Obama visits families of Conn. shooting victims

President Barack Obama arrives at the start of an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 at Newtown High School in Newtown, Conn. A gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Two days after the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., President Obama is visiting the grief-stricken town tonight to take part in an interfaith vigil and meet with victims' families and first responders.

On Friday, following the news of the massacre, the president told the nation: "As a country, we have been through this too many times." For Mr. Obama, his visit to Connecticut will be his third trip to a site following a mass shooting in the past 23 months. In January 2011, he took part in a vigil following the mass shooting that injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and this past July, Mr. Obama met with victims' families following the massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

During his remarks on Friday, Mr. Obama said, "I know there's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief I do" and noted that the majority of the victims were "children, beautiful little kids... They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own."

Word of a presidential visit to Newtown spread earlier Saturday when the mayor of nearby Danbury, Mark Boughton, tweeted that helicopters heard over the area were part of a presidential advance team.

"Those helicopters you hear are the Presidential advance team," Boughton wrote on Twitter. "They are scouting landing locations."

  • Steve Chaggaris

    Steve Chaggaris is CBS News' senior political editor.