Prosecutor: Newtown Shooter Killed Victims Within 5 Minutes
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — An arsenal of weapons including guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a bayonet and several swords was found in the home and car of the gunman who carried out the Newtown school shooting, according to search warrants released Thursday.
Adam Lanza killed 26 people inside Sandy Hook Elementary School and took his own life within five minutes of shooting his way into the building, State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III said in a statement accompanying the release of the warrants in the Dec. 14 massacre. Lanza was found dead in the school wearing military-style clothing.
The extensive inventory of the evidence seized from Lanza’s home and the car he drove to carry out the massacre provided glimpses into the world of the reclusive gunman. Prosecutors until now had made few details available, despite pressure to do so from the governor, who criticized leaks to the press and lawmakers who clamored for more details as they craft legislation on mental health and gun control.
Sedensky said Lanza killed all 26 victims inside Sandy Hook Elementary School with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle before taking his own life with a Glock 10 mm handgun. He says Lanza had another loaded handgun with him inside the school as well as three, 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster.
Sedensky said 154 spent .223 casings were recovered at the scene. A loaded 12-gauge shotgun was found in the Honda Civic Lanza drove to the school with two magazines containing 70 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge shotgun rounds.
At the house, investigators found books about autism and Asperger’s syndrome as well as an NRA guide to pistol shooting.
Police said they found a smashed computer hard drive and a gaming console in Lanza’s bedroom. An unnamed source told investigators that Lanza was an avid gamer who played “Call of Duty” and other games and rarely left his home.
Investigators found articles on other shootings and a holiday card containing a check made out to Adam Lanza for the purchase of a firearm, authored by his mother, Nancy Lanza.
Documents indicate that authorities found a gun safe with shotgun shells and numerous boxes of bullets. In a bedroom closet, they found ear plugs, a handwritten note regarding ammunition and magazines, paperwork on guns and a metal bayonet.
In a top drawer of a filing cabinet, they found paper targets. In a duffel bag, they found ear and eye protection, binoculars, numerous other paper targets and Lanza’s NRA certificate.
Authorities found numerous knives, including samurai swords. They found a military-style uniform in Lanza’s bedroom and handwritten notes containing the addresses of local gun shops.
A Danbury Superior Court judge on Wednesday granted a request by Sedensky, the prosecutor overseeing the investigation, to withhold some details. Sedensky asked to redact the name of a witness, saying the person’s safety might be jeopardized if the name were disclosed. He also asked that the release not include other information such as telephone numbers, serial numbers on items found and a few paragraphs of an affidavit.
Authorities have said it will take until June or later for the investigation to be completed.
The Associated Press and other news outlets have reported previously that Lanza showed interest in other mass killings and authorities found literature on other massacres at his house.
Malloy announced last week that additional information would be released at his request. He expressed concern that some information about the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook reportedly disclosed by a top state police commander at a recent law enforcement seminar in New Orleans was leaked.
“Like many others, I was disappointed and angered to learn that certain information about the Newtown shooting had been leaked, specifically with concern for the victims’ families who may have been hearing this news for the first time,” the governor said in a statement.
A column published last week in the New York Daily News, citing an unnamed police officer who attended the seminar, reported that Col. Daniel Stebbins discussed evidence that suggested the Newtown gunman studied other mass slayings and dedicated extensive planning to the rampage.
The seminar was designed for only law enforcement professionals, and sensitive information dealing with the tactical approaches used by first responders to the Sandy Hook shootings was discussed, state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said.
Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr. said this week that legislative leaders hope to review the search warrant documents before finishing work on a bipartisan bill that addresses gun control and other issues related to the massacre.
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