Report Focuses On Adam Lanza's Last Days
Given a chance to review the long-awaited investigative report on last December's Newtown Elementary school shooting, Connecticut lawyers said they were confronted with shocking details of Adam Lanza's final days.
The report for the first time described Lanza's bedroom in the home he shared with his mother on Yogananda Street. The windows were covered with black trash bags. In the home, investigators found information Lanza had collected about gun violence, including spreadsheets he created to document mass shootings.
The report released by the state's attorney in Danbury, Stephen Sedensky III also provided the most comprehensive timeline of Lanza's rampage Dec. 14, which started when he fatally shot his mother at their home and then went to the elementary school, arriving at 9:30 a.m. In less than 11 minutes, he killed 20 first-graders and six adults, before turning the gun on himself.
"The report appropriately focuses on the actions and background of the shooter," said Morgan Rueckert, a Shipman & Goodwin attorney in Harford who is representing 22 of the Sandy Hook victims' families. "The attached timeline also goes into great detail about the content of 911 calls as well as the precise timing of events."
The report also painted a picture of a troubled young man.
"The purpose of the investigation was to determine what crimes had been committed and whether anyone will be prosecuted as a result of those crimes. Based on a painstaking investigation it is determined that there will be no arrests or prosecutions. The Connecticut State Police are to be commended for their tireless work on this investigation and their consideration of the families and victims involved," said the report's author, Sedensky.
But Sedensky said despite the depth of the investigation, there is one question that might never be answered.
"The obvious question that remains is: 'Why did the shooter murder twenty-seven people, including twenty children?'" Sedensky's report stated. "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. 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.
The report, however, did reveal evidence of Lanza's mental health problems. "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 life and interact with others," Sedensky said.
John Thomas, professor at Quinnipiac University Schools of Law & Medicine, said what was most startling about the information provided about Lanza's were the signs that he planned the rampage.