Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his condolences to President Barack Obama and the American people on Saturday, saying that "we in Israel have experienced such cruel acts of slaughter and we know the shock and agony they bring." He added: "I was shocked and horrified by today's savage massacre of innocent children and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut." "I want to express my profound grief and that of the people of Israel to the families that lost their loved ones," Netanyahu wrote.
President Shimon Peres also sent a letter expressing his grief over the incident. "On behalf of the people of Israel, as friends and as parents, we stand with you today in contemplation and grief over the atrocious, incomprehensible massacre of 20 children and six adults – educators - and Sandy Hook Elementary School," Peres wrote.
"No experience with death can be likened to that of a parents' loss of their child. No crime is more heinous than the killing of a child," he said. "Our hearts are with the bereaved families of the victims, the mourning community in Newtown, Connecticut and the people of the United States of America."
Meanwhile, a law enforcement official said on Saturday that the U.S. school shooter brought three guns into the school, where he killed 26 children and adults. The weapons were registered to his slain mother.
The official was not authorized to discuss information with reporters and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The official said a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols, and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle were found in the school after the massacre Friday.
The official added that a fourth weapon was found outside the school and that investigators have been going to shooting ranges and gun stores to see if Lanza had frequented them.
Also on Saturday, investigators said the gunman, Adam Lanza, forced himself into the school after not being let in. Officials were still trying to learn more about Lanza, who at least one witness said didn't say a word as he burst into a classroom, shooting, and later killed himself. The bodies of victims were still inside the school for some time Saturday morning, and authorities appeared poised to start releasing their names.
Police shed no light on the motive for the mass shooting, one of the deadliest in U.S. history, and among school attacks was second only to the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, which left 33 people dead. Reaction was swift and emotional around the world, any many immediately thought of Dunblane - a 1996 shooting in that small Scottish town which killed 16 children and prompted a campaign that ultimately led to tighter gun controls.
President Barack Obama's comments on the tragedy were one of the most outwardly emotional moments of his presidency.
"The majority of those who died were children - beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old," Obama told a White House news briefing. He paused for several seconds to keep his composure and wiped an eye. Nearby, two aides cried and held hands.
In tight-knit Newtown, a picturesque New England community of 27,000 people, hundreds of people packed St. Rose of Lima church Friday night and stood outside in a vigil for the 28 dead 20 children and six adults at the school, the gunman's mother at home, and the gunman himself.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now