Police found hundreds of rounds of ammunition, guns, three photos of “what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic” and other evidence when they searched the Newtown, Conn., home of killer Adam Lanza, according to records released Thursday.
Five search warrants, which include lists of what detectives discovered in the first few days after the Dec. 14, 2012, mass shooting that left 20 school children and six educators dead, were made public. We’ll embed them below. Though not overly graphic, they do include some details about what investigators saw when they discovered the body of Nancy Lanza, the gunman’s mother, at the home.
There isn’t anything else said in the warrants about the photos of what appear to be a dead person, but it is noted that Lanza had saved a New York Times article about a shooting at Northern Illinois University. It’s also reported that investigators found “one handwritten note pad with what appears to be to do lists for Nancy Lanza from December 14 through December 20.” And they came upon an “Adam Lanza National Rifle Association certificate.” While some computers, gaming consoles and other electronic devices were recovered, there was “a smashed hard drive on top of a desk in what is believed to be Adam Lanza’s bedroom.” He had a gun safe in the room, as well. A witness, whose name was redacted, told investigators that Lanza “rarely leaves his home.”
The Hartford Courant begins its report on the warrants this way: “Newtown shooter Adam Lanza kept an arsenal of guns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, swords and knives at his home, search warrants released Thursday indicate.”
The Stamford Advocate leads with this: “Investigators found a trove of evidence … seven journals and drawings, three photos of dead people covered in plastic and possibly blood, and a huge cache of ammunition scattered through the home. … A gun safe and a military-style uniform were in his bedroom. Among other items in the home: three samuarai swords with blades ranging from 13 to 28 inches, 10 other knives, both X-box 360 and Sony Playstation game consoles and handwritten notes with locations of various gun shops.”
The full version is here:
In his last few years, Adam Lanza shut himself off from the outside world almost completely, his troubles slowly escalating as his family splintered.
In the summer of 2010, Mr. Lanza cut off contact with his father, Peter Lanza, a General Electric GE -0.81% executive whose marriage with his mother ended a year before, said a person with knowledge of family matters. It is unclear why Mr. Lanza refused to speak with his father, who made repeated attempts to contact him, this person said, but the breakdown in their relationship came as Peter Lanza started to get serious with his girlfriend, whom he married last year.
After Christmas 2010, Adam Lanza had no contact with his older brother, Ryan, who had moved away for a job in New York City, according to records and a person with knowledge of the family. And three years ago, high-school classmates recalled Adam Lanza suddenly disappearing midway through high school in Newtown, Conn. “He disappeared off the face of the Earth,” according to one friend.
Then, last Friday morning, Adam Lanza fatally shot his final link to the outside world, his mother, Nancy Lanza, in her bed. He then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School—where he attended first through fourth grades—and he killed 20 children and six adults before taking his own life, authorities said.
The 20-year-old’s seclusion is proving to be the primary obstacle for investigators trying to piece together a comprehensive portrait of Mr. Lanza and his interactions with others in the days leading up to the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history, a state police official said. Afflicted with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, Mr. Lanza left few traces of interactions with people in person, or online, the official and others said. The person who knew him best, Nancy Lanza, is dead.
Throughout the country Friday, bells tolled at 9:30 a.m. — some deliberately ringing 26 times, some 27 and far fewer ringing 28 times.
The disparity in bells echoing throughout the country is symbolic of a looming question — how many victims are there?
While Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called for the ringing of the bells 26 times, and President Barack Obama noted 26 victims — one Newtown church Friday recognized 28 victims, including both the gunman and his mother.
But when the bells tolled Friday morning, some not only opted to include Nancy Lanza as a victim, but her son as well.
The United Methodist Church in Newtown, a site for vigils and services since the incident, rang the bell 28 times.
‘It’s a matter of theology, not judgment or logic,’ said the Rev. Mel Kawakami, the church’s senior pastor.
‘I don’t have to judge. I leave that to the God I believe in — and I believe in a God of mercy.
Jim Dietter, a Newtown resident, also agreed with the church’s decision to include Adam Lanza and his mother in the service.
‘He [Adam Lanza] is a victim of sorts as well. I feel someone in such a dark place as to kill children must feel such anguish,’ he said. ‘The church’s role, forgiveness, is a way to set people free. … I get that people hate him and want to strike him from history and kill him a thousand times over. Ultimately that’s not going to help people.’
I don’t think a little more compassion is going to hurt anyone.
Rarely do residents mention the first person police said Adam Lanza killed that morning: his mother, Nancy, who was shot in the head four times while she lay in bed.
That makes 27.
A private funeral was held Thursday in New Hampshire for Nancy Lanza, according to Donald Briggs, the police chief in Kingston, N.H., where her funeral was held. About 25 family members attended the ceremony.
In Newtown, where makeshift memorials of stuffed animals, angels, candles, flowers and balloons have blossomed on patches of grass throughout town, there is only one noticeable tribute to Nancy Lanza. It’s a letter written by a friend on yellow paper affixed, screwed and shellacked onto a red piece of wood.
“Others now share pain for choices you faced alone; May the blameless among us throw the first stone,” it reads in part.
No one outwardly blames Nancy Lanza for the rampage. But authorities have said the gunman, her 20-year-old son Adam, used the guns she kept at their home to carry out a massacre that became the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history and has stirred lawmakers to call for gun control laws.
Lanza was a shy and unusually intelligent student, two former classmates recall.
In Newtown High School, he dressed more formally than other students, often wearing khaki pants, button-down shirts and at times, a pocket protector, said Tim Arnone who first met Lanza at Sandy Hook.
The two of them joined the high school’s audio-visual club, also known as a tech club, and spent free periods playing video games at the school’s television station studio.
“It was definitely the nerdiest club in the school. We called it the tech club. We had our own little section in the room,” Arnone, 20, told Reuters.
He said Lanza was “driven hard” to succeed academically by his parents, particularly his mother. “She pushed him really hard to be smarter and work harder in school,” Arnone said.
Nancy Lanza and her husband, Peter Lanza, divorced in 2008, according to public records. Peter Lanza could not immediately be reached for comment.
Dan Holmes, owner of a landscaping firm, described Nancy Lanza as an avid gun collector who once showed him a “high-end rifle” that she had purchased.
“She said she would often go target shooting with her kids,” he said.