Americas

Saturday 2 August 2014

Sandy Hook massacre took just five minutes

Jon Swaine New York

Published 29/03/2013|04:00

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Adam Lanza

THE gunman who murdered 20 young pupils in the Connecticut primary school massacre took just five minutes to carry out his killing spree, yet managed to fire 154 rounds into two classrooms.

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Adam Lanza, who also murdered six staff at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary last December, had a home arsenal packed with weapons, ammunition and shooting equipment.

New details of the massacre, along with inventories of guns, knives, swords and other equipment recovered from the 20-year-old's house, were made public yesterday in search-warrant reports that were unsealed by a judge in Connecticut.

The home that Lanza shared with his mother Nancy was found to contain two rifles, at least nine knives, three Samurai swords and 1,600 rounds of ammunition.

Lanza used a semi-automatic assault rifle to carry out America's second-worst school massacre, before shooting himself with one of two handguns he was carrying.

In a statement accompanying the released police documents, Stephen Sedensky, a state prosecutor, said: "It is currently estimated that the time from when the shooter shot his way into the school until he took his own life was less than five minutes.

"One hundred and fifty four spent .223 casings were recovered from the scene", the prosecutor added.

Officers disclosed in their reports that on entering Lanza's home, they discovered Mrs Lanza (52) shot dead. "Investigators located a rifle on the floor near the bed," they said.

Meanwhile, in Washington, US President Barack Obama made an impassioned plea for new gun-control legislation yesterday, accusing the US Congress of failing to heed the will of the people and defying polls that showed widespread public support for tougher gun laws.

Flanked by families who had lost children in the Sandy Hook massacre, Mr Obama challenged Congress to show that the emotion generated by the tragedy "wasn't just a bunch of platitudes".

Forgotten

"Less than 100 days ago that happened, and the entire country was shocked. And the entire country pledged we would do something about it and that this time would be different," he said. "Shame on us if we've forgotten. I haven't forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we've forgotten."

Mr Obama spoke as it appeared that efforts to force tighter gun laws through Congress, including universal background checks for new gun purchases, were running out of steam in the face of political self-interest and lobbying by the powerful National Rifle Association.

An assault weapons ban has already been dropped from a Senate gun bill which will be voted on in the coming weeks, with support for limiting high-capacity magazine and universal background checks also looking shaky.

"We have a politically savvy and a loyal voting bloc and the politicians know that," said Andrew Arulanandam, an NRA spokesman, hinting at the organisation's apparent stranglehold on US politicians.

Highlighting the gap between Congress and the public, Mr Obama added: "Ninety per cent of Americans support background checks that will keep criminals and people who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others from buying a gun.

"More than 80pc of Republicans agree. More than 80 percent of gun owners agree." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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