The first funerals for victims of the US school massacre have been held, as momentum builds for a change to America's gun culture.
The first burials, held under raw, wet skies, were of two six-year-old boys among those shot in Sandy Hook Elementary School.
On Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT), the first of the girls, also aged six, was due to be laid to rest.
The family of one boy, Jack Pinto, said their goodbyes at a century-old building in the centre of the town, the men wearing dark suits and ties. Some 20 children of different ages came to the funeral home, along with about two dozen adults.
All schools in Newtown were shut and the blood-soaked elementary school itself was to remain a closed crime scene indefinitely, authorities said.
'Healing is still going on,' town police Lieutenant George Sinko said. 'The plan is to try to resume normalcy for school classes tomorrow, except for those members of the Sandy Hook school.'
In the nearby town of Ridgefield, reports of a suspicious person prompted the brief lockdown and deployment of police Monday at all schools, indicating the jitters in the United States in the wake of the killings.
For Newtown, a picturesque and quiet suburban community where the 20-year-old killer lived with his well-off mother, the start of funerals was hardly likely to settle the nightmare of what happened last Friday.
But the crime, in which the murderer carried a high-powered, military-style rifle and two handguns, may have spurred change in the political landscape regarding rules on weapons ownership.
When President Barack Obama joined a prayer vigil in Newtown he pledged to work for an end to mass shootings, which have now become an almost regular event in the United States - with four massacres since Obama took office alone.
'These tragedies must end,' Mr Obama said, not giving specifics, but appearing to commit himself to a push for reform in his second White House term, possibly by urging restoration of a federal ban on assault weapons like the one used in Newtown.
'We will have to change,' he said.
Earlier, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, of California, promised to introduce a bill to ban assault weapons on the very first day of the next Congress, January 3.
And, Senator Joe Lieberman called for a broad commission that could bring opponents on the issue together to discuss curbing gun deaths.
Each year, more than 31,000 Americans die from gunshots, most of them self-inflicted, but more than 11,000 in homicides - five times as many as the death toll for US troops during an entire decade of conflict in Afghanistan.
'We've got to bring everybody to the table, including the gun manufacturers and the gun rights groups and the entertainment industry and just regular people,' Senator Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-independent who is retiring next month, told Fox News.
But with gun ownership protected by the US constitution and firearms deeply ingrained in American culture, attempts to restrict access have long been seen as a vote-losing proposition.