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There is something that I can assure you of that will always be true: it does not matter if you live for the next one year, five years, ten years, fifteen years, twenty years, thirty years, fifty years or even 100 years; the day before you die you will regret ever worrying about your life instead of thinking of what you want to do. Every new year that you do live, you will regret not having started anything that you wanted to do the year prior, only regretting the past more.
Lanza[1]

Adam Peter Lanza was an American spree killer, mass murderer, and school shooter who perpetrated the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which left 28 people dead (including Lanza himself) and two injured.

Background

A young Lanza

Adam Lanza was born on April 22, 1992, to Peter and Nancy Lanza. His mother would often take him and his brother shooting, having never suspected Adam of being dangerous. Adam attended the school he would later end up shooting, but suffered extreme anxiety problems starting in middle school (something which is believed to have been a possible motive). One time his anxiety got so bad he had to be taken to the ER of the Danbury hospital. He was moved to St Rose of Lima in 2005, but only stayed there for eight weeks. He later attended Newton High School by the time he was in his early teens. He was described there as "intelligent, but nervous and fidgety", and earned a place in the honor roll in 2007. The anxiety only grew worse and worse until he only went to school sometimes, and was ultimately homeschooled by his mother. Despite this, he managed to earn a GED and even attended some classes at the Western Connecticut State University. He was later diagnosed with Sensory-Integration Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

The Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary School

Presumably snapping from his extreme anxiety and mental disorders, Adam Lanza took one of his mother's rifles and shot her four times in the head, killing her. He then stole her car and used it to drive to the school. Arriving there, he broke his way through a glass panel next to a locked front entrance door to the school and killed two teachers. He entered the main office, but didn't discover the teachers hiding there. He then went to a 1st Grade classroom and massacred seventeen people there (fifteen of which were children). He went to another classroom there, and reports of what happened from there are conflicting and various. What is known is that as responding Police arrived, Lanza entered Classroom #10, and shot himself in the lower rear portion of his head with the Glock, ending the ten-minute massacre.

Aftermath

After Police arrived the school was locked down and survivors were evacuated. Police began looking into a possible motive for the shooting, but none was ever fully established. It is highly believed that Lanza's extreme anxiety and various mental disorders may have led to a psychotic break, which led to his massacre and ultimate suicide. The school was closed down as a crime scene and was demolished in 2016.

Modus Operandi

A Bushmaster rifle, similar to the one Lanza used.

Lanza shot all his victims with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S and a Glock 20SF he stole from his mother. He reloaded frequently even before the clip was empty. He usually shot his victims over five times and one victim, Noah Pozner, was shot eleven times. During the shooting he wore black clothing, yellow earplugs, sunglasses, an olive green utility vest, and was carrying magazines for the rifle.

Lanza was also found to have been in possession of a 9mm SIG Sauer P226 and a Saiga-12 shotgun, but apparently never used either in the massacre.

Known Victims

Fatalities

Memorial to the victims

  • Nancy Lanza, 52, (his mother; shot four times in the head)
  • Rachel D'Avino, 29, (teacher's aide)
  • Dawn Hochsprung, 47, (principal)
  • Anne Marie Murphy, 52, (teacher's aide)
  • Lauren Rousseau, 30, (teacher)
  • Mary Sherlach, 56, (school psychologist)
  • Victoria Leigh Soto, 27, (teacher)
  • Charlotte Bacon, 6 (student)
  • Daniel Barden, 7 (student)
  • Olivia Engel, 6 (student)
  • Josephine Gay, 7 (student)
  • Dylan Hockley, 6 (student)
  • Madeleine Hsu, 6 (student)
  • Catherine Hubbard, 6 (student)
  • Chase Kowalski, 7 (student)
  • Jesse Lewis, 6 (student)
  • Ana Márquez-Greene, 6 (student)
  • James Mattioli, 6 (student)
  • Grace McDonnell, 7 (student)
  • Emilie Parker, 6 (student)
  • Jack Pinto, 6 (student)
  • Noah Pozner, 6 (student)
  • Caroline Previdi, 6 (student)
  • Jessica Rekos, 6 (student)
  • Avielle Richman, 6 (student)
  • Benjamin Wheeler, 6 (student)
  • Allison Wyatt, 6 (student)

Wounded

  • Natalie Hammond, 40, (lead teacher)
  • Deborah Pisani

Notes

  • It was later discovered that Lanza may have been a pedophile because of emails that he sent to a friend that talked about how pedophilia isn't wrong.

On Criminal Minds

  • Season Thirteen
    • "False Flag" - It is revealed that before joining the BAU, Tara Lewis (who is a forensic psychologist) was at Sandy Hook in the aftermath of the attack and provided counseling to the victims' families. This experience makes her particularly angry about conspiracy theorists who believe that the shootings were staged by the U.S. government to increase gun control, such as Melissa Miller from the same episode.

References

  1. In response to one of his victims, a child who said "Help me! I don't want to be here!"
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