With anonymously sourced details continuing to dribble out about the state police investigation of the Newtown school massacre of 26 children and educators, House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, asked Wednesday for an official interim report.
Cafero was responding to a New York Daily News story about Newtown killer Adam Lanza’s preoccupation with mass killers. The latest in a series of media reports about the investigation, the story was based on a presentation Col. Danny R. Stebbins delivered to police at a conference in New Orleans.
“Col. Stebbins obviously reported a heck of a lot more in what eventually became public in New Orleans than what he told us,” Cafero said. “That’s a little aggravating, considering the task we are undertaking here — and the fact we have requested as much information from them as possible.”
Cafero spoke during a break in talks among House and Senate leaders about the scope of a gun-violence bill they hope to bring up for a vote in the General Assembly next week. They are expected to restrict the retail sale of military-style semiautomatic weapons and magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
An interim report or briefing would be helpful to legislators as they craft legislation in response to Newtown, he said.
Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the state police, said he had not seen Cafero’s request and declined to comment on it. Stebbins made limited remarks about early lessons learned from Newtown at the conference, he said.
“It was tactical approaches, whether initial or investigative, to things that may or may not come,” Vance said.
State police have said that Lanza used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and 30-round magazines to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School before killing himself with one of two semiautomatic handguns he also carried.
The guns were legally purchased by Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, who was shot to death at their home in Newtown before Adam Lanza, 20, attacked the school he attended as a child.
They have released few other details, but the Daily News, Hartford Courant and Stamford Advocate have reported that investigators have recovered evidence of Lanza’s infatuation with mass killers, including an elaborate spreadsheet of mass murders that could have been years in the making.
” ‘We were told (Lanza) had around 500 people on this sheet,’ a law enforcement veteran told me Saturday night,” Daily News columnist Mike Lupica wrote. ” ‘Names and the number of people killed and the weapons that were used, even the precise make and model of the weapons. It had to have taken years. It sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research.’ “
Police have updated victims’ families on the case, but not legislators or the public. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recently shared one detail: Lanza had taped together 30-round magazines so they could be quickly changed.
“We are making decisions based on the best information we have in front of us,” Cafero said. “One of the major concerns that I believe many of us had from the outset was that we would be putting this legislation together without ever having seen the police report on what took place. That is a huge issue.”
Cafero, who said he has not received a response from the State Police, said of Stebbins: “I think he owes us some sort of explanation.”
Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky, who is overseeing the police investigation of Sandy Hook, told the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in January that his inquiry is likely to continue into June, and that Lanza’s death will not necessarily waive expectations of privacy concerning his mental health.
Follow Mark Pazniokas on Twitter @CtMirrorPaz