The man who shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, at a Connecticut elementary school in December spent less than five minutes in the building before taking his own life, leaving 14 unspent rounds in the magazine of his rifle, state authorities said.
Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother, Nancy, 52, with a .22-caliber rifle in her bed without a struggle on the morning of Dec. 14 before going to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killing 20 children and six adults while carrying a small arsenal including a Bushmaster .223-caliber XM15 rifle, State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III in Danbury said today.
Lanza then killed himself with a shot from a Glock 10-mm handgun, Sedensky said. There were 14 rounds in the rifle’s 30-round magazine and one in the chamber when it was recovered, and Lanza was carrying a loaded 9-millimeter Sig Sauer P226 handgun and three more fully loaded magazines, Sedensky said. A loaded 12-gauge shotgun was found in his car.
Sedensky released more information today on the killings at Sandy Hook, which led to nationwide calls from gun-control advocates seeking tougher firearms laws. An investigation into the incident is continuing and no decisions have been made as to whether to prosecute anyone for related crimes, Sedensky said.
“This is an active, ongoing investigation,” Sedensky said. “No conclusions have been reached and no final determinations have been made. The estimation of completion in the summer remains.”
Governor Dannel P. Malloy said Lanza used legally purchased high-capacity magazines 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,” Malloy said today by e-mail from Hartford, the state capital.
In a search warrant description from state police detective James McGlynn, the school and the home of Nancy Lanza presented horrific scenes when police arrived.
As officers entered the school, “numerous school children and school personnel were located deceased from apparent gunshot wounds in the first three classrooms” and the shooter was found dead on the floor of the middle classroom “dressed in military style clothing, wearing a bullet-proof vest.”
At Nancy Lanza’s house they found “a deceased middle-aged white female lying in a supine position on a bed in the 2nd floor master bedroom” with “an apparent gunshot wound to her forehead” and a rifle on the floor nearby.
Subsequent investigation showed there were shootings in only two classrooms and Lanza was not wearing a bulletproof vest, Sedensky, the prosecutor, said in today’s statement.
In the house, troopers found boxes of ammunition for the shooter’s weapons and for a 303 British rifle, .45 caliber handguns, a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, a 5.56 mm Winchester weapon, a “box for ‘battle-tested’ vest accessories,” a cache of knives and three Samurai swords, according to the warrant packet.
Also seized were “written documents” by Adam Lanza, including “personal notes, memoirs and thoughts” later turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for analysis.
Warrant-return inventories include a paperback book entitled “Train Your Brain to get Happy,” and a New York Times article from Feb. 18, 2008, on a school shooting at Northern Illinois University.
Police also found an “Adam Lanza National Rifle Association Certificate.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris Dolmetsch in New York State Supreme Court at email@example.com.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at firstname.lastname@example.org.