Newtown quietly marks 3rd anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting

In this Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 photo, a sign welcomes people to the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn. An interfaith service is planned Monday evening, Dec. 14, on the third anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that killed 20 first-graders and six educators. Monday is also the first time the anniversary falls on a school day. (AP Photo/Dave Collins)

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Flags were flying at half-staff Monday across Connecticut in honor of the 26 people killed three years ago in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The town did not have any memorial events planned, although houses of worship held remembrance events and local groups offered counseling and support services for residents who might want to use them.

It was on the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, that a gunman shot his way into the school and gunned down 20 first-grade children and six educators. Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother inside their home before carrying out the rampage and then killing himself.

The anniversary fell on a school day this year for the first time, and Newtown education officials deliberated before deciding to leave schools open. They were trying to keep to routines Monday, but staff at lower-grade schools offered parents, if requested, talking points on how to discuss the shootings with their children.

A new Sandy Hook school is set to open in the fall of 2016 at the site of the school that was demolished after the shooting. In the meantime, Sandy Hook students are taking classes in a building in the neighboring town of Monroe.

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