Newtown probe: Shooting took under 5 minutes
Authorities say Adam Lanza killed himself after killing 20 students and six women at a Connecticut elementary school.
March 28th, 2013
01:51 PM ET

Newtown probe: Shooting took under 5 minutes

  • Prosecutors release new documents related to December's shootings at school in Newtown, Connecticut
  • Documents: Investigators found a gun safe in shooter Adam Lanza's room
  • Documents: 1,600 rounds of ammunition found in Lanza's home
  • Police say Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother, then 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut before killing himself
  • People who knew Lanza described him as quiet, smart, socially awkward. Connecticut's medical examiner has said he was told that Lanza had Asperger's syndrome.
  • Live updates below. Also, read the full story; and see the documents

[Updated at 1:51 p.m. ET] This live blog is wrapping up, but please check out our full story for the latest about today's document release.

[Updated at 1:48 p.m. ET] One of the warrants released Thursday cites an interview with a person who said that Lanza rarely left his home, that he was a shut-in, "and an avid gamer who plays Call of Duty, amongst other games." "Call of Duty" is a military-style war game.

In the house, according to the documents, were several books - one titled "NRA guide to the basics of pistol shooting," another about Asperger syndrome and one on autism. Both are developmental disorders that are not typically associated with violence.

Police also found a 2008 New York Times article about a shooting at Northern Illinois University. Police took from the house an NRA certificate for Nancy Lanza, a receipt for a shooting range in Oklahoma, a book titled "Train your brain to get happy," and three photographs "of what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic and what appears to be blood."

As noted below, the NRA issued a statement today saying neither Lanza nor his mother were members.

[Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET] The main details of the shooting have long been known: The carnage began on the morning of December 14, when Lanza fatally shot his 52-year-old mother, Nancy Lanza, with a .22 caliber rifle.

But some of the details are new. "There was no indication of a struggle," according to a statement from Stephen J. Sedensky III, state's attorney for the judicial district of Danbury. The statement came with Thursday's release of five search warrants and related documents.

Lanza shot his mother in the forehead, one of the search warrants says.

Laden with weapons and ammunition, Lanza then went to the elementary school, shooting his way into the building where he killed the 26 victims with a Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle, according to Sedensky.

The rampage ended when Lanza, using a Glock 10 mm handgun, shot himself.

Attached to the rifle police found a 30-round capacity magazine that still had 14 bullets Sedensky said, and a search of Lanza's body found that he was carrying more ammunition for the handguns as well as three more 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster, each fully loaded.

"Located in the area of the shootings were six additional 30-round magazines," Sedensky said in his statement, three of them empty and the others holding 10, 11, and 13 rounds. Police found 154 spent .223 caliber casings at the school.

All of the guns appear to have been bought by Lanza's mother, the state's attorney said.

[Updated at 12:59 p.m. ET] We've gotten all the documents together in one place. Here are the documents that Connecticut prosecutors released today in the Newtown investigation.

[Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET] Back to today's Newtown document release. The National Rifle Association has issued a statement, apparently reacting to what the papers say about investigators finding NRA certificates for Lanza and his mother, Nancy.

"There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association," the NRA statement said. "Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory."

This page from one of the search warrants released in the Newtown case Thursday mentions investigators found an "Adam Lanza National Rifle Association certificate."

[Updated at 12:17 p.m. ET] President Obama's pro-gun-control event at the White House has just finished - and he referred to Newtown many times as he tried to fight against waning public support for Senate Democrats' post-Newtown gun-control proposals.

He essentially was arguing that some people are suffering from short attention spans - that people who were persuaded to support ammunition magazine limits and universal background checks immediately after the Newtown shootings might be letting their support slip because Newtown is no longer in the news every day.

"We need everybody to remember how they felt 100 days ago (after the Newtown shooting) and make sure (what we said then) wasn’t just a bunch of platitudes," Obama said.

"Now's the time to turn that heartbreak into something real."

Obama also said that "some powerful voices on the other side" want to delay action on gun legislation. "Their assumption is that people will just forget about it," the president said.

Earlier this month, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre said background checks of firearms purchases won't stop gun violence, but would serve agendas of people "bent on destroying the Second Amendment." In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, he said expanded background checks would be a first step toward a liberal desire to create a national gun registry.

"In the end, there are only two reasons for government to create that federal registry of gun owners - to tax them or to take them," LaPierre said on March 15. Supporters of expanded checks deny the legislation would create such a registry.

[Updated at 12:07 p.m. ET] President Obama, at his pro-gun-control event at the White House, says the anguish is still fresh in Newtown, and that thousands of Americans' lives have been "stolen by bullets" in recent months. (WATCH LIVE)

Some background on the legislation that Obama is backing: Proposed by Senate Democrats, the package includes expanded background checks, tougher laws against gun trafficking and straw purchases, and efforts to improve school security.

He said moments ago: "This is our best chance in more than a decade" to pass what Obama believes is "common-sense gun control legislation."

Obama recalls that when he visited Newtown after the shooting, he told people there that if there's a step that Washington can take to save just one child, Washington should do it.

"None of these ideas should be controversial," Obama says.

Recent polls show support for new gun legislation on the wane, and Obama appears to be reacting to that.

"Shame on us if we've forgotten" the horrors of Newtown, Obama said. "I haven't forgotten those kids."

[Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET] President Obama's pro-gun-control event at the White House has begun. We're listening to see if he mentions Newtown. (WATCH LIVE)

Introducing Obama is Katerina Rodgaard, a Maryland dance instructor who knew one of the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings. Rodgaard, representing Moms Demand Action: For Gun Sense in America, says her heart breaks for the relatives of the Newtown victims.

[Updated at 11:47 a.m. ET] An update to one of the entries below: The documents released today say that investigators found more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition - not 1,400 - in the home of Nancy Lanza and her son, Adam.

[Updated at 11:43 a.m. ET] Speaking of gun control and Newtown: Pro-gun-control television ads featuring relatives of the Newtown massacre victims were released today. They're the first such ads featuring Newtown relatives.

In the spots - one is 60 seconds, the other is 90 seconds - family members talk about their loved ones and call on political leaders to embrace tougher gun laws.

[Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET] President Barack Obama in a few minutes is scheduled to make another push for stricter gun controls at an event at the White House. We'll see if he mentions any of today's Newtown developments.

The White House event comes on what advocates of tougher gun laws call a national day of action, with rallies and other gatherings planned in cities across the country.

[Updated at 11:17 a.m. ET] Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy just released this statement:

"I want to thank the Office of the Chief State's Attorney for providing this information today. In some cases, the facts really do speak for themselves, and in this case they only add starker detail to what we already knew.

“We knew that a disturbed individual entered a school and fired 154 rounds in less than 5 minutes, killing 20 innocent children and 6 dedicated educators. We knew that he had ready access to weapons that he should not have had access to. We knew that these weapons were legally purchased under our current laws. We knew he used 30-round magazines to do it, and that they allowed him to do maximum damage in a very short period of time. And we now know that he left the lower capacity magazines at home.

"This is exactly why we need to ban high capacity magazines and why we need to tighten our assault weapons ban. I don't know what more we can need to know before we take decisive action to prevent gun violence. The time to act is now."

[Updated at 11:11 a.m. ET] We just got this information about the shooting timeline - investigators estimate that it all took less than 300 seconds, a Connecticut state attorney said Thursday.

In a statement released with the documents that came out today, state attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III says that from the time that shooter Adam Lanza forced his way into the building to the moment he took his own life, less than five minutes elapsed.

[Updated at 11 a.m. ET] For a review of what we already knew about the December 14 shooting, see this timeline.

[Updated at 10:43 a.m. ET] A little bit on what we already knew about Lanza: Connecticut's medical examiner said he was told that Lanza, 20, had Asperger's syndrome. Research has not shown a link between that condition and violence.

A profile of Lanza and his mother by CNN's Ashley Fantz describes him as a quiet, smart, socially awkward young man. Nancy Lanza kept a lot of weapons, from assault rifles to handguns, at her home - people described her as a responsible gun owner who had the weapons for self-defense. The two had frequented several gun ranges over the past several years.

[Updated at 10:04 a.m. ET] Authorities found in Lanza's home a holiday card with a check made out to him "for the purchase of a C183 (firearm), authored by (his mother) Nancy Lanza," documents released today show.

[Updated at 10:03 a.m. ET] Another detail from today's document release: A search warrant of the home of Lanza's mother, Nancy, shows that investigators found more than 1,400 rounds of ammunition at the house.

[Posted at 10:01 a.m. ET] Police released new documents related to December's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, but a motive for the attack remained elusive.

Included in the new information is the report that a gun safe was found in the bedroom of 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who took guns belonging to his mother, Nancy, and shot her in her forehead in her bed. Then he went to the school in Newtown, where he gunned down 20 children and six staff members before killing himself.

Relatives of the victims were briefed Wednesday about the documents, which were released Thursday morning.

Some of the documents, released by state prosecutors, have been redacted at the prosecutors' request, said Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police.

The documents may contain new information but perhaps no big surprises, Vance said before the documents' release.

State police are continuing their investigation, which is not expected to be completed until June, he said.

Read more the full story about the documents here.

soundoff (688 Responses)
  1. David

    what is a c183 firearm???? bad reporting by all media outlets.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • anchorite

      It's a camera. She wrote him a check to buy a camera. It has nothing to do with the case. The numerous guns, ammunition, and gun safe probably do, but the check is a red herring.

      March 28, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I'm guessing that since the check was found with the ammo, they automatically assumed it had to be a firearm...see what happens when authorities assume?

      March 28, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • L

      the reporter for this story should be fired – stating the c183 is a firearm when it isn't.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • mgray55

      Read it again – the quote from the authorities said the check was "for the purchase of a C183 (firearm), authored by (his mother) Nancy Lanza,". Is it a misstatement from the authorities, a typo by the author, or does it mean the check author wrote that in the memo field? We don't know. It was however, mentioned as a gift from the mother for the purchase of a firearm. It doesn't matter what model number was printed; The point is, the money was used to purchase a firearm.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      the "(firearm)" is something added by the reporter.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ding

      how come when you google "C183 gun" a ton of gun pictures come up?

      March 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • wrm

      CZ83 perhaps?

      March 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • mgray55

      Than blame whoever authored the police report –

      "Exhibit #612 – One (1) holiday card containing a Bank of America check #462 made out to Adam Lanza for the purchase of a C183 (Firearm), authored by Nancy Lanza."

      March 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Serrelinda

    This is NOT to anger anybody, but saying over a thousand rounds of ammunition was found in the home of a 'responsible gun owner' is pure sensationalism. Anybody who does not own a gun wouldn't know that that amount of ammo, for multiple weapons used to practice at a range or kept for self-defense, is average, so from a news standpoint it makes the mother out to seem like she was prepping to inflict mayhem and seems even scarier. Please do not post inflammatory news statements without information to explain why a gun owner would own that amount of ammunition.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • VariousArtist

      These were most certainly NOT responsible gun owners. Also, anyone who owns a gun and keeps ammo in the house is mentally ill as far as I am concerned.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • billmosby

      Very true. Also, being found in the home rather than with him at the school is kind of a good thing, one might think.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Anubis

      @VariousArtist Thankfully, the mental health system doesn't subscribe to your definition of mentally ill. Keeping ammunition and firearms in the same house is perfectly reasonable, as long as they are BOTH kept in secure locations. Lock the guns in a safe, keep the ammo in a separate lockbox. It's not that hard.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee s

      Various artist is either a troll or someone who drinks the cnn koolaid and will tell you they will listen to all opinions, excpet when they differ from his/her own. Typical left wingnut mentality,

      March 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • wrm

      @VariousArtist – your statement is exactly why people are skeptical of proposed processes to determine who is and isn't fit to own a firearm.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. anchorite

    Think about it, people, he was 20, you can't buy a handgun until you're 21. How would his mother write him a check to buy a handgun? There is no such thing as a C183 firearm. The only thing even close to "C183" if she wrote it wrong is "CZ83" which is a handgun.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. Grant

    1.4K rounds in his room (if he ever existed)........DHS just purchased over 1.6 Billion rounds (and they exist)
    14 Congressmen asking why but getting no response from big Sis.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Veidt

      Tighten the strap on that tin-foil hat chief

      March 28, 2013 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      LOL he's calling you a conspiracy theorists for stating the exact facts.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Nothing surprising

      straight facts? "if he existed", isn't quite a straight fact.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. The_dude

    Never heard of a c183 firearm.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. George

    I've never heard of a C183 (firearm) and neither has google, apparently... The only thing that is showing up is a C183 Camera from Kodak... Anyone able to actually point me towards a C183 (firearm)?

    March 28, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. pams

    But what about his father. Is he nowhere linked? How could the mother only deal with this?

    March 28, 2013 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. TheAntiChrist

    Well lets see. Mentally unstable. Hmm. Do you need legitimate reason?

    March 28, 2013 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. eram3

    I'd like to know what prescription meds he was on. If he was on illegal meds, you can be sure that would be all over the news. Tell us what PRESCRIPTION meds these kid killers are on!!! There is ample evidence showing psychotropic meds increase violent behavior in young men & children. Mainstream media won't be reporting this due to their financial ties with big pharma.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Nothing surprising

      Or because of data privacy. HIPPA. Heard of it?

      March 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Travis Krumenacker

    Way to go media!! Thanks for showing this POS face yet again! and for what?? A story with zero substance. You people ARE the problem!!!

    March 28, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Peter

    The only firearm with a c138 was a pre-1899 6 six shooter... However a more modern C138 is a Kodak Camera.. Kid gets check for camera and puts it in safe.. nothing to see here folks other than the ammo storage which was his mothers.

    Kid needed mental help and rather than talk about that we see reports that the kid had a safe!!

    March 28, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. 3 2 1 BAN NRA

    Here come the "BAN EVERYTHING" wing nuts.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. glk20c

    Oh, is 1400 rounds considered a lot of ammo?

    March 28, 2013 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Clingy Republican.

      No.
      Could have been 2 boxes of .22 caliber ammo, used to be common to purchase 500 round boxes for weekend shooting at cans and paper targets, cost was around $15 to $20. of course now its all but impossible to find and when you do its a couple hundred bucks.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. Constantine17642489;)

    Sandy Hook still makes me cry when i really think about each of those children who were shot in cold blooded murder:..(

    March 28, 2013 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. PFFFFFFFPLPLPLPLPLPLPLPLFFFFFF

    Get this off the front page.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
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