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. 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 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken in MD

      What's your evidence other than conspiracy paranoia?

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

      Are you serious? Good grief.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • BW

      Your theories are what's fabricated. Sincerely, CT resident with connection to families of the victims.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • danielxcha

      so you're saying that is all because of Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash... Weird..!

      March 28, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      I am going to trust my gut. My gut tells me we need universal background checks. My gut tells me we should limit ammo clips to 10 rounds. My gut tells me the sale of guns from one person to another person, without a proper background check on the purchaser, should be banned.My gut tells me there should be no straw purchases of guns at a gun show. My gut tells me we should throw the book at inner/city gangs, suburban gangs and country gangs who break current gun laws. My gut tells me to not be "PARANOID" and that not everything is a "CONSPIRACY", especially when over 20 children are murdered at a school. Thank you Anonymous!

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

    Doesn't fit the narrative.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    I blame rap music.

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

      I blame Obama.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Wanda

    He don't sound CRAZY to me AT ALL! But knew exactly what he was going to do!

    March 28, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sue Frasier

    This whole page is really the profile of an Enabler, and it's the Enablers who have to be the focus of new laws as well as controlling the access. What to do about the Enablers is the jackpot question here.

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

    You can take my guns when you pry them from my cold dead crazy hands.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • BW

      well, that's how we got this guy's guns...

      March 28, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Teresa Cole


      March 28, 2013 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Renegade Hawg

    Oddly, a C183 is a Kodak Digital camera, not a gun.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. A Mills

    "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."

    What an idiot! How is this going to prevent gun violence? Can anyone explain this to me?

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

      It will not prevent gun violence but it will at least give potential victims time to run or security personnel time to act, while the killer fumbles around trying to reload.

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

      Guns are fun --NO GUN CONTROL-– if your kid dies SO WHAT?
      Wayne LaPierre

      March 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Jason, just like Virginia Tech, where Cho was using 10 round magazines and the potential victims were able to tackle him and stop him from killing more people?

      Oh wait, that didn't happen. It's feel-good legislation that will do nothing to curb gun violence. Red herring legislation from the anti-gun groups will lead to more and more deaths of innocent people. You should focus on real solutions.

      When you stop and think that all of these mass shootings take place in gun free zones, you will come to realize what must be done to stop these mass shootings. Think it over sometime when you can manage to set your emotions aside.

      March 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Parent

    What parent lets their kid arm up like this? The mom paid for her mistake. Does the dad just get a pass on this?

    March 28, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      He was 20 something years old. Not a kid. God dang you people are idiots.

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

      Then I guess I stand corrected. Model parents.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      Considering you're someone who likes to speak without knowing any facts, I sincerely hope you are not actually a parent. I'm sure your children are model students...

      March 28, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Anonymous

    So in one part of this article it says the entire event up to Lanza killing himself took less than 5 minutes. In another part of this article it says that police arrived 20 minutes after the first call and that Lanza took his life as the officers approached. Nice editing work CNN, this story is so fabricated as is the entire Sandy Hook story.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      Police dispatch records show it took at least 10 mins.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Rodboy

      Any, I guess you want to stir up comments, please go back to MSNBC for your info, they fab a lot there so you rants would be pretty safe there.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      There is no part of this article referring to 20 minutes.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mion

    This blog neglects to mention that police also found an NRA certificate in Lanza's bedroom.

    Regulate guns. Don't ban them. Allow universal background checks, a national gun registry, regulate high-power magazine clips, etc. Doing background checks will not cause a slippery slope that leads to an Islamic fascist dictatorship that many of the gun nuts are afraid of. These are things that pretty much ALL of the developed world does and with great results (they have a mass shooting every few years instead of ten times in a year).

    March 28, 2013 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Brian

    ^ Shut up, stupid!

    March 28, 2013 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. Shaun

    Remove this idiots picture immediately from any news posting, and his name should be removed and replaced with "shooter" or something else. His name and picture should never been seen or uttered again.

    March 28, 2013 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. Vox Populi

    1400 rounds at the house. Really? Like he wasn't going to take it with him?

    March 28, 2013 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kendrick Shackleford

    How many people must die to proove to the people that the type of gun he used along with the high cap magazines are a big part of problem?

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

      Just because a few crazy people do some crazy things doesn't mean you have the right to take away my rights.

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

      He used mostly 30 round magazines (not high capacity, that's standard capacity), and he typically only fired 15 of the 30 rounds before switching magazines. Get some damn facts.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • AnnoyedByPolitics

      given that the type of rifle and magazine he use accounts for less then 1% of all firearm murders each year, you can't make a serious argument that they are a big part of the problem. What he did was heinous and disgusting, but it Is an anomaly, not the norm.

      March 28, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
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