The Associated Press

Police Release Documents On Newtown Massacre

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Police in Connecticut released thousands of pages of documents Friday from the investigation into last year’s school massacre in Newtown, providing the most detailed picture yet of the rampage and the 20-year-old gunman’s chilling fascination with guns and violence.

The paperwork, photos and videos were heavily blacked out to protect the names of children and to withhold some of the more grisly details of the crime.

Photographs of the home gunman Adam Lanza shared with his mother show numerous rounds of ammunition, gun magazines, shot-up paper targets, gun cases, shooting earplugs and a gun safe with a rifle in it.

The documents’ release marks the end of the investigation into the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

The documents also fill in more details about how the shooting unfolded, teachers protected their students and the school janitor confronted the shooter.

Teachers heard janitor Rick Thorn try to get Lanza to leave the school. One teacher, who was hiding in a closet in the math lab, heard Thorn yell, “Put the gun down!” An aide said she heard gunfire and Thorn told her to close her door.

The paperwork “has been redacted according to law,” and it includes text, photos, videos and recordings of 911 calls received by state police.
In a letter accompanying the report, Reuben F. Bradford, commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, wrote that much of the identifying information involving children and many witnesses were withheld, as were “all visual images depicting the deceased.”

“Balancing the often-competing interests of government transparency and individual privacy has been difficult,” Bradford wrote. “I believe that the redacted report that is being released includes as much detail as possible while protecting confidential information.”

Prosecutors issued a summary of the investigation last month that portrayed Lanza as obsessed with mass murders, but the report concluded that Lanza’s motives for the massacre might never be known.

Lanza “was undoubtedly afflicted with mental health problems; yet despite a fascination with mass shootings and firearms, he displayed no aggressive or threatening tendencies,” it said.

The summary report referred to items found on a computer at Lanza’s house that included writings detailing relationships, personal beliefs, a daily schedule, desires, goals and other topics.

Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, after killing his mother inside their home. He committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school.

To try to figure out the motive, investigators said, they interviewed members of Lanza’s family, teachers and others. They said they also tried within the limits of privacy laws to gather information on his medical treatment.

Lanza “was undoubtedly afflicted with mental health problems; yet despite a fascination with mass shootings and firearms, he displayed no aggressive or threatening tendencies,” it said.

In fifth grade, Lanza wrote “The Big Book of Granny,” in which the main character has a gun in her cane and shoots people, and another character talks of liking to hurt people, especially children. The book was among items seized from Lanza’s home, but there was no indication he ever handed in the book at school.

Lanza became obsessed with the 1999 bloodbath at Columbine High in Colorado and other mass killings, the report said. He also kept a spreadsheet ranking mass murders.

The report also said that in 2005, Lanza was diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder – an autism-like condition that is not associated with violence – and that he lacked empathy for others and behaved strangely. Nobody was allowed into his room, not even to clean, according to the report. It said Lanza also disliked birthdays, Christmas and holidays and did not like to have his hair cut.

He also wouldn’t touch doorknobs, his food had to be arranged on the plate in a certain way, and he changed clothes often during the day. He was a loner at school and was repelled by crowds and loud noises.

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