Part of Newtown report zeroes in on the mystery that was Adam Lanza
The Connecticut state police released thousands of pages worth of reports Friday afternoon from their investigation into the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting in Newtown that claimed 26 lives.
The state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which includes the state police division, posted more than 840 pdf files of written reports, 22 additional files of photographs and dozens of audio and video attachments, along with a cover letter from Commissioner Reuben Bradford, on the department’s website.
The report comes just over one year after Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza, 20, who earlier had killed his 52-year-old mother, Nancy, took his own life with a 10mm-Glock, one of two handguns and a semiautomatic rifle he carried into the school with nearly 20 pounds of ammunition.
The new report includes hundreds of photographs from the two crime scenes. There are pictures of elementary school classrooms decorated with children’s artwork and words like “Hopes and dreams” in big cut-out letters on the walls, and a charity “hat drive” box. There are also pictures of bullet holes in classroom windows, guns, bullets and the shattered glass door where Lanza shot his way into the school.
Friday’s postings cover a wide array of subjects.
One report details the contents of the Lanza home. In a second-floor computer room, investigators found a 13-page photocopied article about an 1891 shooting of schoolchildren. They also found a hard drive that appeared to have been intentionally scratched repeatedly, a live small-caliber round on the floor just inside the doorway, boxes of ammunition and high-capacity magazines, and, in the closet, an open metal gun safe with a rifle and ammunition inside.
Inside one of the bedrooms, investigators found computers with no hard drives and handwritten notes with addresses of local gun shops. In the master bedroom, they found, inside a box underneath clothing, a drawing of a person with a handgun, labeled “Sadam,” and a second person on the floor with x’s for eyes.
FBI report: Adam ‘never took any of his medications’
The new documents posted by state police also include a heavily redacted FBI report — apparently based on an interview with a person whose name was redacted — which made reference to bullying and an unspecified disease that Adam Lanza denied having. “Adam never completely accepted that he had a disease and therefore never took any of his medications as he was prescribed,” it said. The person said Lanza was in complete denial about having a disease, which is why he was not on disability.
The person’s statement made reference to Lanza having been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, in 6th grade, but it wasn’t clear whether that was the disease the person was referring to.
According to that interview, Lanza was bullied, but not excessively, in school because of his social awkwardness and physical gait, “both results of his disease.”
The person said Lanza was removed from school in 9th grade because of stresses over papers and classes and dealing with his disease.
Several heavily redacted interviews with people who knew Adam Lanza or his mother indicated a history of troubling behavior, including Adam’s being disturbed by Hurricane Sandy and, at one point, refusing to leave his bedroom for three months.
One person described “episodes” Lanza had at school that would last about 15 minutes. Sometimes Nancy Lanza would have to be called and she would come from work. Adam Lanza would become withdrawn but did not show signs of violence. The person said Adam Lanza was more likely to be the victim of violence than someone who would act violently toward someone else.
Another person said that Adam Lanza had been in mental health counseling, but that his mother had never described having him on medications. Nancy Lanza had been very worried about what would happen to Adam if anything happened to her.
Nancy Lanza told one person interviewed by investigators that Adam had been doing better, but got “weirded out” by Hurricane Sandy, which happened in late October. Their home lost power, but Adam refused to leave and go to a hotel, so they stayed there for several days without electricity.
Other interviews, large portions of which were redacted, revealed that:
- Adam had several disorders, including autism and Asperger’s.
- Adam had no emotions or feelings.
- Nancy Lanza had to get rid of a cat because Adam was freaked out by it.
- “Adam was always a troubled kid and was interested in Japanese techno music.”
Nancy Lanza’s day planner, found in the house, indicated that she had plans to travel to New Hampshire on Dec. 11, days before the shooting. Investigators determined that she traveled there and returned to Connecticut Dec. 13.
Another section of the report detailed a listing of the messages left on Nancy Lanza’s home telephone on the day of the shooting. At 1:50 p.m., her other son, Ryan, asked her to call him. Several more phone calls came from reporters. One call came from someone described as a conspiracy theorist. Several other people called and left profanity-laced messages. “Your son deserves to be dead,” a caller at 10:50 p.m. said.
Community reached out
Not all of the material released Friday detailed either the horrific scene police encountered, the forensic evidence related to it, or the community’s anger.
Police also detailed the dozens of offers of assistance made to the community by social services and other groups from both the public and private sectors. Offers covered everything from therapy for the grieving and floral arrangements to architectural services for memorials and assistance sewing “memory quilts” to honor the victims.
One donor offered to do “anything necessary. Can do heavy labor.” Others offered free swimming or piano lessons for children while another agreed to provide “free facials for life.”
Earlier report: Lanza acted alone
A report released in late November from the Danbury state’s attorney, Stephen J. Sedensky III, already had concluded that Lanza acted alone in planning and executing the attack. But it offered no explanation as to why.
“Unfortunately, that question may never be answered conclusively, despite the collection of extensive background information on the shooter through a multitude of interviews and other sources,” Sedensky wrote. “The evidence clearly shows that the shooter planned his actions, including the taking of his own life, but there is no clear indication why he did so, or why he targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School.”
Police found fictional writing on Lanza’s computer that described being attacked by babies, as well as material on pedophilia, a screenplay about a relationship between a man and a 10-year-old boy, a game called “School Shooting” and stories about mass murder.
Sedensky detailed how arriving police detained four others outside the school, including a parent, two reporters who were briefly held at gunpoint, and a fourth man who was handcuffed and questioned. But he also noted that DNA evidence indicated no weapon fired that day was handled by anyone other than Lanza.
Sedensky described the educators as heroic and the police response as cutting short what could have been an even more devastating assault, given Lanza’s firepower and ammunition.
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