- 35 updates
President Barack Obama hopes to get new US gun control measures passed during the first year of his second term and is sceptical of a proposal by the National Rifle Association to put armed guards in schools.
Obama told NBC's 'Meet the Press' programme:
Speaking at a vigil in Newtown, the US President Barack Obama said they were not along in their grief.
"We gather here in memory of 20 beautiful children and six remarkable adults. They lost their lives in a school - that could have been any school - in quiet town full of good and decent people. That could be any town in America. Here in Newtown I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation.
I am mindful there mere words cannot match the depth of your sorrow. Nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief - but our world too has been torn apart. All across this land of ours, we have wept with you."
President Barack Obama has boarded Air Force One bound for Connecticut to attend a church vigil and to meet families of victims of the school shooting in Newtown.
He will also talk to members of the emergency services.
Pope Benedict XVI told pilgrims gathered in Vatican City's St. Peter's Square that he was "deeply saddened by Friday's senseless violence in Newtown, Connecticut".
The pontiff said, "I assure the families of the victims, especially those who lost a child, of my closeness in prayer. May the God of consolation touch their hearts and ease their pain".
"Upon those affected by this tragedy, and upon each of you, I invoke God's abundant blessings!", he added.
President Barack Obama will visit Newtown, Connecticut, this evening, to meet the families of the shooting massacre victims and thank the emergency services for their hard work.
The White House said in a statement, "The President will also speak at an interfaith vigil for families of the victims, as well as families from Sandy Hook Elementary School, scheduled for 7:00pm EST [Midnight GMT]".
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said of the Newtown shooting tragedy:
Members of the New York Knicks basketball team observe a moment of silence for the victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School before their NBA game with the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden, New York.