Nearly 1,000 people had do be evacuated today, during the noon service
Nearly 1,000 people had to be evacuated today, on Monday, December 17, following a bomb threat at a Newtown, Connecticut church.Those mourning the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary massacre were holding a mass at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, located one mile away from Sandy Hook.
TVNZ writes that the evacuation took place 10 minutes after the noon service had started.
According to witness accounts, police officers entered the church during mass, letting parishioners know that they received a bomb threat and they are to be "calmly" evacuated from the premises.
"About 10 minutes into a large mass, which had people overflowing outside the door, everyone started evacuating the building," news correspondent Jack Tame describes.
"We're not exactly sure what's happened, police haven't said too much yet, but people who were walking out of the service said they were told inside that there had been some sort of a threat made against the service.
"At the moment we can see police making their way in, they've got several armoured vehicles that appear to be making their way onto the scene. Everyone's been pushed off the premises," he adds.
The threat comes just 2 days after the people of Newtown lost 20 children and 7 adults in a shooting by 20-year-old Adam Lanza.
The young man killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, with one shot to the face, before getting her guns and the keys to her car and driving to Sandy Hook. He went on to commit suicide after the incident.
The Roman Catholic church was searched for about an hour, after which it was dubbed a danger-free zone.
Many buried their children at St. Rose, a location used as a meeting point after the shooting. Churches in town overflowed, as relatives of the victims joined Sunday services.
NFL teams honored the victims in Newtown on Sunday, by bearing decals marked "S.H.E.S." for Sandy Hook Elementary School or a black ribbon, on their helmets.