As investigators frantically look for reasons as to how and why Adam Lanza shot his mother and then murdered 26 people at Sandy Hook elementary school, including 20 children, a picture is beginning to emerge of the man responsible for this tragedy.
The victims were shot multiple times and some at very close range, said Dr. H. Wayne Carver, Chief Medical Examiner. Carver found as many as 11 shots on the bodies he has examined.
Meanwhile Connecticut police have officially identified Adam Lanza as the shooter and confirmed that his mother Nancy was one of the victims. She was also shot multiple times in the head, Carver said.
There is also evidence coming to light that Lanza committed suicide when he heard first responders coming – that’s according to the Connecticut's governor, Dannel Malloy who was on the ABC Sunday show ‘This week’.
"We surmise that it was during the second classroom episode that he heard responders coming and apparently at that, decided to take his own life,'' Malloy said.
Malloy’s comments raise the possibility that Adam Lanza had planned an even larger, more gruesome massacre.
But Malloy offered no motive for the killings and said that no notes or diaries have been found that might point to a motive. This is in contrast to a string of murderous rampages in the states, such as the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, that left 33 people dead, where notes of some sort by the killer were found by investigators.
Authorities have confirmed the gunman had no criminal history but also said that investigators have found “very good evidence that we will be able to use in painting the complete picture, the how and more importantly why this occurred,” Lieutenant Paul Vance of Connecticut state police said Saturday, in apparent contradiction of Malloy.
Lieutenant Vance also urged people not to believe what they read on the blogosphere about the tragedy.
Soon after the incident, reports surfaced that Adam Lanza’s mother worked at the school as a teacher – these later proved false, although Adam did attend the Primary School many years ago.
Former acquaintances have described Lanza as a remote loner, who came to class clutching a briefcase with the buttons on his shirt done all the way up. One of his former school mates said that his mother pushed him really hard to excel at school.
“He was probably one of the smartest kids I know,” Joshua Milas, another former pupil from the school told AP. Olivia de Vira from his 10th grade English class described him as “very shy” and someone who “didn’t make an effort to interact with anybody.”
“I think that maybe he wasn't given the right kind of attention or help. I think he went so unnoticed that people didn't even stop to realize that maybe there's actually something else going on here — that maybe he needs to be talking or getting some kind of mental help,” she said.
But Richard Novi who was an advisor to the school’s technology club, of which Lanza was a member and the school district’s head of security, gave a more ominous description of his character.
He described Lanza as having extreme difficulties relating to students and teachers. “You had yourself a very scared young boy, who was very nervous around people,” he said.
He also said that Lanza had a strange condition where he couldn’t feel pain. “If that boy would have burned himself, he would not have known it or felt it physically,” Novia told AP.
Sometimes Lanza would have a total withdrawal from what he was doing, whatever that be, even if it was just sitting and reading a book, Novia explained.
On other occasions he would press himself against the wall or storm off in the other direction clutching his briefcase.
But Novia admits he could never have foreseen what happened, “Somewhere along the last four years there were significant changes that led to what has happened Friday morning,” he said.
A law enforcement officer speaking on condition of anonymity to the Seattle Post Intelligencer said Lanza had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism, which is characterized by social awkwardness.
While sufferers can easily get frustrated experts say there is no link between the condition and violent behavior.
Yet the mother of a son who has severe behavioral problems, including violent mood swings where he can self-harm and harm others, explains that until the United Sates has a meaningful discussion about mental illness and helps the families of mentally ill children there will be more tragedies like Sandy.
“I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza's mother. I am Dylan Klebold's and Eric Harris's mother. I am Jason Holmes's mother. I am Jared Loughner's mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho's mother. And these boys-and their mothers-need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it's easy to talk about guns. But it's time to talk about mental illness,” writes Liza Long in the Blue Review, a non-profit publication affiliated with Boise State University that publishes a mix of scholarly essays and journalism. The names she mentions are the killers in some of Americas more recent mass murders.
The police have not released any information about Lanza’s family other than that his parents were divorced and that his mother had acquired a number of guns legally. His father made a statement expressing his sorrow and disbelief.
“We are in state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why…Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired,” he said.