People visit a small memorial set up near Sandy Hook Elementary School on Saturday, Dec. 15.
A final report released by the state’s attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury on Monday found that Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza had no apparent motive for gunning down 27 people on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn., including 20 children, six school officials, and Lanza’s mother.
Lanza’s struggle with mental illness — documented at length in the final pages of the report — was “no defense to his conduct,” according to investigators. Beyond proximity, there was no clear reason why Lanza chose Sandy Hook Elementary School as his target.
“What we do know is that the shooter had significant mental health issues that, while not affecting the criminality of the shooter’s mental state for the crimes or his criminal responsibility for them, did affect his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others, even those to whom he should have been close,” wrote Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III.
Here’s what we learned from today’s report:
1. Principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in the attack, yelled at Lanza to “stay put.”
2. Lanza did not see Sandy Hook staff hiding in the main office.
3. Lanza acted alone, told nobody about his plans.
4. Nine minutes elapsed from the time the first 911 call was received to the time the police entered the school.
5. Lanza may have intended to make it look like a second shooter was involved.
6. There were disturbing items found in the shooter’s room, including three photographs of a dead human covered in blood, and photocopied newspaper articles from 1891 about a school shooting involving children.
7. Lanza had a preoccupation with mass shootings, in particular the Columbine shootings. He kept a spreadsheet with information about mass murders, listing information about each shooting.
8. Officers found numerous violent video games in Lanza’s basement.
9. On Dec. 13, 2012, the day before the shooting, Lanza visited Sandy Hook from 2:09–2:32 p.m.
10. Before the shooter left for Sandy Hook, he significantly damaged his hard drive. Forensic experts still cannot recover any information from it. Should information be obtained from the hard drive, the case will be reopened.
11. Some digital evidence was seized, however, including images of Lanza holding a gun to his head, videos of him playing Dance Dance Revolution, and video dramatizations of children being shot.
12. Lanza shot his mother before 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 14. Neighbors assumed the shots were from hunters and didn’t report them. Between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., a delivery was made to the house; the driver left a slip and continued on.
13. Lanza was found dead in a classroom with 253 rounds of ammunition on his body.
14. All victims were given autopsies on Dec. 15, 2012. The cause of death for every victim was determined to have been gunshot wounds. All deaths were named homicides.
15. To outsiders, Lanza’s relationship with his family appeared strained — even with his mother, who didn’t work in order to take care of him.
16. Lanza’s likes and dislikes were erratic. He didn’t like birthdays, Christmas, holidays, getting his hair cut, and certain types of dishes.
17. He liked building computers, playing video games and the saxophone, writing poetry, and hiking, according to the report. Shooting was considered a family pastime, and Nancy and Adam Lanza both took NRA safety courses.
18. He loved Dance Dance Revolution — he had “stamina” for the game “and never appeared winded unless really exhausted.”
19. Though Lanza’s mother said he “had no emotions or feelings,” acquaintances said he was “capable of laughing, smiling and making jokes, though always in a dry fashion.” He never talked of being bullied.
20. Lanza was a Sandy Hook student from 1998 to 2003, but he “was never assigned to the classrooms where the shootings occurred.”
21. There are several instances in the report of Lanza talking to others about violence, but the earliest example provided is a fifth-grade project.
22. In 2005, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, after years of being described as having speech and language needs and other behavioral idiosyncrasies.
23. “The total weight of the guns and ammunition from the shooter at [Sandy Hook Elementary School] was 30.47 lbs.”
24. Before and after the shooting, several “leads” were reported to the Connecticut State Police, though many were not substantiated.
25. On the day of the shooting, several Newtown residents received voice messages — all from out of state — saying, “I am Adam Lanza and I am going to kill you.”
An appendix to the report contains photos from Sandy Hook elementary school and Nancy Lanza’s home at 36 Yogananda St. in Sandy Hook.
The lobby of Sandy Hook elementary where the shooter entered the school.