Sandy Hook Elementary receives threat on 6th anniversary of school shooting

NEWTOWN, Connecticut (WABC) -- Sandy Hook Elementary School students were sent home early Friday -- the sixth anniversary of the deadly mass shooting that killed 20 first-graders and six educators -- after the school received a bomb threat.

Newtown police say a male caller phoned threats in to the school itself and to police headquarters. It was made around 9 a.m., prompting an evacuation.

Police did a sweep of the building, but they said they did not believe the threat was a credible. Authorities said it specifically referenced the anniversary.

Lt. Aaron Bahamonde said there is always high anxiety in the town on the anniversary, and the school superintendent decided to cancel remaining classes.

"Obviously there's a heightened level of anxiety," he said. "It's not unexpected that these anniversary dates bring out the evil in some people."

It's unclear whether the threat was related to the bomb threats made nationwide Thursday.

"On this day of mourning and remembrance in Newtown, and Connecticut as a whole, we are disgusted to hear of threats being made against our elementary school, 6 years after 20 children and 6 educators were murdered," Sandy Hook Promise said in a statement. "The pain and heartache here is real and raw every day, but more so on dates like today. We condemn the acts of those who seek to extend the trauma and pain on students and families in our community."
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Remembering the 26 people killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre on Dec. 14, 2012.

The school where the shooting happened on December 14, 2012, was knocked down, and a new building was constructed at the same site.

Remembering the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting:

Moments of silence were observed in Newtown and other places Friday morning in memory of the victims, and bells at a local church were rung at 9:30 a.m.

All town offices in Newtown were closed from 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Friday for a moment of silence and period of reflection.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has ordered all state and U.S. flags to remain at half-staff in remembrance of the victims. The flags have been lowered in honor of the late President George H.W. Bush.

An interfaith memorial service is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Congregation Adath Israel of Newtown.

Senator Chris Murphy released the following statement on the anniversary:

"Today is an awful day. I'll think a lot about my youngest son, who went off to his first grade classroom this morning, as I remember the precious children and brave educators whose lives were unimaginably taken six years ago. I've had the honor of representing, and becoming friends with, many of the families of the victims. Nothing we do can ever bring those kids back, but we should be inspired by Newtown's efforts to make the world a kinder, more loving place. We can reach out to one another and help those in need. This morning, I'm delivering meals to families in need in New Haven. I hope everyone takes some time to do their own act of kindness - big or small - in their communities.

We will never stop remembering, and honoring, and fighting for the lives senseless lost six years ago. We have to keep going. For me, that means I will never give up trying to change our broken gun laws to keep our kids safe from gun violence. A national movement for stronger gun laws started six years ago today, and today I feel more confident than ever before that Congress will listen and act on changing our gun laws next year. We would not be here without the voices of so many of the family members from Newtown who want us to honor their loved ones with action."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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