(NEWTOWN, Conn.) — Members of the shattered community of Newtown, Conn., struggling to come to grips with the loss of 20 children and six adults massacred by Adam Lanza, faced a new shock Sunday when a threat was made against a church that many of the victims and their families attend.
The St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church was evacuated during a noon service as armed police officers swarmed around the area, after a church official became aware of a credible threat and alerted parishioners mid-service to exit the building.
About 1,000 people were gathered inside the church at the time observing one of four memorial services being held there.
Witnesses said police entered the church and told parishioners that a threat had been made against the church and the surrounding area and that everyone had to leave immediately.
More than a dozen state troopers armed with assault rifles entered the church’s education center next to the church, but after a short time it was determined that threat was over.
Brian Wallace, director of communications for the Diocese of Bridgeport, said that after the massacre on Friday, he felt evacuation was a vital precaution to take.
“I don’t think any of us could be surprised about anything after what has happened,” Wallace said.
Meanwhile, police are working to understand what set Lanza off on his rampage.’
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eric Levenson, Devon Sayers and Jamiel Lynch, CNN
Paul R. La Monica, CNN
Christopher Dawson, CNN
Mariel Turner, Kacey Montoya & Nerissa Knight, KTLA