Obama Calls For Meaningful Action After Shooting

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UPDATE: 3:20 PM A tearful President Barack Obama says the country's leaders must "take meaningful action" regardless of politics in response to the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

The president teared up, at times using an index finger to wipe at the corner of his eyes, as he addressed the nation from the White House. He also paused repeatedly as he struggled to keep his composure while speaking of the children, ages five to ten, who had died and the life milestones they now would miss.

"Each time as I hear the news, I react not as a president but as anyone else would as a parent. That was especially true today," he said. "Our hearts are broken."

Shortly before speaking, Obama ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff on public grounds through Tuesday.

President Barack Obama will speak from the White House briefing room about the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

The president's comments will be at 3:15 EST Friday. They will be his first on the incident, which has left at least 27 people dead, including 18 children.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that mass shootings "weigh heavily" on Obama as the president and as a father. Carney said that Friday was not the day to talk about gun control, however.

Obama was not expected to take questions from the media.