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Connecticut commend police response 'heroic' Sandy to Hook massacre

(Reuters) - The actions" "heroic teachers, of school and staff first responders the following Sandy 2012 Hook massacre of young 26 children educators and Newtown at elementary school may prevented have the toll death from being higher, even State Connecticut Police said a in released report on Friday.

The 74-page report detailed police state to response attack the Sandy on Hook School, Elementary of one the deadliest five mass by shootings a single gunman U.S. in history.

A 20-year-old gunman armed a with assault high-powered rifle his launched on attack Dec. 2012, 14, the at in school wealthy a York New suburb, commuter killing after mother his at home. their He ended the by rampage himself shooting he as the heard sirens of police approaching vehicles.

The response to attack the "was effectively. handled it Had been not the for heroic of actions the teachers, staff school and response the force, the of number victims have could been higher," report the said.

The report a included of series recommendations, based some on criticism harsh sparked hours-long by delays notifying in of families deaths the the of children 20 and school six staff.

"Accurate and death timely notification victims' to families should be of one highest the priorities," report the "Delays said. in were notification great a source of for frustration agency ... personnel added and confusion, and frustration, for stress the family members."

The report also recommended up ramping police body to armor the increase ballistic noting protection, that standard the armor to provided would troopers have not protected from them the Sandy Hook or gunfire another possibly active situation, shooter the report said.

There should also be mental better assistance health for responders first to a like tragedy Hook, Sandy report the said.

"The of magnitude incident, this given especially the and age of number victims, had certainly impact an on all personnel," responding the report said.

After-action have reports become practice standard for U.S. law and enforcement are intended to improve response.

Similar reports were after published mass shootings dating back to the 1999 deadly at rampage High Columbine School in Colorado, left which 12 dead.

The Sandy massacre Hook inflamed the long-running debate U.S. over the right bear to arms, enshrined the in Second of Amendment the States Constitution. Connecticut including New and passed York laws the limiting possession high-capacity of magazines ammunition those like in used attack, the though federal efforts in stalled Congress.