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Connecticut school shooting: 27 people, including 18 children, killed in rampage
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The gunman was also killed during the incident at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
A masked gunman has shot dead 27 people, including 18 children, at a school in America.
An entire classroom of students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, is unaccounted for, it was reported.
President Barack Obama has been notified of the "tragic" shooting, said a White House spokesman.
The heavily-armed gunman is reported to be among the dead. There are unconfirmed reports of a second gunman.
The school teaches children aged five to 10.
"It was horrendous," said parent Brenda Lebinski, who rushed to the school where her daughter is a pupil.
"Everyone was in hysterics - parents, students. There were kids coming out of the school bloodied. I don't know if they were shot, but they were bloodied."
Television images showed police and ambulances at the scene, and parents rushing toward the school. Parents were seen reuniting with their children and taking them home.
All Newtown schools were placed in lockdown after the shooting, the Newtown Public School District said.
A girl interviewed by NBC Connecticut described hearing seven loud "booms" as she was in gym class.
Other children began crying and teachers moved the students to a nearby office, she said.
"A police officer came in and told us to run outside and so we did," the unidentified girl said on camera.
Connecticut State Police said its officers were at the scene with local police but provided no additional details.
The emergency call to police occurred at 9:41 a.m., state police said.
An individual answering the phone at the Newtown Police Department declined to comment.
Newtown, with a population about 27,000, is in northern Fairfield County, about 45 miles (70 km) southwest of Hartford and 80 miles (130 km) northeast of New York City.
Sandy Hook is one of four elementary schools in the district.
The United States has experienced a number of mass shooting rampages this year, most recently in Oregon, where a gunman opened fire at a shopping mall on Tuesday, killing two people and then himself.
The deadliest attack came in July at a midnight screening of a Batman film in Colorado that killed 12 people and wounded 58.