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Church evacuated in Newton, CT due to threat of violence

Posted at 1:27 PM, Dec 16, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-16 13:50:22-05

NEWTOWN, Connecticut (CNN) — The premises of a Catholic church in Newtown, Connecticut, were declared “all clear” Sunday after a threat of violence prompted authorities to evacuate the building, police said.

Investigators found nothing to substantiate the reported “violence threat” at the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said. He declined to provide additional details.

Witnesses said authorities told them to leave the church premises early in the afternoon.

In front of the church, authorities were seen collecting stuffed animals from a makeshift memorial and placing them in plastic bags.

A column of armed police officers walked across the church property and entered a building next to the church’s parking lot.

The church is less than two miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults Friday before killing himself.

CNN’s Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.

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