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Newtown shooting 911 tapes must be released, Connecticut panel says

A gunman killed 20 children and six others at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., before shooting himself. Julio Cortez / AP

The Newtown Police Department must release 911 tapes from the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission ruled Wednesday. 

Investigators had refused to release the Dec. 14 recordings under a new state law that prohibits the release of certain documents pertinent to an ongoing investigation -- a decision The Associated Press challenged.

According to NBC Connecticut station WVIT, the hearing officer noted the new law, adopted in response to the massacre, does not shield 911 calls.

But the prosecutor leading the investigation argued that certain 911 content could be protected, WVIT reported.

The tapes could reveal valuable information about the law enforcement response to the horrific shooting, in which 26 people, including 20 first-graders, lost their lives.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, killed himself as police arrived. He also had killed his mother before going to the school.

Investigators plan to appeal the decision, WVIT reported, so it's unlikely that the recording will be released anytime soon.