Saturday 23 September 2017

Sandy Hook shooter was obsessed with Columbine

Adam Lanza
Adam Lanza

Freeman Klopott

Adam Lanza, who killed 20 first-graders and six educators at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school last year, was obsessed with the April 1999 shooting at Columbine High in Colorado, according to a prosecutor's report.

There was no evidence of a motive in the rampage, Stephen Sedensky III, the state's attorney for Danbury, said in the report released today, almost a year after the December 14 shootings. Lanza, pictured, had "significant mental health issues" that kept him from living a normal life, though practitioners who saw him had no indication he would kill, according to the report.

"He had familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition and an obsession with mass murders, in particular the April 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado," according to the report. "Investigators, however, have not discovered any evidence that the shooter voiced or gave any indication to others that he intended to commit such a crime himself."

Until yesterday's report, investigators had not provided details on Lanza's mental-health records, the police response to the shooting and clues to a motive. Sedensky is fighting in court to keep recordings of the 911 calls from being made public.

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School brought international attention to the town of 28,000 about 78 miles northeast of New York City. It led states from California to New York to tighten gun regulations. A similar push by President Barack Obama, which included help from parents of the slain children, failed by six votes in the US Senate in April.

In Newtown, the day of the deadliest US massacre since the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech University, is remembered simply as 12/14 -- in the way that 9/11 has become shorthand for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

In March, Sedensky said the Bushmaster 223 calibre model XM15 rifle used by Lanza had a 30-round capacity magazine. The 20-year-old shooter used a single shot from a Glock 10mm handgun to kill himself before police arrived and had a 9mm Sig Sauer P226 handgun with him. It took Lanza less than five minutes to shoot his way into the school and fire 154 shots on his way to gunning down the children, the staff and himself.

Irish Independent

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