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. God of Guns

    This is the United States of America. We are all a bunch of Rednecks in someway. This country was founded on guns, its the god damn Democrats that want to get rid of guns. Whoever voted for obama is crazy. Do you know what he did? After the School shooting he ordered that all of the ammunition shot off my the military to be recycled and thrown away instead of giving it to the gun manufactures. The Democrats wasted millions of dollars in doing that, thanks alot you liberal democrats its all your faults that our country is in debt so much. All democrats are on welfare one way or another because their to lazy to get up and get a job and they want illegal immigrants (mexicans ect.) to come into our country and work for 50 cents and take up our jobs so people on welfare have a excuse not to work. Yeah nice try all you democrats for trying to ban ar-15 to it did'nt work did it. Also what is up with all the gay right support also, I dont want my children to grow up and have to live with a bunch of cornholers kissing in front of them it is sick and all of you know that!!!!!!. So heres a little tip GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY IF YOU DONT LIKE IT I DONT CARE AND ALOT OF OTHER PEOPLE AGREE WITH ME ALSO!!!!!. Get a life Democrats.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCDinBC

      Since you're relying on flawed logic to support your position, think of this:
      The current philosophies of the Taliban and the NRA will both result in the death of more innocent Americans. Ironic, huh?

      March 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why

      As will the current philosophies of the DoT, the AMA, the FDA, the ATF, the FBI, and a dozen other acronyms

      March 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jarhead4life

    Why is CNN publishing this crap? Giving this psycho more air time. The media is as much responsible for these kind of tragic events as are the psychos. Because they are the ones who give these freaks/losers/pathetic pieces of dung the worldwide stage and fame. Killers like this should never be pictured, their names never mentioned, only referred to as spineless psychopaths. All this does is reopen wounds. The media are junkies for this garbage. Thumbs down to all media that publishes this garbage and then just keeps rehashing it over and over again.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rob

    I guess you have never heard of a bomb.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Allen Iverson

    Can the NRA be sued by the attorney generals office for defamitation? They are claiming Adam was not a NRA member but the report says otherwise.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jared.kg

      Was it a membership certificate or something else. The NRA hosts many safety workshops and other events that one could get a certificate of some sort at.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Landshark

    Indisputable facts.
    Only a loaded gun, with a person firing it, can quickly kill several people trying to run away.
    Only a loaded gun, with a person firing it, can kill a victim trying to stay safe in a locked car.
    Only a loaded gun, with a person firing it, can kill someone driving by or fleeing in a car.
    Only a loaded gun, with a person firing it, can kill at a distance many times arm's length.
    Only a naive person would think that the gun by itself is to blame.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. WW

    A country that allows the profit from paranoia crew to set the standards is pathetic.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pragmatist68

    How long would it have taken him to blow up the same number in a crowded park, or movie theater, or cafe, or government building with materials under his sink and a copy of the anarchists cookbook readily available online?

    March 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • martin

      Sophistry

      March 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Blanchjoe

    While these incidents of killings of innocents is horrible, and can only be solved by properly Weaponizing Teachers, Locking away the Emotionally or Mentally Ill, and increasing and enforcing Criminal Penalities for Crimes with Hand Guns or Rifles, ...the important issue here to remember is that regardless of who are killed or the number of deaths, that our Amercan God Given 2nd Amendment Rights are not infringed upon, and that the Weapons Manufacturing Industry is protected.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • JackStraw63

      AMERICAN God. You said it, bub.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. beckster

    “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

    Benjamin Franklin

    March 28, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tony

    The NRA is the prime example of sickos wanting guns for no good reason.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • kippyafd

      No good reason? Have you been paying attention? do you have a sign in front of your house saying "I have no guns in my house?" I hope you do, put your actions where your mouth is.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fernando

    Gun + no person = 0 fatalities. (But you know how guns are. Eventually someone will pick it up and there is the remote, yet existent possibility it will be used to kill someone.)
    Let me pose a permutation of this relationship between a gun and a person.
    0 guns + 1 person = 0 fatalities (But you know how people are. There is a remote, yet existent possibility that the person will acquire an alternate weapon and it will be used to kill someone.)
    So how about; (Gun + no person) via background checks + (0 guns + 1 person) via specific bans = 0 fatalities + dramatically reduced likelihood that potential murderer, gun and victim(s) will intersect in time and space?

    March 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff60

    This really looks like some sort of conspiracy. The police release old information and CNN reports it as new information and then Obama tries to "Shame" us all into believing it will do anything to reduce the violence while his supporters get what they have wanted all along. I really hope people wake up in the next election.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • kippyafd

      Funny how they mention he has a NRA member card, high cap. magaizine and that he left the small ones at home......all what they are against. To try to prove all those things are evil.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jay jabroni

    1600 rounds? That's not uncommon. It's a day at the range. Jabroni!

    March 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tony

    I haven't seen a contrary fact disputing these yet.

    Only a gun can quickly kill several people trying to run away.
    Only a gun can kill a victim trying to stay safe in a locked car.
    Only a gun can kill someone driving by or fleeing in a car.
    Only a gun can kill at a distance many times arm's length.
    Only the NRA and their disciples think those are good attributes for a consumer product.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay jabroni

      A car can do all of those things too, Tony.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      A gun can stop an intruder from trying to hurt your family.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Only a gun can quickly kill several people trying to run away – No you can run people over in an SUV.
      Only a gun can kill a victim trying to stay safe in a locked car – nonsense
      Only a gun can kill someone driving by or fleeing in a car.- Except another person crashing into them with their car.
      Only a gun can kill at a distance many times arm's length – So can a compound Bow and Arrow..
      Only the NRA and their disciples think those are good attributes for a consumer product. – DEM talking point...debunked.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Indisputable facts.
      Only a gun can quickly kill several people trying to run away.----- how about a crossbow
      Only a gun can kill a victim trying to stay safe in a locked car.--– how about a hammer, bat.... or even a rock
      Only a gun can kill someone driving by or fleeing in a car. -- how about an arrow... or use another car to chase and run them off the road?
      Only a gun can kill at a distance many times arm's length.-– ever hear of an arrow?
      Only the NRA and their disciples think those are good attributes for a consumer product.--- Tobacco companies.... legal and deadly

      Opps... I disputed undisputable facts... my bad 😦

      March 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • HeinzM

      You have never heard of IED's have you? You sound rather simple minded.

      March 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. USNavyVet

    It took only 12 seconds for the towers to fall killing 3000 people.....Almost all the terrorists that day were Saudis .... Saudi Arabia is on our free from screening list for incoming visitors. This country is a hot mess.

    March 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
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