News24

New details emerge about US school shooter

2012-12-22 20:16

Newtown - New details about gunman Adam Lanza emerged as Newtown wrapped up a wrenching week of farewells, with funerals scheduled Saturday for three more of the 20 slain children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

High school classmates recalled that Lanza was the awkward kid who wore the same clothes to school every day. He rarely spoke and even gave a school presentation entirely by computer, never uttering a word.

He liked tinkering with computers and other gadgets, and seemed to enjoy playing a violent video game, choosing a military-style assault rifle as one of his weapons.

Lanza fatally shot his mother on 14 December before blasting his way into Sandy Hook, where he slaughtered 20 children and six adults before killing himself.

In high school, Lanza would walk through the hallways, awkwardly pressing himself against the wall while wearing the same green shirt and khaki pants every day. He hardly ever talked to his classmates.

"As long as I knew him, he never really spoke," said Daniel Frost, who took a computer class with Lanza and remembered his skill with electronics. Lanza could take apart and reassemble a computer in a matter of minutes

Lanza seemed to spend most of his time in the basement of the home he shared with his mother, who kept a collection of guns there, said Russell Ford, a friend of Nancy Lanza's who had done chimney and pipe work on the house.

Nancy Lanza was often seen around town and regularly met friends at a local restaurant. But her 20-year-old son was seldom spotted around town, Ford and other townspeople said.

The basement of the Lanza home had a computer, flat-screen TV, couches and an elaborate setup for video games.

Nancy Lanza kept her guns in what appeared to be a secure case in another part of the basement, said Ford, who often met her and other friends at a regular Tuesday gathering at My Place, a local restaurant.

During the past year and a half, Ford said, Nancy Lanza had told him that she planned to move out West and enroll Adam in a "school or a centre". The plan started unfolding after Adam turned 18.

"She knew she needed to be near him," Ford said. "She was trying to do what was positive for him."

Ford said Nancy Lanza didn't elaborate on what type of services she wanted her son to receive. He said she made fewer appearances at the restaurant in recent months.

Mark Tambascio, owner of My Place, said Nancy Lanza described the same plan to him, saying she might move to Washington state.

No clear reason

Back in high school, Frost recalled, someone brought in a video game called Counter-Strike, a shooting video game in which players compete against each other as either terrorists or counter-terrorists.

Lanza "seemed pretty interested in the game", Frost said, and would play it with other students. He remembers the weapons Lanza chose: an M4 military-style assault rifle and a Glock handgun.

Authorities said Lanza used a military-style assault rifle and carried handguns during the rampage at the school. They still have no clear reason why Lanza would lash out at defenceless first-graders and their caretakers.

State police spokesperson Lieutenant J Paul Vance said a final report on the investigation could be months away.

A moment of silence was held on Friday in remembrance of those killed at the school. Connecticut Governor Dannel P Malloy gathered with other officials in rain and wind on the steps of the Edmond Town Hall as the bell rang.

Similar commemorations took place across the US.

Also on Friday, the National Rifle Association called for armed police officers to be stationed at schools.

Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the nation's largest gun-rights lobbing group, said at a Washington news conference that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun".

LaPierre blamed video games, music and videos for exposing children to violence.

The founder of a video game website said he expects tens of thousands of players of online shooter games to participate in a 24-hour cease-fire that started at noon on Friday.

Antwand Pearman, founder of GamerFitNation, said the cease-fire is meant to show respect for those killed in the Newtown shooting. He said video games don't cause violence.

Services are scheduled Saturday in Connecticut for 7-year-old Josephine Gay and 6-year-old Ana Marquez-Greene. A service was also planned in Utah for 6-year-old Emilie Parker.

A spokesperson for the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association says the last victim funerals it knows of are taking place Saturday, although some of the burials are private.

Comments
  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-12-22 20:51

    Sounds like a very neglected kid to me.

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-12-22 21:20

      ye kinda does- could the family not at least see to it that he dress in more than one pair of clothes all week? But thats one side of it- I think the guy was not all there to begin with. The whole shooting games theory is crap in my opinion. When we were children and someone murdered someone else they used to tell us the guy read Ruiter in Swart or other photo stories. 30-40 years on photo stories have been replaced by computer games and its still the same old song and dance- doesn't say much for the development of the populations common sense vs the development of technology.

      mutiraasi - 2012-12-22 22:52

      O Johan! Die outjie was helemal MAL in die kop.

      sally.lewitt - 2012-12-23 05:00

      More like an indulged spoiled adolescent suffering from NPD Narcisstic Personality Disorder, no cure.

      Jack - 2012-12-23 11:12

      You cannot have freedom without the implied ability to kill others. The only effective remedy is a value system that is embedded when young, indicating that it is wrong to kill. If you don't have such a value system (which should be the only form of self manipulation allowed in a free society) as clearly many Americans don't, then killings will continue. It's a reflection of society. Don't assume events like tho cannot be staged to achieve political outcomes, for whatever reason.

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-12-23 12:04

      She sounds like a single mother, who HAD to work and had a sick kid.

      johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-12-23 14:39

      mutiraasi Sy ma moes dit tog ook kon sien,of was sy te BESIG.

      hanno.jacobs - 2012-12-23 23:40

      Computer games are nothing like 30 years ago. They are real, gruesome and violent. Like many TV series and movies. This has to have an effect on any person getting continuous exposures to it. Some are more susceptible than others.

      Lyndatjie - 2012-12-24 05:06

      Sorry Louis... but his type of autism needs a high amount of repititive behaviour to get through the day.... wearing the same type of clothes every day is just an indication what level he had... his mum most probably bought quite a few outfits of the same type to keep this side of him happy. But this is NOT indicative of why he snapped... something else went wrong in his head and THAT needs to come out still... :(

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2012-12-25 03:12

      Neglected too, but I think oppressed more. Mother made all the decisions and did not allow her son to become an adult. The basement with all the gadgets was more a golden cage than a play room. Sure we don't have all the information and probably never will, but what came out thus far I blame the mother entirely for this tragedy.

  • werner.mayer.10 - 2012-12-22 21:04

    What a bunch of bull. Anybody looking into this more than what the mainstream media feed us will know this is all lies!!

      Ohminus.SpaceThys - 2012-12-23 09:11

      Totally agree with you there Werner, Nothing about this makes sense and all the evidence being suppressed. I f one spends 10 mins looking into this its blatantly obvious there is a lot more going on there than they are letting on.

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-12-23 12:08

      Sounds a bit as if he may have been the butt of bullies because of his odd behaviour, and the 'worm turned'. Aspergers sounds right, Janine.

  • craig.i.lester - 2012-12-22 21:17

    Sad to say, that society will cast this young man as "evil", "disturbed", "should have been in a mental asylum"... but there is a lot more to this story - Autism, Aspergers, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD and the list can continue. We must ask the question: was he ever diagnosed as having a disorder? I blame the schooling system in the USA, the medical fraternity for not taking heed to these issues. It is more common that we know. I lament the deaths of innocent children and teachers AND this the death of this young man.

  • Bluecrest - 2012-12-22 21:20

    And what average 10yr kid in SA can't throw a pc together these days... All this is, is grabbing at straws!

  • Arc4ne - 2012-12-22 21:27

    And "violent" computer games take one for the team again. Could it be that this kid had a mental issue? Sounds about right reading this article.

      fidelity.mcoshi - 2012-12-23 12:28

      No, actually it's militarism. US kids are brought up playing fightball!

  • laila.nagdee - 2012-12-22 21:30

    I hate when people blame TV and violent video games. I love both - and I've never had the urge to go out and murder anyone!

      patsy.smith.125 - 2012-12-23 12:11

      I admire those people who can and will admit to their guilt and not blame everything else from cigarettes to TV

  • roxanne.akal - 2012-12-22 22:20

    Also, where is the parental discipline?? That is why, in my honest opinion, smacking your child should be allowed. where are the morals installed by the parents? Where's the compassion for others? Makes me sick sick sick.

  • vernon12345 - 2012-12-22 22:54

    Video games don't make u violent just like a oven does not make u a good cook

      ronald.stilianou - 2012-12-23 10:42

      I just played pack man and boy am I now in the mood to go and eat some pills in the dark....

      ronald.stilianou - 2012-12-23 10:46

      Yesterday I played Tetris and afterwards I moved all my furniture into a straight line in the lounge, if I managed to get it into a straight line, I threw it outside, I had to go to the other rooms to get the leftover stuff into a line.........I'm so tired..........I hate video games.

      jaco.prinsloo.370 - 2012-12-23 12:53

      And this morning I have played mappy. I now feel like jumping on beds!!.....

      jaco.prinsloo.370 - 2012-12-23 12:55

      They will also probably blame all the road fatalities on the "need for speed" video games we used to play as kids!!

  • robert.reeve.7564 - 2012-12-22 22:56

    The need is a remedy to stop mad killing sprees. The cause is madness with destructive weapons. The solution is immediate response! Response in schools, for best protection, can only come from the trustees who are the teachers and the administrators. As trustees they now have the onus of such responsibility and must train like armed guardians to stop such madness. Sad and sick days are here.

      gaby.hide.3 - 2012-12-22 23:51

      A more holistic response to education is required. The primary task for the teacher is to get the grades, so kids like this, slip off the radar. At a remedial school, these kids get loads of personalised attention (and their self esteem is supported), but in main stream, middle class schools, the kids are churned out like sausages.

  • archangel.zerachiel - 2012-12-22 23:26

    "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun". AMEN!!!! +1 !!

  • Danie De Beer - 2012-12-23 00:35

    its not guns that kill people, its the person who pulls the trigger.

      jacowium - 2012-12-24 16:26

      To be more exact, it's the bullets.

      RiD123 - 2012-12-25 06:33

      to be more precise than you are, its the force of the bullets.

  • b.danni24 - 2012-12-23 01:31

    The good guys wouldn't need guns to protect themselves if the bad guys werent allowed to have them in the first place. And, if one even had a gun in the first place, it should be one shot and then they need to reload - if Adam Lanza had a gun that needed to be reloaded after every shot he made then one of the teachers could of taken him down before it went too far. The type of guns people are allowed to have are ridiculous and inappropriate.

  • red.anger.37 - 2012-12-23 01:59

    Even if he did have mental problems, he still became a scumbag mass murderer! Many have severe mental problems, you don't see them all becoming murderers! One thing about this is that he did not attack his school mates out of revenge or some issue but chose to murder very young children who had nothing to do with him personally! Mentally ill or not, this character was a spineless murdering coward scumbag that had enough intellect to know what he had done and took his own life. Unfortunately now and unashamedly a certain political body in the USA is using the tragedy to push their anti gun agenda and trying to vilify responsible gun owners and associations, it's expected from the Democrats, dirt is very much a companion of politics!

      Philip - 2012-12-23 06:31

      I agree. You only need to look at this dork to know he was going to go over the edge!

  • mynhardt.johan - 2012-12-23 02:02

    Oh dear. I have to hide my copy of Counter Strike. It might be worth a lot of money when all combat games are banned or difficult to find...

  • martin.vanstaden.9 - 2012-12-23 02:43

    Uh, this article pointed out all the characteristics of an introvert. I share at least 75% of all things noted here with Lanza. Does this mean I am going to massacre people in a few years? What is this, personality profiling? DON'T POINT OUT HIS SOCIAL SKILLS OR PERSONALITY. The man had a mental problem or couldn't deal with issues. That's all.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-23 03:03

    And people why this happens. Seems to me the shooter was the victim. If he had to wear the same clothes to school everyday it means they were poor... the system we live in of scarcity is shape us into violent greedy creatures even though there is enough in this world so that nobody goes to bed hungry. We must open our eyes and see that government does not serve the people. We must acknoledge that the monetary system is a failed venture. We must acknoledge that change is needed. How could we be so blind!

      Kwanele Mzwanele Masoka - 2012-12-23 07:08

      I think the reason why he repeatedly wore the same green and khakhi clothing everyday could be linked to his twisted mindset that was more inclined to military style,hence the fascination with military assault rifles.

      Philip - 2012-12-24 02:16

      Michael you seriously need to lay off the crack.

      jacowium - 2012-12-24 16:30

      Correction: the Lanzas were not poor. Everything but. There are other reasons than poverty why kids may wish to present themselves in the same way every day.

      RiD123 - 2012-12-25 06:35

      bet you didn't do comprehension at school??! Did you even read the article...? He lived in a golden cage!!

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-23 03:06

    It has nothing to do with dicipline

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-23 03:08

    Why? Look at how many criminals have guns in SA and how the citizen aren't allowed to have guns.... its not working out.

  • markwmilligan - 2012-12-23 05:59

    It seemed like he had a twisted mind.

  • Gracy Likesbunnys Marquard - 2012-12-23 06:01

    clearly was a cry for help. wonder if he finally spoke then..i wouldn't blame it on video games but i guess that's the only example of anything he got..

  • Kwanele Mzwanele Masoka - 2012-12-23 07:29

    Sometimes having a fatherely figure around the house does help orientate the boys and sort of straighten their morale compass. In this case we got a brilliant kid who lacked the proper guidance in as far as making of choices is concerned and turning his awkwardness into some positive energy... Not that I blame Nancy because, my gut tells me that, like all single mothers out there, she did her best for her son hence she was intending to relocate on the account of Adam... To a certain degree I would say; gents stand up and be counted!!!!!!!

      celeste.m.lackay - 2012-12-23 21:52

      I really couldn't agree with you more! Well put!

  • piero.mendace.5 - 2012-12-23 07:48

    And the Mom never thought that he had a problem... Really, what kind of mother never trellises that their kids has a problem when he behaves like that. I would have never been allowed to wear the same clothes over and over and why did the teachers not pick up that the kid had issues. It seem that the issue in the US is this b..sh..t lack of discipline, and attitude that kids must do whatever whatever with no consequences. For them its ask about rights and nothing about accountability.. Maybe they should try and be a responsible society instead of just being so damn cautious of hurting the peoples feelings and encroaching on their rights..

      Kwanele Mzwanele Masoka - 2012-12-23 08:23

      She probable did realise the boy's problem, hence the intention to move the kid to some centre out of Newtown.

  • piero.mendace.5 - 2012-12-23 07:49

    And this dumb mother, why the f...k does she need an arsenal of weapons on her kids room.. Is she in the army..?!

      Kwanele Mzwanele Masoka - 2012-12-23 08:15

      Those weapons where kept in a separate room within the basement,and the room appeared to be safe accoding to the story.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-23 08:55

    Still we are shaped by our current society and systems and unfortunately our system and society does not allow us to be ethical nor considerate but greedy and self centered.

  • david.s.gardiner.3 - 2012-12-23 09:25

    just as well they didnt find a metallica t-shirt in his cupboard because the christians would have blamed heavy metal as well.kid was screwed up,plain and simple,then american laws put a automatic rifle in his hand with a handgun and said here,have fun,its your constitutional right.

  • ryno.warwick - 2012-12-23 10:17

    Crazy does not need help to do crazy things. If the media would stop "idolizing" the killers and what they did and worried more about the victims, Future killers wouldn't have a yard stick to measure themselves by. Now they go out guns blazing and 20 dead and they know their name will be remembered.

  • bounca363 - 2012-12-23 10:23

    "He liked tinkering with computers and other gadgets, and seemed to enjoy playing a violent video game, choosing a military-style assault rifle as one of his weapons." - - - -Uter rubbish., how is this relevant to anything remotely related. If I lover action games and killing people soe that make me a murderer? NO!....Editors please use logic before releasing such lousy articles.

      dgraider - 2012-12-23 13:05

      Yeah, I read that too. Also, if you play CounterStrike with your sister's teddybear you are going to get your behind kicked :)

      Philip - 2012-12-24 02:18

      Go and get a job Bounca.... And a life.

      ruan.fourie - 2012-12-24 07:28

      I agree with Bounca. Tinkering with computers and other gadgets and playing video games are irrelevant. It's typical for introverts to do these things. The media is looking for a scapegoat so they blame video games. They should blame society. I see a kid who had no friends, who was a social outcast and saw no real hope. I believe he killed kids to maybe save some of them from having to experience what he did. Also, Philip. Bounca actually wrote a valid comment. Yours offer no explanation why you said what you did. Next time think before you write comments like go get a life. I'm thinking that people probably said the same kind of thing to the shooter. People don't think. They don't care about the people around them. Nah, they should stop making video games the scapegoat. Blame society.

  • Raymon - 2012-12-23 12:59

    There is a more sinister story behind this. Rather than focus on the gun control issue, rather look at the REAL cause behind such maniac behavior - Physiatrists prescribing drugs known to cause these kinds of behavior. Rather ban physiatrists from prescribing these crazy drugs! The following link is a list of similar ‘mass killings’ and/or erratic behavior, ALL with a common denominator: Drugs prescribed for mental disorders with serious psyco side effects. http://www.ssristories.com/index.php What we have here is a sad case of chickens coming home to roost.

      fidelity.mcoshi - 2012-12-23 13:18

      In 2008, with over $14 billion in sales, antipsychotics became the single top-selling therapeutic class of prescription drugs in the United States, surpassing drugs used to treat high cholesterol and acid reflux. http://www.imshealth.com/portal/site/imshealth/menuitem.a46c6d4df3db4b3d88f611019418c22a/?vgnextoid=d690a27e9d5b7210VgnVCM100000ed152ca2RCRD Americans with symptoms ranging from chronic depression to anxiety to insomnia are now being prescribed anti-psychotics at rates that seem to indicate a national mass psychosis. I watched the BBCs Louis Theroux's documentary sometime ago about the drugging of US children (America's medicated kids). Maybe US kids are psychotic to this massive extent, brainwashed by wars, violence, uncontrolled gun ownership, fear, paranoia, crime, religion, militarism, Hollywood, and mixed with junk food and ever increasing poverty.

      juste.spiritus - 2012-12-23 20:07

      Raymon, you don't know how spot on you are. One particular pharmaceutical company should be held accountable: they of the Prozac wonder drug. They of the "feel bad about anything, take a Prozac!" They of the "Wanna lose weight? Take Prozac!" "Wanna stop smoking? take Prozac!" Wanna pass your exams? Take Prozac!" SSRI's are not prescribed only for depression and/or anxiety anymore. Any person that does not have a serotonin deficiency taking a SSRI WILL freak out. Read the history.

  • neil.lovegrove - 2012-12-23 18:46

    sounds to me very much like a mental health issue. There are a lot of unhinged people out there and very little attention is paid to the problem

  • flyswat - 2012-12-23 19:26

    And reading the bible turns you into God, I suppose. Just because kids play video games, doesn't mean they're going to be a murder. Has anyone you know turned into batman or a princess yet?

  • juste.spiritus - 2012-12-23 19:54

    With all the media influences I was exposed to as a child, by now I should have been a thrice pregnant high school drop-out satanic serial killer.

  • faith.leburu - 2012-12-23 21:51

    Mhhh they shuld find his Grade 1 teacher, something probably went wrong at that critical of his life. Listening to the description of his lack of social skills which are attached to self esteem issues- there could be a link to his early days of schooling*

      Philip - 2012-12-24 02:22

      Aww..bull$hit! He didn't get spanked enough.

  • wendy.barnett.1238 - 2012-12-24 06:54

    Children spend too much time playing video games (Violent games) instead of interacting with their peers.

      ruan.fourie - 2012-12-24 07:34

      Ah but Wendy. Have you considered that as an introvert the shooter was already an outcast? Introverts are drawn to games because it offers means of escape. For some children it's easy to make friends and to socialise. You say so casually that kids spend too much time playing video games instead of acting with their peers but in most cases with these shootings the shooters were incapable of making friends. It's not easy out there for those who are socially awkward. For those who want to belong but can't seem to fit in. At first they try, they get rejected and then eventually they stop trying. It's then when they find some solace in gaming because it's a means of escape.

  • Diran - 2012-12-24 08:19

    Video games are deffinately violent,try playing Call Of Duty! It's simple, the boy has an neglected childhood, no friends, no girlfriends, therefore taking all his frustration out on online gaming.

      ben.louw.5 - 2012-12-24 11:55

      Not more violent than your average religious extremists...

  • kseyffert - 2012-12-24 08:34

    Lapierre crawl back under your rock please. It has already been clearly demonstrated that games do not murders make. Bad social fabric on the other hand is a surefire way to achieve it. While any sane person can see a link been weapons and even tactics between games and violence, the truth is that the violence is inevitable. The ganged only effect the choice of with what and how.

  • Diran - 2012-12-24 08:38

    Why do people defend violent video games! Is it not obvious a violent video game will influence naive teenagers. How many kids are injured or killed themselves because they thought they were WWE entertainers? How many kids smoke weed because Snoop Dogg says it's okay on tv? Anybody can make a homemade bomb, just type in homemade bomb on google. I remember when I was growing up my friends and I use to play Mario Brothers,and the most violent video game was street fighter. Now the games are based on reality,Americans killing the Japs, Americans invading the Middle East and killing the Muslims!!!

  • ben.louw.5 - 2012-12-24 11:03

    Mentioning the video games the whole time is making it pretty obvious that it was in fact the couches in the basement that is responsible for his actions...

  • annie.israel.50 - 2012-12-24 12:38

    The most horrific story of 2012!! - He definitely needed help and cannot understand tht his mother did not make an effort to see that he got phycological help - SHE SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS A LONGGGG TIME AGO BUT CHOOSE NOT TO DO SO - He must have resented her and not surprised she was the first victim - My heart goes out to all the parents that lost a child - GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU

  • motlalepula.sompane - 2012-12-24 13:11

    the mother kept a collection of guns? why? waiting for the zombie apocalypse maybe?

  • tiaan.truter - 2012-12-25 10:11

    "Frost recalled, someone brought in a video game called Counter-Strike, a shooting video game in which players compete against each other as either terrorists or counter-terrorists."Hmmm I play counter strike,but I have NEVER wanted to go out and kill people on the street.He was obviously mentally ill or something,coz a normal person doesn't act this way.Stop blaming Games and series and movies.If you know your child cant handle this then don't let him play/watch,you can put a little bit of blame on he's mother as well for not seeing that there is something wrong with her son.

  • lydia.benkenstein - 2012-12-30 22:04

    The mom should have seen this coming. If he had Aspergers, she should have taken better care of him and made sure that he had the help he needed. She should not have allowed the room with video games etc... She should have made sure that she learned about the disorder (if that is what he had) so that she could channel his obsessions into a different direction. Soo sad.

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