Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, file photo provided by the Newtown Bee, a police officer leads two women and a child from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children. A prosecutor is planning to release a report on the investigation into the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, but the public will have to wait longer for the Connecticut state police’s full accounting of the crime.(AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks, File) MANDATORY CREDIT: NEWTOWN BEE, SHANNON HICKS
Prosecutor: Sandy Hook gunman’s motive still a mystery
First Published Nov 25 2013 11:43 am • Last Updated Nov 25 2013 03:36 pm

Hartford, Conn. • Why Adam Lanza went on his murderous shooting rampage at a Newtown elementary school is a mystery and may never be known, prosecutors said Monday in a report that closed out their yearlong investigation.

Lanza, 20, was obsessed with mass murders and the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in particular, but investigators found no evidence he ever told others of his intentions to carry out such an attack, according to the summary report by the lead investigator, State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky III.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle inside Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. He also shot his mother to death inside their home before driving to the school, and committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived.

The shooting plunged the small New England community into mourning, elevated gun safety to the top of the agenda for President Barack Obama and led states across the country to re-evaluate laws on guns and security.

"The obvious question that remains is: ‘Why did the shooter murder twenty-seven people, including twenty children?’ Unfortunately, that question may never be answered conclusively," the report said.

Sedensky also said there was no clear indication why Lanza chose Sandy Hook Elementary for his rampage other than that it was close to his home.

The report said Lanza had "significant mental health issues" — in 2005, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder — but "what contribution this made to the shootings, if any, is unknown."

Asperger’s is an autism-like disorder that is not associated with violence.

In a footnote, Sedensky said a computer drive recovered from Lanza’s home might include important evidence but is unreadable, and it is highly unlikely any data will ever be extracted from it.

A timeline released with the report indicates that nearly six minutes passed between the arrival of the first Newtown police officer and the time officers entered the school.


story continues below
story continues below

The report said law enforcement officers were operating under the belief there may have been more than one shooter.

Lanza "was undoubtedly afflicted with mental health problems; yet despite a fascination with mass shootings and firearms, he displayed no aggressive or threatening tendencies," Sedensky wrote.

"Some recalled that the shooter had been bullied; but others - including many teachers - saw nothing of the sort."

Donna Soto, the mother of slain teacher Victoria Soto, said in a statement that nothing could make sense of the shooting.

"Yes, we have read the report, no, we cannot make sense of why it happened. We don’t know if anyone ever will," Soto wrote. "We don’t know if we will ever be whole again, we don’t know if we will go a day without pain, we don’t know if anything will ever make sense again."

Sedensky has gone to court to fight release of the 911 tapes from the school and resisted calls from Connecticut’s governor to divulge more information sooner.

The withholding of 911 recordings, which are routinely released in other cases, has been the subject of a legal battle between The Associated Press and Sedensky before the state’s Freedom of Information Commission, which ruled in favor of the AP, and now Connecticut’s court system.

A Connecticut judge said Monday he will listen to the 911 recordings from the school before ruling on whether they can be publicly released.

If the recordings are released, the AP would review the content and determine what, if any, of it would meet the news cooperative’s standards for publication.

The report said the first officer arrived behind the school at 9:39 a.m. Two other Newtown officers then arrived at the school, and gunshots were heard in the background.

The last gunshot officers heard, which is believed to be the suicide shot by Lanza, was heard at three seconds past 9:40. Newtown officers entered the school at 47 seconds past 9:44, according to the report.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.