National News

March 29, 2013

Motive remains unclear in Newtown school shooting

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Newly released search warrants in the Newtown school shooting have revealed that gunman Adam Lanza’s home was packed with weapons and ammunition, but the documents do not shed any new light on what could have driven him to massacre 20 children and six educators inside an elementary school.

Lanza left behind journals, which state police turned over to the FBI for analysis, but if investigators have any ideas about his motive, they aren’t saying.

“Why is the big unanswered question,” said Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was among the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “So I have to come to grips with the fact that I might never know why he did what he did. But knowing how he did it and what we could do to prevent someone else doing that, those are valuable lessons that we can learn.”

Warrants released Thursday provide the most insight to date on the world of the 20-year-old gunman, a recluse who played violent video games in the Newtown home where he lived with his mother.

On the morning of Dec. 14, he took four guns but left behind firearms, knives and more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition at his spacious, colonial-style home.

He loaded the weapons into his car, drove to his former elementary school, and within five minutes of blasting his way into the building, he fired off 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle as he gunned down the first-graders and educators. He killed himself with a final shot from a Glock handgun.

The weapons used in the shooting had all apparently been purchased by Lanza’s mother, according to prosecutor Stephen J. Sedensky III, who said in a statement accompanying the warrants that the gun locker was open when police arrived at the house and there was no sign it had been broken into. Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, in her bed before carrying out the massacre.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy expressed incredulity over the access that the troubled young man had to a cache of weapons.

“There are parts of this story that are unfathomable,” he said. “How anyone would have maintained that household that way is difficult to understand.”

Sedensky, the prosecutor overseeing the investigation, said Connecticut State Police, Newtown police and other state and federal agencies are still compiling reports and statements from witnesses and testing physical and digital evidence.

“No conclusions have been reached and no final determinations have been made,” he wrote.

Investigators found weapons at the Lanza house including a 7-foot pole with a blade on one side and a spear on another, a metal bayonet, three samurai swords, a .323-caliber bolt-action rifle, a .22-caliber Savage Mark II rifle and a .22-caliber Volcanic starter pistol. A gun safe was found in Adam Lanza’s bedroom along with a military-style uniform. Literature seized from the house included a news article on a 2008 shooting at Northern Illinois University and an NRA guide to pistol shooting.

On the day of the massacre, Lanza took two loaded handguns to the school along with the Bushmaster rifle that he used to kill all the victims inside the school. A fourth gun, a loaded 12-gauge Saiga shotgun, was found in the passenger compartment of the Honda Civic Lanza drove to the school with 70 shotgun rounds, according to a warrant.

Lanza went through six 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster, although half of them were not completely empty, and police said he had three other 30-round magazines in addition to one that was in the rifle.  

———

Associated Press writers Dave Collins, Michael Melia and Susan Haigh in Hartford contributed to this report.

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors

    An Afghan government security guard opened fire Thursday on a group of foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital, killing three American physicians and wounding a U.S. nurse, officials said.

    April 24, 2014

  • Nevada rancher condemned for racist remarks

     A Nevada rancher who has become a conservative folk hero for resisting the federal government’s attempts to round up his cattle faced sharp criticism Thursday for racist comments published in a New York Times article.

    April 24, 2014

  • NRA seeks universal gun law at national meeting

    With concealed weapons now legal in all 50 states, the National Rifle Association’s focus at this week’s annual meeting is less about enacting additional state protections than on making sure the permits already issued still apply when the gun owners travel across the country.

    April 24, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday.

    April 23, 2014

  • US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

    The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars to apply for clemency, officials announced Wednesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • High court tosses $3.4M award to child porn victim

    The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Two dissenting justices said Congress should change the law to benefit victims.

    April 23, 2014

  • Airport security vulnerabilities not uncommon

    For all the tens of billions of dollars that the nation has spent on screening passengers and their bags, few airports made a comparable investment to secure the airplanes themselves.

    April 23, 2014

  • Deal signs bill expanding gun rights in Georgia

    Gov. Nathan Deal has signed legislation expanding where people with licenses to carry can bring their guns in Georgia.

    April 23, 2014

  • Indian film awards arrive in Tampa, Fla., but why?

    The so-called Bollywood Oscars have been held in Macau, Singapore, London — and now, Tampa?

    April 23, 2014

  • Indictment: Prosecutor targeted in kidnapping plot

    A North Carolina prosecutor was the intended target of an elaborate kidnapping plot, but the kidnappers looked up the wrong address on the Internet and abducted the prosecutor’s father instead, according to an indictment released Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

AP Video