Connecticut Police Say They've Found 'Very Good Evidence' on Gunman - News - LawOfficer.com

Connecticut Police Say They've Found 'Very Good Evidence' on Gunman

At a news conference Lt. Paul Vance said the evidence investigators found would answer questions about the gunman's motives

 


 

JIM FITZGERALD & JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press | Saturday, December 15, 2012

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Shooting at Connecticut Elementary School

The shooting is the nation's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.
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NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — The massacre of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman, a 20-year-old described as brilliant but remote, was driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims.

Investigators were trying to learn more about Adam Lanza and questioned his older brother, who was not believed to have been involved in the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary. Police shed no light on the motive for the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

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In tight-knit Newtown on Friday night, hundreds of people packed St. Rose of Lima Church and stood outside in a vigil for the 28 dead — 20 children and six adults at the school, the gunman's mother at home, and the gunman himself, who committed suicide. People held hands, lit candles and sang "Silent Night."

"These 20 children were just beautiful, beautiful children," Monsignor Robert Weiss said. "These 20 children lit up this community better than all these Christmas lights we have. ... There are a lot brighter stars up there tonight because of these kids."

Lanza is believed to have suffered from a personality disorder and lived with his mother, said a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation.

Asked at a news conference whether Lanza had left any emails or other writings that might explain the rampage, state police Lt. Paul Vance said investigators had found "very good evidence" and hoped it would answer questions about the gunman's motives. Vance would not elaborate.

The tragedy plunged the picturesque New England town of 27,000 people into mourning.

"People in my neighborhood are feeling guilty about it being Christmas. They are taking down decorations," said Jeannie Pasacreta, a psychologist who volunteered her services and was advising parents struggling with how to talk to their children.

Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, drove to the school in her car with at least three of her guns, and opened fire in two classrooms around 9:30 a.m. Friday, law enforcement officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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A custodian ran through the halls, warning of a gunman, and someone switched on the intercom, perhaps saving many lives by letting them hear the chaos in the school office, a teacher said. Teachers locked their doors and ordered children to huddle in a corner, duck under their desks or hide in closets as shots reverberated through the building.

The well-liked principal, Dawn Hochsprung, was believed to be among the dead. A woman who worked at the school was wounded.

Maryann Jacob, a clerk in the school library, was in there with 18 fourth-graders when they heard a commotion and gunfire outside the room. She had the youngsters crawl into a storage room, and they locked the door and barricaded it with a file cabinet. There happened to be materials for coloring, "so we set them up with paper and crayons."

After what she guessed was about an hour, officers came to the door and knocked, but those inside couldn't be sure it was the police.

"One of them slid his badge under the door, and they called and said, 'It's OK, it's the police,'" she said.

A law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said investigators believe Lanza attended the school several years ago but appeared to have no recent connection to it. It was not clear whether he held a job.

At least one parent said Lanza's mother was a substitute teacher at the school. But her name did not appear on a staff list. And the official said investigators were unable to establish any connection so far between her and the school.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Shooting at Connecticut Elementary School

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Connecticut School Shooting

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on the scene at the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 20 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.)


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Connecticut School Shooting

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on scene at the Sandy Hook Elementary School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.)


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Connecticut School Shooting

State Police are on scene following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 20 children. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)


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Connecticut School Shooting

Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 20 children. It was the worst school shooting in the country's history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)


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Connecticut School Shooting

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a reported shooting there Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks)


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Connecticut School Shooting

A woman hugs her daughter after being reunited at the Sandy Hook firehouse after a mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.)


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Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/web1law/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc:128) in /home/web1law/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 639   A mother runs with her children as police above canvass homes in the area following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 20 children. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)  


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Connecticut School Shooting

A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. A gunman entered the school Friday morning and killed at least 26 people, including 20 young children. (AP Photo/The New Haven Register, Melanie Stengel)


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Connecticut School Shooting

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, right, talks with officials at a staging area following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 20 children. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)


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Connecticut School Shooting

People embrace at a firehouse staging area for family around near the scene of a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 20 children. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)


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Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/web1law/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc:128) in /home/web1law/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc on line 639   President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in the White House briefing room in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)    


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Connecticut School Shooting

White House press secretary Jay Carney listens to a follow up question regarding the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., after he told reporters that President Barack Obama is receiving updates on the situation, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)


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Connecticut School Shooting

American flags surrounding the Washington Monument in Washington are lowered to half-staff in a mark of respect for the victims on the Connecticut elementary school shootings, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


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Connecticut School Shooting

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with their children following a shooting at the Newtown, Conn. school where authorities say a gunman opened fire, leaving 27 people dead, including 20 children, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.)


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Connecticut School Shooting

Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police conducts a news briefing, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. The massacre of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, would have been driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)


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Connecticut School Shooting

A condolence sign sits in downtown Sandy Hook, Conn., on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. The massacre of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, would have been driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)


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Connecticut School Shooting

A U.S. flag is covered with numbers representing the people that died when a gunman opened fired at Sandy Hook Elementary School during a shooting rampage a day earlier, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn. The massacre of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, would have been driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)



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