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U.S. to reimburse Connecticut police for school massacre costs

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks on stage during the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in San Francisco, California Aug
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks on stage during the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in San Francisco, California Aug

BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday said it would provide $2.5 million to Connecticut state and local police departments to cover costs related to the December massacre of 20 elementary school students and six teachers in Newtown.

The leafy suburb was the site of a mass killing late last year when a 20-year-old man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and began shooting, prompting a massive law enforcement response from more than two dozen local police departments.

Prior to his rampage at the school, the shooter, Adam Lanza, killed his mother in their home. The attack ended when Lanza heard approaching sirens and turned his weapon on himself.

"Providing support to the law enforcement agencies that responded to the horrific scene that awaited them at Sandy Hook Elementary School is one small action we can take to bring healing to a community that's been devastated," said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

That so many of Lanza's victims were 6- and 7-year-old children sparked a renewed national debate on gun control. A package of national legislation that would have tightened controls on gun ownership and sales ultimately failed in Congress due to lawmakers' concerns that it would have violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right to bear arms.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Alden Bentley)

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