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Mass. leaders send condolences, police crime scene unit

Governor Deval Patrick said Friday that he had checked in with the office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut after the school massacre in Newtown “to make sure that he knows that we here in Massachusetts, and I personally, am thinking about him, and about all of the victims and their families of what, by all early ­accounts, is a pretty horrific act of violence.”

“If there is law enforcement assistance, investigative assistance, that they need and we can provide, I’m sure we would be eager to do so,” Patrick said.

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The Massachusetts State ­Police sent a crime scene unit to Connecticut, and Patrick’s office offered to deploy additional state employees who specialize in mental health and stress.

Politicians across the state reacted to news of the shootings, none more strongly than Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston, who serves as cochairman of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, with Mayor ­Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City.

After expressing sorrow for the victims, Menino said he would fight to change gun-
control laws, because he has “witnessed too many lives forever altered by gun violence.”

“Today’s tragedy reminds us that now is the time for action,” he said. “Innocent children will now never attend a prom, never play in a big game, never step foot on a college campus.

“Now is the time for a ­national policy on guns that takes the loopholes out of the laws, the automatic weapons out of our neighborhoods, and the tragedies like today out of our future.”

Other political leaders added their condolences, but stopped short of calling for policy changes.

“It is incomprehensible to believe that someone would target innocent children,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. “It will take time to sort out all the facts and get answers to how this ­occurred, but for now we can only offer our support to the victims of this national tragedy.”

House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said in a statement that “what took place today in Newtown is quite simply every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Senate President Therese Murray said that no words could capture the shock and outrage she felt.

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