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Malloy stepped up to break news of victims' deaths to waiting families

Updated 6:54 pm, Monday, December 17, 2012

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HARTFORD -- It was an awkward few minutes in the Newtown fire house on Friday, as dozens of people awaited word of their missing children and loved ones. Since no one else stepped up, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told them their loved ones would not be returning.

Malloy told reporters in the Capitol on Monday that there seemed to be no protocol for telling a roomful of people that their children and adult family members had been murdered.

In a halting response to a question, the governor said "It was evident to me that there was a reluctance to tell parents and loved ones that the person they were waiting for was not going to return," he said.

"That had gone on for a period of time well after there was any expectancy that families would be reunited, so I made a decision that rather than relying on traditional investigative policies that you actually have a child or an adult identified as a particular victim before you inform someone or at least give them the information by which they could formulate for themselves that their loved one was not going to return, I made the decision that to have that go on any longer was wrong. I did it."

Malloy said he gets briefings several times a day about the criminal investigation into the Sandy Hook School massacre, but he will not discuss them until the investigation is complete. He declared Friday a day of remembrance statewide for the victims, asking churches to toll their bells 26 times for the dead students and school workers.