Photo: NBC NEWS
New details are emerging about the troubling circumstances surrounding Adam Lanza, who allegedly shot and killed his mother Nancy at their home in Newtown, Conn. Friday morning before going to Sandy Hook Elementary school and killing 20 children, six adults and himself.• Former high school classmates told The New York Times that Adam had Asperger’s syndrome. People with Asperger’s “have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills, as well as unusual behaviours and interests,” according to The centre for Disease Control.
• “[Nancy Lanza] would often talk about her son having social issues,” former landscaper and occasional drinking buddy Dan Holmes told The New York Post. “She told me he was a brilliant kid and very book smart but that he was very awkward around people and wanted to be by himself.””
• “We knew it was Adam, because we knew his condition,” Mark Tambascio, whose mother was a friend of Nancy Lanza’s for more than 12 years, told Bloomberg. Adam “couldn’t deal with regular people,” he said. “He was kind of a sociopath in a way.”
• Nancy — to whom the two semiautomatic pistols and semi-automatic rifle found next to Adam’s body were registered — was a gun enthusiast who “took her two sons to the gun ranges quite a bit to practice their aim,” Holmes told the Post.
[UPDATE 7:42 p.m.] The Stamford Advocate reports that the longtime director of a popular shooting range near Newtown said there is no record that Adam Lanza practiced there, and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) didn’t find his name on any of the facility’s sign-in sheets.
• Adam Lanza tried unsuccessfully to buy a gun at a nearby Dick’s Sporting Goods on Tuesday, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.
• Two law enforcement sources told CNN that the day before the massacre there was a disagreement at the school between Lanza and two teachers, the school psychologist and the principal, three of whom were killed Friday while one teacher is the massacre’s only survivor. The source said the argument had something to do with Lanza trying to enter the school.
[UPDATE 8:47 p.m.] CNN now reports that a law enforcement source says earlier reports about the alleged disagreement have been investigated and are not accurate. Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said he knew of no reports about Lanza being involved in any altercations at the school.
• Officials Lanza blasted his way into the school wearing black fatigues and a bulletproof vest before opening fire in two classrooms at around 9:30 a.m. The state’s chief medical examiner told CNN that all of the victims were killed by multiple gunshot wounds from the .223-calibre Bushmaster rifle.
• Two Law enforcement officials told CNN that contrary to earlier reports, Nancy Lanza, 52, was never a teacher or a substitute at Sandy Hook Elementary. Newtown residents “were at a loss to describe what she did for a living”, according to The New York Times.
• Ryan Lanza, Adam’s 24-year-old brother who was initially identified as the shooter after a law enforcement official mistakenly transposed the brothers’ first names, told law enforcement that he hadn’t been in touch with his brother since about 2010.
• Adam’s father, Peter, and Nancy Lanza divorced in September 2009. Ryan lives in Hoboken, New Jersey while Peter Lanza, who recently remarried, lives in Stamford, Connecticut.
Friday’s tragedy is the second worst mass shooting in U.S. history, exceeded only by the Virgina Tech shooting in 2007 when 32 victims (and the gunman) were killed.
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