ST. PAUL  (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is reacting to a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school with a strong expression of outrage and assurances that school safety here is a "paramount concern."

Dayton issued a statement Friday afternoon on a day when a gunman killed more than two dozen people, most of them children. Dayton says school children, parents and teachers should feel certain that their safety is a top priority.

The Democratic governor calls the shooting a "dastardly, cold-blooded murder" at the hands of a "deranged individual." He offered condolences on behalf of the state.

In 2005, a Minnesota student killed five schoolmates, a teacher and an unarmed guard at a high school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation before taking his own life.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut school shooting has opponents of gun violence planning a rally in Minneapolis.

The group Protect Minnesota plans an evening rally at a park in south Minneapolis.

Officials say 26 people died, including 20 children, in the Newtown attack. It's the nation's second-deadliest school shooting after Virginia Tech in 2007.

Protect Minnesota says its goals are to reduce gun violence by cutting down on illegal access to guns and promoting measures to stop gun injuries and death, especially among children.

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