Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Ct. Photo by Robert Stolarik
Nearly a year after the mass shooting that resulted in the deaths of 20 children, officials in Connecticut have released a summary report revealing new details about the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre.
The report, by the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury, was released on Monday. A release date for a much larger Connecticut State Police report, which is expected to run several thousand pages long, has yet to be announced.
The summary paints the most vivid portrait of shooter Adam Lanza to date, confirming that the gunman was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2005. He is described as a young man with an unusual interest in mass shootings, in particular, the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre in Littleton, Colo. Among the items found at his Newton, Conn. residence included a spreadsheet with extensive information on mass murder incidents and numerous clippings pertaining to school shootings.
The report confirms that Lanza and his mother were enrolled in several National Rifle Association (NRA) safety courses. Amid several firearms discovered at the home, investigators found a check signed by Nancy Lanza for her son to purchase a CZ 83 pistol for Christmas.
An avid gamer, Lanza was said to be a fan of both violent video games, such as “Call of Duty” and “Grand Theft Auto,” as well as nonviolent fare such as “Super Mario Brothers.“ According to the report, Lanza sometimes spent as much as 10 hours per weekend playing an arcade version of “Dance Dance Revolution” at a nearby movie theater.
Accounts of Lanza fluctuate throughout the report, with some recalling the shooter as an intelligent introvert and others describing him as a reclusive, below-average student. He graduated from Newton High School (NHS) in 2009 via a combination of classes at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) and home schooling sessions. During his time at NHS, he was listed as a “special education student.” Throughout his high school years, the report states that Lanza’s mother was called in response to several non-violent “episodes” involving her son.
As a younger teen, he is described in the report as having “significant social impairments and extreme anxiety.” Throughout his childhood, Lanza was said to exhibit extreme obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) tendencies involving touching objects and changing clothing.
In the months leading up to the shooting, the report states that Lanza refused to leave his residence and communicated with his mother solely by e-mail. Lanza’s mother was planning on selling the home and relocating to either North Carolina or Washington. She was also considering purchasing a recreation vehicle (RV) for the move, as Lanza refused to stay at hotels; even during Hurricane Sandy, Lanza refused to leave the home, despite a prolonged power outage.
Lanza was said to be unresponsive to therapies and refused to take medication. A toxicology report reveals that no drugs were in Lanza’s system at the time of the shooting.
The report’s conclusion, however, shies away from giving a definitive answer as to why Lanza embarked upon his murderous rampage last December, or why he selected Sandy Hook as the site.
“What we do know is that the shooter had significant mental health issues that, while not affecting the criminality of the shooter’s mental state for the crimes or his criminal responsibility for them, did affect his ability to live a normal live and interact with others, even those to whom he should have been close,” the report concludes.
“Whether this contributed in any way is unknown. The shooter did not recognize or help himself deal with those issues.”