As they prepare to mark the upcoming sixth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting, families of the victims in that tragedy are mourning again following Friday's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
"[We] express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of the children, teachers, and staff lost, survivors, and other victims in this time of trauma and grief," Joe Samaha, president of the Virginia Tech Victims Family Outreach Foundation, said in a press release.
Adam Lanza, 20, of Newtown, Conn., is the gunman suspected of killing 27 people -- including 20 children -- at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday morning.
The shooter was killed, possibly by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, during the rampage and several others were injured, police said.
Police continue to investigate the shooting and a possible motive.
"The immediate concern we have is for those families in Newtown whose lives are now altered, forever ... As families of the victims and survivors of the ... massacre at Virginia Tech, we know that their loss is incredible. Helping all to deal with the aftermath will take a lifetime of love and dedication," Samaha said.
On April 16, 2007, on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old South Korean citizen with U.S. resident status, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others during two separate attacks, before committing suicide. The massacre was the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history.
There have been 15 mass shootings in the U.S. this year alone.
Friday's school shooting occurred just two days after a gunman in Oregon shot and killed two people at a crowded Oregon mall. The suspect in that case was identified as 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts. Police say Roberts' took his own life inside a mall store. Authorities are still piecing together the crime, but it is believed the number of casualties would have been much higher if the suspects gun had not jammed.
The VTV Family Outreach Foundation is a national nonprofit created by families of the victims and survivors of the mass shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech. A focus of VTV is to provide assistance and services to victims of school and college crime and their families.
"Our tragic experiences are of course unique, yet similar. VTV stands ready to help if called on," Samaha said.
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