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Newtown school shooting 911 calls must be released, judge rules

From Yon Pomrenze, CNN
updated 6:13 PM EST, Tue November 26, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • If no higher court grants an appeal, the recordings will be released on December 4
  • The 2012 shooting left 26 people dead, including 20 children
  • It's the second-deadliest shooting in U.S. history

(CNN) -- A Connecticut judge has ordered the release of 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, according to court documents obtained by CNN.

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott's ruling upholds a decision by the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission to release the calls related to the December 2012 shooting.

In doing so, the judge denied an application from State Attorney Stephen Sedensky to stay the commission's decision.

In his ruling, Prescott grants "the plaintiff and Newtown respondents a short period of time to attempt to obtain appellate relief from this decision."

Candles burn next to a lighted tree at a makeshift shrine in Newtown, Connecticut, commemorating the victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Candles burn next to a lighted tree at a makeshift shrine in Newtown, Connecticut, commemorating the victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
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If no higher court grants the appeal, the 911 audio recordings will be released on December 4 at 2 p.m. ET.

The massacre at Sandy Hook left 26 people dead, including 20 children, making it the second-deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, shot himself at the end of his 11-minute rampage.

The killings in Newtown, about 60 miles outside New York, happened less than five months after a similar bloodbath at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, outside Denver.

Those mass slayings triggered a nationwide debate over gun violence, school safety and mental health, a debate that produced some new restrictions on firearms in several states.

A backlash against those laws by gun-rights advocates followed, and there was only limited action on a federal level after a Republican filibuster blocked expanded background checks for gun buyers.

Sandy Hook killer took motive to his grave

CNN's Matt Smith contributed to this report.

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