The church close to where President Obama is  due to attend a memorial service for the victims of the Newtown school massacre  was evacuated during noon mass today after St Rose of Lima received a bomb  threat.

Police and heavily armed Connecticut state  troopers hurriedly entered the Catholic church that has become a center of  grieving since the deaths of 20 children and six adults at the nearby Sandy Hook  Elementary School.

In a community already on edge following the  horrific tragedy on Friday, tensions were raised at the sight of nearly a dozen  camouflage-clad SWAT team members carrying assault weapons who the church and a  nearby educational center.

With their guns drawn, police shouted to  members of the public to stand back and take cover while they secured the  building.

Response: A SWAT team prepares to enter St Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church

After keeping the public and media at bay for  more than an hour, the police seemed to relax their posture and at around 1.30pm  they were allowing people to lay flowers an candles at a makeshift  memorial.

Evelyn Leon, 17, of Waterbury, 20 miles east  of Newtown, said she was sitting in the back of the church with her family when  word came to leave the church.

‘Word filtered back through the pews that  there had been a threat made and we had to get into our cars and evacuate,’ she  said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here