After a yearlong investigation into the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting rampage…are we any closer to figuring out the why and more importantly how to prevent it from happening again?  I would say, probable not.  Why Adam Lanza went on his murderous shooting rampage at a Newtown elementary school is a mystery and will remain that way.

Here are some informational facts from the report, released yesterday, by the lead investigator, State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III:

Adam Lanza acted alone and didn’t conspire with anyone when he killed his mother and 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Investigators conducted many interviews with people who knew Adam and his family.  No evidence suggests that Adam had a reason to target Sandy Hook Elementary School, which he had attended as a boy.

A review of electronic evidence and digital media showed he had a preoccupation with mass shootings, particularly the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colo., in 1999.

Lanza, 20, was armed with the Bushmaster XM 15-E2S rifle, a Glock 10 mm handgun, a Sig Sauer 9 mm pistol and a large supply of ammunition.  He used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle to kill the victims at Sandy Hook before killing himself there with a Glock 10mm handgun.  He killed his mother in her bed with a .22-caliber rifle.

Lanza parked his 2010 Honda Civic next to a No Parking zone outside the school and approached the front entrance just after 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 14.  The school’s main office staff reported glass breaking at about 9:35 a.m. and saw the shooter.  At 9:40:03, the last gunshot was heard.  The shot is believed to be the one used by Lanza to commit suicide.  At 9:44:47, Newtown police officers entered the school.

Police found numerous violent video games in the basement of the Lanza home.  Adam played video games often, both solo and online.  He played violent and non-violent games and his favorite at one point was Super Mario Brothers.

An autopsy report found no drugs in Adam Lanza’s system.

While Nancy Lanza was away, a GPS device in the Lanza home showed that a trip was made between 2:09 p.m. and 2:32 p.m. on Dec. 13, the day before the shootings.  The trip was made to and from the “Sandy Hook area” from the Lanza house and was presumable made by the shooter in his black Honda Civic.

The report says that, “in some contexts,” Adam was viewed as having “above-average intelligence,” and, in other contexts, below-average intelligence.  Some people said he had been bullied, but others, including many teachers, said he wasn’t bullied.

Shooting was a family pastime, and Adam enjoyed shooting and going to a target range with his mother and brother.  Adam and his mother took a National Rifle Association safety course.  In November 2012, Nancy Lanza wanted to buy her son a CZ 83 pistol for Christmas and prepared a check for that purpose.

The report describes a gunman who had “significant mental health issues” but had sure knowledge of what he was planning:  He had materials on mass murder, he smashed his computer hard drive, and he used earplugs during the shooting.

Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle inside Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.  He also shot his mother to death inside their home before driving to the school, and committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived.

The report said noted that in 2005, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder and lacked empathy for others.  Asperger’s is an autism-like disorder that is not associated with violence.

Lanza might have hinted at his intentions online in the days before the massacre.  A Texas woman contacted Hartford police the day of the Dec. 14 attack to say her son had interacted with someone while playing a videogame 20 hours earlier who said there would be a school shooting. Also, two days before the shooting, an anonymous user posted comments online about planning to commit suicide Dec. 14 and saying it would make national news.  The poster claimed to live in Connecticut.

But the hard drive taken from Lanza’s home was so damaged that data will probably never be extracted from it.

A timeline released with the report indicates that nearly six minutes passed between the arrival of the first Newtown police office and the time officers entered the school.  The report said officers were operating under the belief there may have been more than one shooter.

Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, was concerned for her son and said that he hadn’t gone anywhere in three months and would communicate with her by e-mail only, even though they were living in the same house. The mother never expressed fear that she or anyone was in danger from her son.

Adam disliked birthdays, Christmas and holidays.  He didn’t allow his mother to put up a Christmas tree.  Nancy Lanza explained this by saying Adam had no emotions or feelings.

Adam’s father, Peter, saw him regularly until he was 18.  They went hiking and played video games, and went shooting twice.  Adam’s relationship with Peter deteriorated in 2010, the last time the two saw one another.  Prior to December 2012, Adam stopped responding to his father’s mail and e-mails about getting together.

They found no evidence the young man had taken any medication that would have affected his behavior.

With the release of the summary report, “the investigation is closed, and no additional release of information or documents by this office is anticipated.  However, he didn’t release recordings of 911 emergency calls made on Dec. 14, and the Connecticut State Police’s full evidence file about the shootings, was also not released.

“The obvious question that remains is: Why did the Lanza murder 27 people, including 20 children?  Unfortunately, that question may never be answered.  So the “why” remains a mystery.

 

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