While parents, the academic community and people in general continued to be shocked by the Connecticut school massacre over the weekend, which resulted in the death of more than 20 schoolchildren, it was not the worst in history.
A listing by Listverse.com said that on the number one spot is terms of lives lost was that which resulted in 386 dead, including those of 31 hostage takers and more than 700 people injured.
However, even if the Saturday massacre, which killed 27 people, mostly first-graders, the assailant's mother, the mass murderer Adam Lanza and school officials, it considered the second worst in U.S. history after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.
AP reports that Mr Lanza broke the school door open, which prompted school psychologist Mary Sherlack and Principal Dawn Hochsprung to run toward him, which led Mr Lanza to gun them down. A teacher attempted to hide some students in a bathroom or closet and shield them from the bullets.
Reports said his mother, Nancy, was a teacher at the school and the young victims were mostly her students. Police investigators found two guns and estimated there were at least 100 rounds fired.
The incident prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to deliver an almost four-minute emotional statement.
Here are more details about the top 5 worse school massacres based on number of deaths, which resulted in a growing clamor for more control over licensing of firearms.
1. Beslan School Hostage Crisis.- 386 dead, including 31 hostage takers, more than 700 injured. The assailant was identified as the Shamil Basayev's Riyadus Salihiin group. The incident happened on Sept 1, 2004 when pro-Chechen armed rebels held hostage more than 1,200 school children and adults at School Number One in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia.
The hooded armed men, who belong to a group of Islamic separatist militants, forced their way to the school, which happened at the opening of a new academic year. They demanded Russian recognition of Chechnya's independence at the UN and withdrawal of Russians from Chechnya. Russian security forces stormed the school on the third day of the standoff using tanks, incendiary rockets and other heavy weapons.
2. Bath School Disaster - 45 dead, 58 injured. Former school board member Andrew Kehoe set off three bombs in Bath, Michigan. He eventually killed himself and the school superintendent by blowing up his vehicle. Mr Kehoe blew the new school building as an act of revenue for the foreclosure of his farm which was partly due to taxes he had to pay to build the new school.
3. Virginia Tech - 32 dead, 17 hurt. The assailant was Seung-Hui Cho, who committed the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history on April 16, 2007.
Though second in number of deaths among school massacres in the U.S., the massacre is the deadliest shooting incident committed by a single gunman, a senior English major at the school who was previously diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder. Virginia Tech was not aware of Mr Cho's previous diagnosis, although he was accused by two female students of stalking.
4. Sandy Hook Elementary School - 27 deaths
5. Ma-a lot Massacre - 26 dead, 60 wounded. The massacre happened on May 15, 1974 carried out by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Palestine Liberation Organisation at Ma'alot, Israel. The massacre was timed with the 26th anniversary of Israeli independence.
Three armed Palestinian terrorists entered Israel from Lebanon and attacked a van, which killed to Israeli Arab women and injured a third person. Then they entered an apartment building, killed a couple and their four-year-old-sun, and finally took more than 100 hostages from a high school in Safad who were on a field trip after spending the night on Ma'alot. They sought the release of 23 Palestinian militants from Israeli prisoners. On the second day of the standoff, a Golani Brigade unit stormed the building which resulted in the hostage-takers killing the children with grenades and automatic weapons.
Neighbors of the Lanzas described Adam as reclusive and troubled, partly due to the 2009 divorce of his parents, Nancy and Peter Lanza, after 28 years of marriage. Adam was the younger of two sons from the Lanza marriage. The older son, Ryan, was initially identified as the killer.
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