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. Brian

    1400 rounds of ammo? Big freaking deal. I might have that much. But my guns and ammo have never killed anyone. Guns, Ammo: Not the problem.

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

      People not guns...kill people. So let's give less PEOPLE GUNS!

      March 28, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Deepak

      Most citizens possessing nuclear weapns won't kill anyone either but that doesn't make a case to let everyone have them.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Balls of Steel

    What's interesting is that they don't have a more recent picture of the shooter. Why is that?

    March 28, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Tyhouston

      Sure if he was black they'd of posted pictures of him when he was ten to make him look innocent.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    Now I am not saying that the media ade this up... but can someone please tell me what a C183 is? Cant seem to find any info on this "gun" she wrote him a check for...

    March 28, 2013 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      It's a camera made by Kodak. They're just idiots making stuff up.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • thinking1

      Kodak C183? -it's a high capacity shooting camera, lol

      March 28, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      The 'C183' is probably a typo for CZ83, a Czech-made small caliber semi-automatic handgun.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott Gardner

      I suspect they just couldn't read her handwriting, and it was actually "CZ83".

      March 28, 2013 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • thinking1

      C183 is also the model number for ain A"IRSOFT pistol that fires little plastic pellets.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. LiveFreeor

    What D R U G s was Lanza on:? Legal or otherwise?

    March 28, 2013 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. My ammendments trumps your life

    He has the right to as many ammo and guns as he wants. Its the way our forefathers had wanted it. You will have to pry the gun from his dead body.

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

      This post is the perfect example of why the NRA has no credibility.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. smartest guy

    I sure hope they catch this guy....he may kill more next time!!!! will they give them the death penalty? a C183 is the kodak camera with a silencer on it which shoots pictures and bullets....everyone knows that

    March 28, 2013 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. jason

    Heh, 1400 rounds? If you have 3 or 4 calibers that's maybe one or two trips to the range.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. Molon Labe

    Come and get them time is to oust all the liberal agenda and liberals whom are a cancer to America!

    March 28, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scott

    How about letting the families be? Really, what is the point of this story? Good job media, lets keep making these families relive what happened!

    March 28, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Juan

    Big deal about 1.4K rounds...what kind of rounds were they? If you have multiple fire arms and rounds for each one its pretty easy to get to 1.4K. 3 bricks of 22's would be more than that! People who have no clue about fire arms and amunition should keep their mouths shut...AKA the media and BOBO and Biden!!!

    March 28, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. IveryKeys

    Three bulk boxes. of .22 ammunition and you have 1,500 rounds. No big deal...

    March 28, 2013 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. Anonymous

    14,000 rounds? Why is it even legal to own so much ammunition? Yes – you really need to be able kill 14,000 things without going back to the store... give me a break! A private citizen possessing more than 50 or 100 bullets is completely unnecessary. Tell me when you need it, not to hunt surely in suburban Connecticut..?

    March 28, 2013 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Check your numbers. That's how facts spin out of control.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian P

      Read up before spouting off.

      Pistol Ammo for a 9mm, come 50 to a box. Rifle ammo for a .22, come 100 to a box. Not that it matters, but 50 rounds would only last less then 10 minutes at a gun range. You rent the range for an hour at a time. Do the math.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • AnnoyedByPolitics

      1,400 rounds, not 14,000. And 50 to 100 rounds? you obviously have never fired a real gun if you think that is a reasonable amount. That's not even an hour at the range.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • dnice28

      It is not for you decide what I "need". He had a drop in the bucket compared to what my "friends" have. 50 or 100 round ,hahahahahahahahahahahahahah

      March 28, 2013 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dirtdevil67

    For a woman being labeled "responsible gun owner for self-defense", she sure had a lot of ammo and left it for easy access to her mentally ill son, I understand trying to teach him to respect guns by taking him to shooting ranges but I think that was adding fuel to fire. IIRC a former babysitter said he was warned about Adam's behavior when he was younger.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Riccochet

      FWIW, it wasn't his mother being irresponsible about the ammo. He was legally of age to go purchase all the ammo he had in his safe. No firearms were recovered from his safe. He could walk in to walmart and buy all of that. And, honestly, 1400 rounds is nothing. That's like two range trips for my wife and I.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Anonymous

    We already know this story is fabricated! Don't believe the news it's only a Propganda machine to the NWO

    If it doesn't seem right trust your gut don't fall for it.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Katie

    There is no prior evidence that this man was mentally unstable. All the guns and ammo that he stockpiled were legally purchased and legally owned, and they were kept, as required by insurance companies, in a proper gun safe. Aspergers's Syndrome is not a mental illness. Being socially awkward is not a mental illness. I know people want answers, but in this case, there are no answers for why this man committed this terrible act. People want to blame him, they want to blame his poor mother, they want to blame society, they want to blame the NRA, but none of those blames are valid. He did what he did, because he could. Maybe we – as a country – can prevent another such occurrence, but it's doubtful we can deal with all the variables that led to this. We would have to accept the fact that some people are socially awkward and allow that to be alright, not frightening, not a reason to bully, not a reason to make that person any less valuable a member of society. We would have to support parents of children with Aspergers and children on the Autistic spectrum as well as the children themselves so they have the resources and education they need to help deal with and possibly overcome some aspects of the syndrome and spectrum. We would have to seriously examine the true need for anyone to own to weaponry that fires multiple rounds in seconds. We would have to challenge ourselves to find and promote sports and hobbies and games that don't glorify killing. We would have to stop pointing fingers at anything we personally find repulsive or different and insisting everyone either agrees with us or "hates" us for our difference in opinions. We would have to accept that sometimes, there are no answers and the best we can do is to try to show the people who are living that we care.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Thank you.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • todd

      fake shooting. Fake tears. All fake. Never happened

      March 28, 2013 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Rodboy

      Katie , that is absolutly silly, with all they found there in the home, the mom was either an indiot or in denial ALL THE TIME. I for one would think something was up, and the fact the MOM WROTE CHECKS for the guns speaks volume about the family, yes we soory for the other family but this one takes the cake.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Dale Wellington

      Great Write Up – per : " We would have to seriously examine the true need for anyone to own to weaponry that fires multiple rounds in seconds"

      Look up Population Decline statistics for German Jews 1935-1945

      A Gov't gone bad will execute their own people...

      March 28, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • vdog

      Wish there are more like you

      March 28, 2013 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
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