Consulate verifying if Connecticut shooting has FilAm casualty

The Philippine Consulate in New York is checking if the victims in the shooting incident in Connecticut included Filipino Americans. This was revealed by Ambassador Jose Cuisia in a press statement.

Cuisia said he was informed by Consul General Mario De Leon that there are around seven Filipino American families registered with the Filipino American Association of Western Connecticut who are residents of Newtown, a predominantly Caucasian community.

“From what we know there are no elementary-aged Filipinos or Filipino Americans going to Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Cuisia said, quoting an initial report from Consul General De Leon.

“Those of school age either go to other elementary schools or are in middle school, high school or college,” he added. He said further that there are no teachers from the Philippines in Newtown as most of the Filipinos there are nurses, doctors and engineers.

“Just the same, we want to be sure that all the Filipinos and Filipino Americans in Newtown are safe,” said Cuisia, who offered the embassy’s sympathy to the United States following the December 14th shooting incident at Sandy Hook that left 26 people dead, most of them children.

“We join the Government of the United States and the American people in mourning the loss of so many innocent lives,” he said. “Our hearts go to the families of those who lost loved ones in this tragedy.”

News reports said the incident involved a lone gunman who opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, at around 9:40 a.m. The incident left six adults, including the gunman, and 20 pupils dead and another wounded.

De Leon said the consulate immediately got in touch with leaders of the Filipino-American Association of Western Connecticut and the Newtown Police Department upon hearing of the incident but could not immediately verify if there are Filipino casualties because the list of victims has not yet been released.

Deputy Consul General Theresa Dizon-De Vega said the incident took place about 15 minutes from Danbury where more than 100 of the estimated 500 Filipino families in Western Connecticut are residing. She said there are 16,402 Filipinos across Connecticut based on the 2010 U.S. Census.

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