October 21st, 2013 | City

Sandy Hook shooting details surface

Newtown memorial

The site of last year’s fatal shooting will be resurrected thanks to $50 million residents of Newtown voted to accept. Photo by Brianne Bowen.

Details from December’s Sandy Hook shootings and the gunman behind them, Adam Lanza, have surfaced in unofficial reports according to an article published Friday by the Hartford Courant.

Though state police could not confirm the reports, the new information may provide some insight into Lanza’s motives and behavior as he gunned down 26 students, teachers and faculty at an elementary school.

The killing spree began at the home of Lanza’s mother, who was the first victim. Investigators from the Connecticut Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation found black trash bags covering the perpetrator’s bedroom windows. Inside, Lanza’s bed was neatly made and his armoire contained five matching outfits consisting of tan shirts and khaki pants. Elsewhere in the house were scratched and damaged hard drives and computer disks.

Before mobilizing to Sandy Hook Elementary, Lanza killed his mother, Nancy, from close range with a .22-caliber rifle. Investigators found that the blinds in her bedroom were drawn, leading them to believe that she was killed before dawn.

Once at the school, Lanza parked his car in a position that would enable him to ambush police officers as they arrived at the scene.

Using sound technology to analyze background noise from recorded 911 calls, investigators are attempting to track Lanza’s exact path through the school. Interviews with students suggest that Lanza began by entering a classroom of first-graders taught by Victoria Soto. Though Lanza shot and killed Soto, six of her students, who were initially hidden from the line of fire, managed to escape unharmed. Jesse Lewis, one of the students who was killed, yelled for his classmates to run when Lanza’s gun jammed.

Among those surviving were a school secretary and nurse who stayed hidden in a closet in Principal Dawn Hochsprung’s office. Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach were killed by 11 shots.

The unofficial findings also shed new light on figures such as school janitor Rick Thorne, who used a master key to lock several classroom doors, and Sgt. William Cario and state trooper Carlo Guerra, who left previous assignments to help rescue efforts and transport children to Danbury Hospital.

An official release of the investigation’s findings is expected soon.

Prior coverage of Newtown includes examinations of gun legislation following the shootings and the town’s recovery.