The Straits Times
Published on Dec 17, 2012

Evacuation scare heightens US shooting nerves


NEWTOWN, Connecticut (AFP) - Mourners trying to make sense of the latest United States (US) shooting tragedy evacuated a church on Sunday as an undisclosed threat heightened nerves in this grief-stricken New England town.

The evacuation from the Saint Rose of Lima Catholic church came as the pastor was giving the homily in a somber service two days after 20 small children were slaughtered in an elementary school, as were six adults.

"It was in the middle of the Mass. They just said, 'please, everybody leave. There is a threat.' That was all," Anne, a woman from the state capital Hartford, told AFP. "The church was packed. There were kids."

Armed police searched a house next to the brown stone church, and oversaw the evacuation, hours before a planned visit to Newtown by President Barack Obama.