prosecutor's report in 2013 said that almost six minutes passed between the arrival of the first Newtown police officer and the time officers entered the school.

Police have not explained why it's taken five years since the shooting to complete the review.

The "after-action report" usually critiques a police agency's response to a mass casualty situation and is used by other law enforcement agencies as a learning tool.

The report has gone through two authors and several drafts.

Murray was assigned to do the after-action report within days of the massacre.

State police officials presented the report to the victims' families in a private meeting Friday morning at Troop A in Southbury and to department administrators at their headquarters in Middletown before releasing it to the public Friday afternoon. Those authorities included the state police officers who first entered the classrooms where the 20 first-graders were murdered, the SWAT team members and the command personnel.

In 2015, when the Hartford Courant first requested the report, Murray was transferred to headquarters and ordered to complete it.

It is unclear what has happened to the report since those revisions were made. "The process has been time-consuming and delayed due to several factors, including limited resources and the attrition of several of the personnel working on this project". The practice was briefly stopped after The Courant wrote about it a few years ago, but has since been revived. A commanding officer should be assigned to do the report and is supposed to have a copy to the state police commissioner "no later than a week" after the incident.

There should also be better mental health assistance for first responders to a tragedy like Sandy Hook, the report said. Officers were not able to intervene before the gunman turned the gun on himself.

Similar reports have been published after mass shootings dating back to the deadly 1999 rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado, which left 12 dead.

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