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Newtown school massacre

A 20-year-old gunman entered a Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday morning and unleashed one of the worst massacres in American history,  leaving 27 people, including 20 children, dead before taking his own life.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Police in Connecticut have released thousands of pages of documents from the investigation into last year’s school massacre in Newtown.

The Friday afternoon release could shed additional light on the world of the 20-year-old gunman, Adam Lanza.

The paperwork “has been redacted according to law,” and it includes text, photos and 911 calls received by state police.

Prosecutors issued a summary of the investigation last month that portrayed Lanza as obsessed with mass murders, but the report concluded that Lanza’s motives for the massacre might never be known.

Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, after killing his mother inside their home.

He committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school.

newtown

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Bells are tolling in Newtown, Conn., to mark the anniversary of a shooting massacre that killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The bells rang 26 times Saturday at St. Rose of Lima church in Newtown to honor each of the victims.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked for houses of worship around the state to ring their bells at 9:30 a.m., the moment that Adam Lanza shot his way into the school. Malloy also called for flags to be lowered to half-staff around the state.

In a radio address Saturday, President Barack Obama called on the nation to help prevent future violence. He planned to observe a moment of silence at the White House.

Lanza killed 20 children and six educators before taking his own life.

President Barack Obama called on the nation to help prevent future violence in an address released on Saturday’s anniversary of the school shooting in Newtown, which planned a day of quiet reflection with private memorial services and the ringing of bells for the victims.

Obama said in his radio address that the massacre of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School will be remembered as a tragedy that inspired the nation to make communities safer.

“We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily. We have to do more to heal troubled minds. We have to do everything we can to protect our children from harm and make them feel loved, and valued, and cared for,” said Obama, who also planned to observe a moment of silence at the White House in honor of the victims.

Newtown officials have called for privacy and asked town residents to honor the victims through acts of service and kindness. At a joint appearance during the week in Newtown, some of the victims’ families urged people to find ways to give back to their own communities.

“In this way, we hope that some small measure of good may be returned to the world,” JoAnn Bacon, whose 6-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was killed at Sandy Hook.

The town had no formal events planned for Saturday, and officials have discouraged the news media from coming to Newtown.

“We are trying to respect the world’s interest in us, but we also have a real need in our community to gain a foothold,” First Selectman Pat Llodra said.

The gunman, Lanza, killed his mother inside their Newtown home on Dec. 14, 2012, before driving to the school, where he carried out his rampage. He killed himself as police arrived.

At St. Rose of Lima, the Roman Catholic church that hosted the funerals of eight children, a service will include the dedication of a memorial arch and the ringing of peace bells that also were rung at Virginia Tech after the mass shooting there in 2007 and in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

NEW YORK (PIX11) – On December 14th, 2012 America couldn’t comprehend the tragedy of Sandy Hook.

Now, with the state of Connecticut’s final report, it looks like there may never be answers to many questions.

The report was released on Monday. It concluded that it was Adam Lanza and Adam Lanza alone who planned, and executed the murder of twenty children, six faculty members, and his own mother.

Authorities said, one year later, they do not know why Sandy Hook was choosen and said that we may never know.

It may seem startling, but often times there may be indications in the background that someone could commit a crime like this, but he never voiced to anyone,” said Former FBI Agent Mike Harkins.

Harkins worked on security with families in Newtown. He is a former FBI agent who now works for Risk Control Strategies.

You see he had an obsession with Columbine and mass killings which is certainly an indicator,” said Harkins.

There is a timeline in the report. From the time the doors of the school were locked at 9:30 a.m. until the time it is believed the Lanza killed himself at 9:40:03, fewer than 11 minutes had elapsed.
From the first 911 call, it took police just four minutes to arrive.

The report also detailed and showed what investigators found in Lanza’s home.

Guns and video games. A book about the Amish School shootings.

“Ultimately, they were unable to get information off of his computer because he had damaged it which goes to the face that he certainly planned this event,” said Harkins.

The report described some of Lanza’s mental health issues. He was diagnosed with
Asperger’s Disorder, and was described as presenting with significant social impairments and extreme anxiety. He did not take recommended medication or receive therapy.

(CNN) — Connecticut authorities closed the book on last December’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Monday without answering what drove the 20-year-old behind the rampage.

A 44-page summary of the second-deadliest shooting in U.S. history outlines how gunman Adam Lanza killed his mother, then stormed the elementary school and killed himself as police arrived. But investigators haven’t determined a motive for the assault, which left 20 first-graders and six adults at the grade school dead in less than 11 minutes.

“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,” Monday’s report states.

Lanza “had significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others,” the report states. But it adds, “What contribution this made to the shootings, if any, is unknown as those mental health professionals who saw him did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior.”

There were no drugs in his system at the time of the killings, according to autopsy results included in the report. Lanza “did not drink alcohol, take drugs, prescription or otherwise, and hated the thought of doing any of those things,” investigators found.

RELATED: SEE THE CRIME SCENE PHOTOS INSIDE SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND ADAM LANZA’S HOME

“With the issuance of this report, the investigation is closed,” Monday’s report concludes.

The killings in Newtown, about 80 miles outside New York, happened less than five months after a similar bloodbath at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, outside Denver. The killings ignited a nationwide debate over gun violence, school safety and mental health.

Lanza had “an obsession” with mass murder and “a strong interest in firearms,” the report states. On his computer, investigators found a spreadsheet detailing mass murders over the years, two videos depicting gunshot suicides, two pictures of Lanza pointing guns at his own head, and movies and a video game depicting school shootings.

But violent video games weren’t his only pastime: He also was obsessed with the dancing game “Dance Dance Revolution.” He not only played it at home, he went to a local theater that had a version in its lobby nearly every weekend, playing it for as long as 10 hours at a time.

Another hard drive found in his home appeared to have been intentionally damaged, and investigators were unable to recover anything from the device.

And investigators found “a large number” of guns in the home. All of them had been bought by his mother, Nancy Lanza, who grew up with firearms and “thought it was good to learn responsibility for guns,” the report states. Both she and Adam Lanza shot pistols at a local range, where Adam “was described as quiet and polite.”

Nancy Lanza, 52, “took care of all of the shooter’s needs” and “worried about what would happen to the shooter if anything happened to her,” according to the report.

“The shooter was particular about the food that he ate and its arrangement on a plate in relation to other foods on the plate,” it recounts. “Certain types of dishware could not be used for particular foods. The mother would shop for him and cook to the shooter’s specifications, though sometimes he would cook for himself.”

Nancy Lanza did her son’s laundry every day, but was not allowed into his room — “No one was allowed in his room,” where the windows were covered with black plastic trash bags, the report notes. Adam Lanza “disliked birthdays, Christmas and holidays,” forbidding his mother from putting up a Christmas tree: “The mother explained it by saying that shooter had no emotions or feelings.”

One person described Lanza’s relationship with his mother as “strained,” while another told investigators he didn’t appear to have “an emotional connection to his mother.” But others said Nancy Lanza “was the only person to whom the shooter would talk.

The morning of the massacre, Lanza shot his mother several times in the dead with a .22-caliber rifle while she lay in bed, the report states. He then headed to Sandy Hook, where he had attended grade school — but “as best as can be determined, the shooter had no prior contact with anyone in the school that day.”

Four guns and more than 300 rounds of ammunition were found with Lanza, including the .223-caliber Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle used at the school and the 10mm Glock pistol he used to kill himself. Another pistol and a shotgun weren’t used, the report states.

Monday’s report is separate from a much longer evidence file that Connecticut State Police will release at an unspecified date. The family of Victoria Soto, a teacher who shielded her students before being shot to death, said the release is “yet another blow that our family has been dealt.”

A statement from the family said, “While others search for the answer as to why this happened, we search for the how. How can we live without Vicki? How do we celebrate Christmas without Vicki? How do we go on every day missing a piece of our family? Those are the questions we seek the answers for. There is nothing in the report that will answer those for us.”

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said the report’s release “will no doubt be difficult” for the relatives of those killed at Sandy Hook.

“But if there is one thing that I believe we must do, it’s that we must honor the lives that were lost by taking steps to protect ourselves from another horror like this,” Malloy said. “I hope that the information in this summary and in the supporting documents that will be released by the State Police takes us closer to that goal.”

Victims’ family members were informed of the report, said Mark Dupuis, a spokesman for Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky, whose office conducted the investigation.

Dupuis declined to provide details about when, where, and how the families were given the details of the report.

“We are sensitive to the needs of the families, and those needs are being addressed,” Dupuis said.

After the Newtown killings, a handful of states — Connecticut among them — passed new regulations on background check limits, magazine capacity and types of firearms legally available. But efforts to pass even limited legislation at the federal level were thwarted by a Republican filibuster in the Senate; the Obama administration then announced limited executive reforms in place of tougher laws.

Developing

All schools in Newtown were placed on a precautionary lockdown Monday afternoon, according to police.

The office of the Superintendent of Schools called it a “modified lockdown.”

No further information was given, but the lockdown has been lifted, WABC is reporting.

Further information will be posted as it becomes available.

A new toxicology report has revealed Adam Lanza did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system when he opened fire inside Sandy Hook elementary school.

Sources tell the Hartford Courant that there were also no traces of antidepressants or anti-psychotic medications in his system.

It’s unclear at this time whether Lanza regularly took or was prescribed any medications.

Families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were in Boston for the marathon.

The last mile of the race was dedicated to the 20 children and six adults killed in the Dec. 14 shooting rampage.

Nine racers from Newtown were among the runners.

Family members were also in an area near the explosions, and some were in the stands but there are no reports they sustained any injuries.

 

Adam Lanza’s mother reportedly found disturbing images of dead bodies in his bedroom just two weeks before the attack.

The gruesome pictures included a drawing of a woman holding a child being murdered, according to a family friend.

It was also revealed that Lanza may have launched his murder spree as revenge, after being the target of bullying as a child at Sandy Hook Elementary, where he killed 20 students and six adults before taking his own life on Dec. 14.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (PIX11) — President Barack Obama came to Connecticut to urge Congress to follow the Constitution State’s lead and vote on gun legislation that is very popular among Americans, according to polls.  Despite that, however, the prospects for a gun control debate in Congress — let alone a vote — are fair at best.

The president met with Sandy Hook victims in a separate room before addressing a capacity crowd at the University of Hartford Sports Center Monday afternoon.  His speech came just hours after the leader of the U.S. Senate announced that the legislative body was now ready to consider new gun law proposals.

“Newtown, we want you to know that we’re here with you,” the president said.  “We will not walk away from the promises we’ve made.  We are as determined as ever to do what must be done.”

President Obama’s comments were part of a coordinated effort between the White House and congressional Democrats to get some kind of gun legislation voted on. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called on his fellow senators to remember the families of Newtown as they considered whether or not to vote on proposed gun laws.

One of those families spoke with PIX11 News just before heading into the field house to hear their president speak.

“This is make or break,” Darren Wagner of Newtown said.  “This is where the fight starts to get comprehensive legislation passed.”  He was among hundreds of Newtown Families who drove 40 miles to stand with the president to call on Congress to act.

“This week,” said President Obama, Congress will begin debating commonsense proposals to reduce gun violence.  But Congress is only going to act on them if they hear from you — the American people.”

“When I said in my State of the Union Address that these proposals deserve a vote — that the families of Newtown and Aurora, and Tucson, and their former colleague in that chamber, Gabby Giffords, all deserve a vote — virtually every member in that chamber stood up and applauded.  Now they’re going to deny those families — your families — a vote when the cameras are off and they think no one’s looking?  You deserve better.  You deserve a vote.”

The president chose to speak in Connecticut for two main reasons.  One, its state legislature passed the country’s strongest gun measures last week, including a ban on military style weapons, and background checks on almost everyone who buys a gun.

The other main reason President Obama came to Connecticut is that he and his policies are popular overall, in the state.  Ironically, though, that point was emphasized to PIX11 News by a man from Michigan, who spent Monday afternoon outside of the venue where the president was going to speak.  Michigander Tom Moran displayed the banner he’d spent 17 hours making, that called for universal background checks.

“I appreciate the president, but I came because the power in our country comes from the people.  The only way that things are going to change is if people speak up,” Tom Moran said.

He added, echoing the president’s comments, a message for Congress.  “They should have the courage to face those people [in Newtown] and have a vote.  We need to tell them we’re not going to hide.”

Moran’s banner was so big that it required three people to hold it up, and he’d come alone from Michigan.  However, he had no problem in Central Connecticut finding volunteers to help him display his message.

In fact, beyond Connecticut, Americans strongly lean one way in poll after poll regarding the basic issues of gun control.  In one of the most recent national polls on the subject, from Marist/NBC, 57 percent of people surveyed supported a ban on  military style assault weapons, compared to 37 percent opposing.

Even more remarkable, a full 9 Americans out of 10 — 87 percent — said they support background checks for all private gun sales and gun shows, with only 12 percent opposing in the Marist/NBC poll.

However, at this point, there is no guarantee that new gun legislation will pass in Washington.  In fact, it’s possible that through evasive parliamentary measures, like filibustering, conservative Republicans in Congress will prevent any debate on gun legislation, despite overwhelming support by many of their constituents to have such legislation voted on and passed.

That’s why the president returned to Connecticut, with the support of families from Sandy Hook.   “If you’re an American who wants to do something to prevent more families from knowing the immeasurable anguish that these families know,” President Obama said, “now is the time to act.  Now is the time to get engaged, to get involved, to push back on fear, frustration and misinformation.  Now is the time to make your voice heard from every state house to the corridors of Congress.”

Barack Obama

“Newtown, we want you to know that we’re here with you,” the president said on Monday during his speech in Connecticut on gun control.

The National Rifle Association is lobbying hard for members of Congress to not vote on passing new gun laws, but Newtown families PIX11 spoke with were hopeful that such an effort will be overcome.

“I wouldn’t be here [with the president] if I wasn’t confident, comfortable, that we’re going to see something happen,” said Darren Wagner, who’s not only a Newtown resident, but is also a leader of the gun control advocacy group Newtown Action Alliance.  “Is this the end?” he asked.  “Absolutely not.”

Eleven Sandy Hook families were slated to fly back to Washington with the president on Air Force One from Connecticut.  The families will head to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to lobby legislators in person to try and get some gun measures passed.

The measure with the greatest chance of passage is a universal background check requirement.  Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have been trying to hammer out a bipartisan deal on the issue.  The two are expected to announce by mid-week whether or not they’ve been successful.

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