Virginia reacts to Sandy Hook shooting - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Virginia reacts to Sandy Hook shooting

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MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) -

Candles glow in the night for the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School, from hundreds of miles away, in Midlothian.

"I decided to come out to support the people who died and their loved ones and to support the school," said Declan Harrington. "I wish them very good luck so they can get back into the school."

It's been a devastating weekend as the world watched the details of the murders unfold.

This weekend, VCU students gathered to hold a vigil in front of the campus library and students at Virginia Tech, who know all too well what it's like to experience a tragedy, are honoring the victims. Students on campus are signing a giant banner to show their support for the Newtown community.

"Utter disbelief, you know, my town, you know, it's a small town," said Brandon Hart. "It's quiet. It's quaint and I couldn't believe that it was my town."

The shooting sparked schools across the country to revisit it's safety procedures. In Stafford County, the sheriff's office says they will increase their presence at all of its public schools starting Monday, stepping up security efforts only as a precautionary measure.

There's no question people are on edge. In Lancaster County Sunday, a frantic call to 911 about a possible gunman loose at an elementary school prompted a slew of deputies and state police officers to respond. It turned out to be a false alarm.

Authorities said a staff member at Lancaster Primary School mistook a conversation she overheard about what to do in case a shooter enters the school as something that was really happening. Authorities said she jumped out the window and ran to a neighbor's home to alert police.

Lancaster County Sheriff, Ronald Crockett, said if anything, today was a good training day.

"We responded correctly and the teacher that overheard the conversation did exactly what she should have done," said Crockett. "After what happened in Connecticut, you don't know what's going to happen anymore."

Various schools in the area say they will offer grieve counseling this week.

If you have a child in school and want to learn more about emergency plans and safety measures in place, many school systems have posted that information on their website.

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