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No danger at Connecticut church after phone threat

Last Updated: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 10:11

Newtown (US): Worshippers hurriedly left a church on Sunday when someone phoned in a threat as parishioners remembered 20 children and six adults who were massacred at a nearby elementary school, but police later said nothing dangerous was found.

The threat interrupted a crowded Mass, sent worshippers hurrying from the church and touched off a large police response days after the worst massacre of school-age children in US history.

Halfway through the noon service, the priest stopped and said, "Please, everybody leave. There is a threat," said Anna Wood of Oxford, Connecticut, one of the worshippers who left.

At least a dozen police in camouflage gear and carrying guns arrived at the St Rose of Lima Church. An Associated Press photographer saw police leave carrying something in a red tarp.

Guns drawn, they searched the church and adjacent buildings.

Gunman 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.

The church hosted overflow crowds at all three morning Masses today.

Wood said everyone left calmly but described a congregation on edge. One boy, about 9, left with his mother. "He asked his mom, `Mom, why are we leaving?," Wood recalled. "The mom couldn`t answer. She just started crying."


First Published: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 10:11

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