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. Boo

    The blame for all of this falls on this kid's mother. If she knew her son had psychological problems, WHY DID SHE EXPOSE HIM TO GUNS???

    March 28, 2013 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • kyle88

      Because according to the whizbang nutjobs out there, everyone has a right to own any type of gun and do whatever & wherever they wish with it at any time of their choosing.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian P

      She used them as DYI therapy sessions. According to her, she seemed to reach him while shooting at the range.

      He returned the favor by killing her.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. sam

    I know a family that is in a similar situation, they have a "young" son who is 24 who has similar problems and they have been babying him his whole life. Now they are exhausted and are trying to get him into the mental health system and he is very resistive. They waited to long just like Nancy Lanza waited to long. Nobody ever wants to think anything bad about their children but they cannot sustain the "bubble" around them forever. It is better to face reality at a younger age, because it is easier to control then.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Stu in Iowa

    I just hope we get a gun control bill passed, it goes before the Supreme Court, and we get a final and lasting interpretation of the 2nd amendment. I doubt very much that AR's or large clips will be banned. I doubt that gun owners will be deprived of anything reasonable. However as a country we might actually save some money by not having to discuss it any further and the NRA can just go home.

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

      It sounds like you want your interpretation of the 2nd amendment to be different than mine. In my world, citizens shall not me deprived of their tight to defend themselves. Which means that we need access to the same firepower the criminals have. if they are allowed to out gun us, then they will terrorize us. If the government is not in fear of it's citizens rising against it, then the government will become criminal, in addition to be being clumsy, stupid, and corrupt. I know this first hand because I have a federal case dealing with state and federal agencies. These people are stunningly inept and corrupt. Something that surprised me as I went along. I used to believe in government, but after the last 3 years fo dealing with them on an important and complex issue involving people's rights, and a very logical issue with logical laws govern it, I have done a 180. Now I now that life is indeed ike boxing, you have to protect yourself and your property at all time, from all enemies, domestic, and foreign. Didn't start out thinking this way, but I have learned my lesson in the last three years.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    I like how the media takes a color image of him and then makes it black and white so it appears creepier. If you image search Adam Lanza you will see this image was originally in color.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      The media have one purpose, period. To keep readers coming back for more. They could just as easily be on a street corner "showing their wares"...they're the same kind of person. Just remember that CNN isn't news; it's an online National Enquirer and should be read as such.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Craig J

    Mark and Tom need to do more research the C183. That is a Kodak EasyShare Digital Camera. You can get one for $59.99 on eBay if you act now. They're going fast!

    March 28, 2013 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • ChrisIA

      We have to work fast to ban these assault cameras and high capacity memory cards. Now is the time!

      March 28, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. William

    We can make anything illegal; assult weapons, fatty foods, too much soda, but the 1 thing we'll never be able to outlaw are mentally ill people.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Stck MAn

      Fatty foods won't kill 20 children in less than 5 minutes. The rest of the civilized world does not let its people run around with assault rifles, and their homicide by firearm rate is much lower than ours. That is pure coincidence right?

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

      In my opinion, this is not a good excuse. It seems to me that the folks that are saying we should have absolutely no gun regulation and should only "improve mental health care", are usually the same folks who decry any financial support of social programs – like mental health care programs – and are the same individuals who openly mock the idea of changing, and certainly broadening, our current American health care environment. So, that claim is really just a diversionary tactic, in my opinion.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • AMull

      @Stck MAn, well the US doesn't let just anyone walk around with an assault rifle either.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lolarites

    Shot her between the eyes, huh? All that target practice she took him to sure paid off, his aim was perfect.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Is this difficult when point blank and your victim is sleeping? Aside from the media "hype", we are talking about a deranged individual and an irresponsible gun owner. It's so sad her life was lost, but she played a significant role in this tragedy. Probably more so than the inanimate objects (the guns, rounds, etc.) themselves.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. dawn terry

    Guns, Games, Murder? So sick of guns and games always getting a bad rap. I have guns. I play video games, including Call of Duty. Yet I have never killed anyone. That guy was a FRUIT LOOP! Pure and simple.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • B nutty

      Yeah Dawn, agreed, people think these games are the problem, but have you seen how many people are killed in africa and the middle east over the dumbest crap? I doubt they even have T.V.s, but they shoot each other and car bomb on a daily basis. Liberals just want to make everything illegal is all.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    Hmmm. A C183 is a camera made by Kodak. I've been around guns my whole life and never EVER heard of a C183, nor anything like it. C'mon guys...if you really want to get folks agitated at least be honest (and smart) about it.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian P

      It will be portrayed as a secret super deadly assault rifle that shoots 5,000 rounds per second.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. Stck MAn

    Nice Job DC Republicans! I am a hunter and gun owner, I use my AR-15 all the time to hunt dear. I love to pump that thing full before it hit my table.

    I am a proud gun owner, but even I see the need for restrictions.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Stick, you're NOT a proud gun owner, you DON'T own a gun, and you DON'T shoot "dear". You do see the need for restrictions, but if you're going to lie, try NOT to be so blindingly stupid about it. It's just embarrassing.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Stck MAn

      I promise you sir that I am. Post your email, and I will happily send you some pics. Just because someone may have different views than your own, please do not call them disingenuous or blindingly stupid.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee s

      wow stckman you really doing good for the cause of hypocritical liberals everywhere.

      March 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • B nutty

      Stick – We are talking about guns, not fornicating local fauna, FOCUS!

      March 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clingy Republican.

      I thiink you meant "hunt DEER"
      your post is now suspect...any deer hunter knows that is how its spelled and wouldnt use the phrase "pump it full"
      Nice try at trying to look legit.

      March 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. wrm

    BREAKING NEWS!!! AZOSMGOMGZOMG!! He had ammunition and safe.

    Or...

    BREAKING NEWS!!! Congress is working on legislation and the knee-jerk emotional responses have waned and we need to stoke the fires.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Linsey Walker

    If you think these 'leaks' of information were NOT timed to STIMULATE -more- ant-gun sentiment at the time Bloomberg is trying to by sentiment and when congress is debating more ant-gun laws then you know nothing about the leftist / liberal / anti-gun media!!!!

    March 28, 2013 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. Glenn

    I hate typing this but he looks like an unstable person & thats what bothers me most .

    March 28, 2013 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. ChrisIA

    Do your homework CNN. a C183 is a camera. Fools

    March 28, 2013 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. wowzers

    I think we can safely put some blame on his mother for some of this. the kid had a gun safe? she supplied him with weapons. my sympathy for her situation has taken a severe right turn.

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