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Church in Newtown, Connecticut, Evacuated After “Credible Threat”

By Alex Johnston
Epoch Times Staff
Created: December 16, 2012 Last Updated: December 18, 2012
Related articles: United States » National News
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Connecticut State Police officers walk out of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church after a threat to the church was received following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 16, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Connecticut State Police officers walk out of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church after a threat to the church was received following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 16, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A church in Newtown, Conn., was evacuated after an anonymous threat was phoned in just two days after 27 people, including the shooter, were shot to death at a local elementary school.

The St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church was evacuated temporarily after a “credible threat,” reported the Boston Herald, citing Brian Wallace, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Bridgeport. The noontime Mass was evacuated after the pastor heard about the threat, Wallace said.

Soon after the evacuation, the SWAT team was called in and armored cars surrounded the church. The church held three Masses, which were packed after Friday’s deadly incident.

Another church official told Yahoo! News that an unidentified male called the official with a threat, saying, “My friend didn’t finish the job.”

According to the Herald, after SWAT members investigated the building, they did not find any bombs or other threats.

“I don’t understand. I don’t understand,” said one woman, who was evacuated, to The Boston Globe.

Nancy Elis, another parishioner, told The Wall Street Journal, “Is this Newtown? Is this Newtown, Connecticut?” She told The Associated Press that the scene looked like a “war zone.”

Parishioner Anna Wood told the Globe that people remained calm as they left the church.

I just looked up and said, ‘You know, if anything has to happen, protect the kids, because they have been through enough already.’

— Anna Wood, parishioner, St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church

“He asked his mom, ‘Mom, why are we leaving?,’” Wood recalled, referring to a 9-year-old boy leaving with his mother. “The mom couldn’t answer. She just started crying,” Wood added.

She told the Journal, “I just looked up and said, ‘You know, if anything has to happen, protect the kids, because they have been through enough already.’”

Police are still trying to figure out the motive or what prompted shooter Adam Lanza, age 20, to carry out the mass shooting that killed 20 children. 

Authorities are currently investigating computers they seized over the weekend that belonged to Lanza in the home that he lived in with his mother, who he also shot at home before arriving at the school Friday morning, according to ABC News.

The guns that were used by Lanza were reportedly registered in his mother’s name. Referring to the firearms Lanza used, Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance told ABC, “We are tracing them historically, all the way back to when they were on the workbench being assembled.”

They are also examining computers and other devices belonging to his brother, Ryan Lanza, who lives in New Jersey.

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