As the news filters through piece by piece, the picture becomes clearer, and a horrific picture it is: 20 children and eight adults, including the gunman, the children aged between 5 and 11 years of age at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
The horror scene meeting police as they stormed the building of the Sandy Hook elementary school at Newtown, Connecticut, USA, after the alert was raised at 09.40 local time on the morning of Friday December 14 was perhaps the worst ever school massacre involving young children in the history of the United States of America.
The reports now concentrate on one gunman, Adam Lanza, 20, possibly with a personality disorder with connections to the school, who was found dead at the scene dressed in a paramilitary uniform with 3 weapons. One of the weapons is believed to be a .223 rifle and there are also reports of two pistols.
The dead are understood to be 20 children and 8 adults, including the gunman. There are also an undisclosed number of hospitalized victims.
It now becomes clear that Lanza murdered his mother at home before the shooting and then drove her car to the school, where she had worked. He killed the headmistress, who was helping the children after the shooting began.
Today is not the time to open a debate about the availability of weapons in the United States of America, today is not the day to grandstage. It is time for the citizens of the world to come together and embrace those people who have lost their loved ones and their children in a horrifically unexpected and shocking incident just before the time when families are getting ready to celebrate.
As we celebrate our Christmases this year, let us spare a thought and a prayer for those whose lives have just been torn apart.