State releases details in Sandy Hook shootout

Spurred by pressure from lawmakers across the state, the Chief State’s Attorney’s office released new details Thursday from its ongoing investigation of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December.

Earlier this month, several news articles revealed previously classified information about the shooting, including evidence about gunman Adam Lanza’s fixation with other school shootings and his meticulous collection of weapons. As lawmakers work on crafting a legislative response to the shooting — a bill including gun restrictions, changes to the mental healthcare system and bolstered school security efforts that is due for a vote on Wednesday — several politicians, including House Minority Leader Laurence Cafero, demanded that the investigation officially release its findings thus far.

“The information contained in the release of the warrants today, I believe, validates much of the work we have as legislators undertaken to this point,” Cafero said in a statement on Thursday. “While some of it was reported in general terms previously, we now have the benefit of official documents to guide as we we move forward.”

Indeed, the facts released are only likely to fuel the urgency of gun control advocates as they highlight the vast stores of weapons and ammunition in the Lanza home. The bill expected for a vote on Wednesday will likely ban the purchase of assault-style weapons and ammunition magazines containing more than 10 rounds.

According to a search warrant released by the Chief State’s Attorney’s office, Lanza killed 20 children and six educators in under five minutes. He fired 154 shots in total from a Bushmaster XM15 rifle, and police found 15 more rounds in his rifle as well as three 30-round magazines on his body.

At his home at 36 Yogananda St., Lanza’s mother Nancy was found dead in bed with one bullet in her forehead. A rifle was found on the floor, and a gun safe was unlocked.

Investigators found four more weapons in a safe in Lanza’s room next to a gaming console as well as news clippings about other mass shootings. The warrant stated that the Lanza home housed over 1,000 rounds of ammunition in all, as well as a collection of knives and three samurai swords.

At the Lanza home, police discovered an NRA certificate and a holiday card addressed to Adam with a check made out for a firearm. Police also seized three books, including an NRA tome entitled “The NRA Guide to Pistol Shooting” and two books about living with autism.

But the warrants released offered no explicit narrative explaining why Lanza may have been motivated to go on a shooting spree at his old elementary school.

“This is exactly why we need to ban high capacity magazines and why we need to tighten our assault weapons ban,” Malloy said in a Thursday statement. “I don’t know what more we can need to know before we take decisive action to prevent gun violence.”

The final police investigation report is expected to be released in June.

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