Many more could have been killed in shooting
Details emerged last night suggesting that Adam Lanza planned an even more gruesome massacre but was stopped short. Lanza blasted his way into the school building in Newtown, Connecticut and used a high-power rifle to kill 20 children and six adults, including the principal and school psychologist who tried to stop him.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said Lanza shot himself after about 10 minutes of shooting as first responders entered the building.
A law enforcement official said Lanza had “lots of ammo” on him when he died, enough to carry out significant additional carnage.
“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 in a TV interview.
The gunman’s father, Peter Lanza, issued a statement relating his own family’s anguish in the aftermath.
“Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are,” he said. “We are in a 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.”
The rifle used on Lanza’s murderous rampage was a Bushmaster .223-calibre, a gun commonly seen at competitions. Also found in the school were two handguns, a Glock 10 mm and a Sig Sauer 9mm.
Ginger Colbrun, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said that so far no evidence had turned up that Lanza was involved in gun clubs or had trained for the shooting.
Education officials said they had found no link between Lanza’s mother and the school. Investigators said they believe Adam Lanza attended Sandy Hook many years ago, but they had no explanation for why he went there Friday.
Authorities said Lanza had no criminal history, and it was not clear whether he had a job. Lanza was believed to have been diagnosed with Asperger’s, a mild form of autism.
Mayor Michael R Bloomberg of New York, a leading voice for gun control, all but demanded that US President Barack Obama confront the prevalence of guns in the nation.
“It’s time for the president to stand up and lead,” Bloomberg, an independent who endorsed Obama for re-election, said during an appearance on NBC. “This should be his number one agenda. He’s president of the United States. And if he does nothing during his second term, something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns in the next year.”
(Reuters and New York Times)