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'In Sheer Shock' — Newtown Community Seeks News, Updates

People in Newtown are walking around with their phones attached to their heads as they seek updates on the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Parents are calling each other. Ex-husbands are calling. Grandparents are checking in, and friends are calling.

The Sandy Hook shooting reached across the country, and so do the calls. Parents are gathering outside schools, waiting for their children to be released. A brother called from New York City. A sister from Boston.

"It's just too sad. There are rumors flying. It's violence beyond words," said Judy Grabarz, owner of Newtown Florist.

Parents outside St. Rose of Lima School stood outside until they were too cold to stand outside any longer.

"Everybody is looking at the news, every different channel," said Stephanie Maker, one of the parents standing outside St. Rose of Lima School. Maker was waiting for her daughter to be released. "We're comparing what we're hearing."

Maker's daughter is in 7th grade, and Maker wants her home safe. "She has friends at Sandy Hook."

St. Rose was in lockdown, so Maker stood outside and noticed there were no police. She said she

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More links to Newtown Patch’s coverage here:

  • Shooting Prompts Religious Leaders to Host Special Prayer Services
  • Reaction: Sandy Hook School Shooting
  • Police Raid Sandy Hook Home Hours After Shooting
  • [PHOTOS] Newtown School Shooting

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was there in case a shooter showed up, although she didn't know exactly how her being there might help.

"You see this kind of stuff in other towns. You see it here and it puts you in sheer shock," Maker said. "This is a very close community. It's upsetting."

At Caraluzzi's Newtown Market, Chelsea Berg was following the incident on Twitter, and other cashiers were keeping up on their favorite news channels. Customers were asking for updates.

"One guy thought it was a hoax, and then he looked at the other tellers and he saw what they were doing," Berg said.

Bob from Newtown was on an exercise bike in the gym above the Newtown Youth Academy when he saw a breaking news alert on the television about the shooting. He told the spin class instructor to let everyone know—and the gym emptied out.

"Everyone started to get on their phones," Bob said. "This is a small community and we care about all the kids and all the schools."

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