The investigation is now closed on the shooting that left 20 first-grade children and 6 adults dead almost one year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
A new report shows that the shootings occurred within just 11 minutes, with police arriving on the scene 4 minutes after the first 911 call was received. Police entered the building after six minutes had passed. One final minute later, it was over—the shooter, Adam Lanza, age 20, had shot himself dead.
At his home, investigators found evidence of a young man obsessed with violence and mass murders, in particular with the highly orchestrated 1999 Columbine High School mass murder in Colorado. Items included a detailed spreadsheet listing mass murders; a five-second dramatization of children being shot; three photographs of a dead body, covered in blood and wrapped in plastic; and images of Lanza holding guns to his own head. Videos demonstrating suicide by gunshot showed that he had done his homework.
In the report released Monday, federal authorities, working with the Connecticut State Police and the State’s Attorney’s Office, concluded that Lanza, dubbed the “shooter,” acted alone. They said they found no clear indication of why he murdered children, or why he targeted Sandy Hook. Lanza attended the school from 1998–2003.
Lanza’s mother, whom he lived with, was his first victim. Lanza shot her dead in her bed at their home in Newtown just prior to his school rampage. She had legally purchased all of her son’s guns and ammunition.
Authorities found five guns with Lanza. Three were used to kill, and the other two, including an Izhmash Saiga-12, and a Russian 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun, were found in his car in the school lot.
A check from his mother to Lanza revealed she had planned on buying him a CZ 83 pistol as a Christmas gift.
The shooter’s many idiosyncrasies included a dislike for loud sounds. When getting his hair cut, he did not like the clippers. Those who worked on the yard at the family property were asked never to ring the doorbell, and to make prior arrangements before using power equipment.
Although they both had bedrooms on the second floor, Lanza locked his mother out of his room, and covered his window with a black garbage bag.
Though Lanza had significant mental health issues, and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Disorder in 2005, no professional had flagged him as potentially dangerous, the report stated.
Wearing a hat and sunglasses, Lanza shot his way through the plate glass window of the door into the locked school building where classes had already begun at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 14, 2012.
He then shot and killed the principal and the school psychologist, who had entered the hallway after hearing the noise. Two other staff members in the hallway were injured by gunshots.
The shooter then went into the main office, but did not see the staff members who were hiding there. He then went back into the hallway, passed the people he had killed, and entered first-grade classrooms 8 and 10, but in what order investigators could not confirm.
He killed 2 adults in each room, 15 children in classroom 8, and 5 children in classroom 10. One child survived in classroom eight. Nine children ran out of classroom 10 and survived.
The shooter took his own life in classroom 10. Two hundred fifty-three live rounds were found on the shooter’s body. Fifty expended casings were recovered in classroom 10, and 80 in classroom eight.
Students in the classrooms on either side of 8 and 10 hid in restrooms, locking the doors from the inside. Throughout the school, staff and students hid wherever they happened to be at the time. Some teachers asked students to draw pictures or color in an attempt to keep them calm.
Officials examined over 700 individual files, including reports, statements, interviews, videos, laboratory tests and results, photographs, diagrams, and search warrants. They conducted interviews with the child witnesses, for whom special attention was given, first responders, Lanza’s family members, and others who knew the shooter.
In the report’s conclusion, authorities emphasized it is clear the shooter planned his crimes in advance, and was not under extreme emotional disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse.
First 911 call is received at Newtown Police Department.
Newtown police dispatcher broadcasts shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Connecticut State Police is dispatched to Sandy Hook.
State Police is informed that Sandy Hook is in lockdown.
First Newtown police officer arrives behind Sandy Hook on Crestwood Drive.
Two more Newtown officers arrive at Sandy Hook and park on driveway near ball field. Gunshots are heard.
Newtown officer encounters unknown male running along east side of Sandy Hook with something in his hand.
Last gunshot is heard. This is believed to be the final suicide shot from the shooter in classroom 10.
Information is relayed on location of last known gunshots heard within Sandy Hook, front of building.
Newtown officer has unknown male prone on ground.
Newtown officer calls out license plate of shooter’s car.
Newtown officers enter Sandy Hook.
State Police arrives at Sandy Hook.
State Police enters Sandy Hook.
SOURCE: REPORT FROM OFFICE OF THE STATE’S ATTORNEY