Rifles, rounds of ammunition, swords found in Adam Lanza’s home
Search-warrant information released Thursday reveals Adam Lanza had a stockpile of weapons including rifles, knives, a bayonet and three Samurai swords.
The New York Times
Inside the rambling, pale-yellow Colonial-style home in a Connecticut suburb, Adam Lanza lived amid a stockpile of disparate weaponry and macabre keepsakes: a pair of rifles, 11 knives, a starter pistol, a bayonet, three Samurai swords.
He saved photographs of what appeared to be a corpse smeared in blood and covered in plastic. Nearby was a newspaper clipping that chronicled a shooting at Northern Illinois University in 2008.
In what investigators believe was his bedroom was a gun safe. Among his clothing was a military-style uniform. There was also a holiday card that contained a check made out to Lanza, 20, and signed by his mother. Investigators suggested the money had been intended to buy a gun.
The details of Lanza’s possessions were disclosed Thursday for the first time since he carried out the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The information was included in search warrants and related affidavits connected to the investigation into the Dec. 14 attack, when he killed 20 first-graders, six educators, his mother and himself.
The inventory of the house, combined with interviews conducted over several weeks, offer a fuller picture of Lanza.
The interviews revealed that his mother, Nancy Lanza, confided to friends several years ago that her son was faring poorly and being bullied in high school. More recently, he had cocooned himself in the basement of their home, playing war games.
After killing his mother at home early Dec. 14, Lanza drove to the grade school he once attended and carried out the massacre, in which he fired at least 154 rounds in less than five minutes, according to the search warrant.
Stephen Sedensky III, the state’s attorney in charge of the investigation, said Lanza shot his mother in the forehead with a .22-caliber rifle while she was in bed in her second-story bedroom. At the school, he used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S semiautomatic rifle to fire the 154 shots, the statement said. Police also found 10 30-round magazines for the gun, many partly or fully emptied.
Lanza also carried two semiautomatic handguns, one of which he used to kill himself. Police found a 12-gauge shotgun in the car he drove to the school.
The inventories attached to the warrants delineated pertinent items found by police in the home. Nancy Lanza was a gun enthusiast who often took her son to shooting ranges. She was divorced from his father, Peter Lanza, a General Electric executive.
The items included hundreds of rounds of ammunition, some housed in a Planters peanut can and a Nike shoe box, and a panoply of weapons found in a brown safe and in bedroom closets.
The lists mention four guns, including the one found in the black Honda Civic that Lanza drove to Sandy Hook. There were two rifles, including the one used to kill Nancy Lanza, as well as a BB gun and a starter pistol.
Police also found a certificate from the National Rifle Association (NRA) bearing the name Adam Lanza. The type of certificate was not clear. The organization said Thursday that Adam Lanza and Nancy Lanza were not members.
There was also a receipt from a shooting range in Oklahoma, an NRA guide to the basics of pistol shooting and training manuals on the use of a variety of firearms.
There were paper- and cardboard gun targets and a considerable amount of computer equipment and game consoles and equipment.
There were numerous books connected to autism, including “Born on a Blue Day — Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant” and “Look Me in the Eye: My Life With Asperger’s.” Classmates of Lanza and others who knew the family have said he had an autism variant known as Asperger syndrome, though investigators have never confirmed that diagnosis. Another book, “Train Your Brain to Get Happy,” was also found.
Whatever problems Adam Lanza may have had, the documents indicate Nancy Lanza was comfortable with him being around guns. Police found the gun safe in what they believed to be his bedroom, according to the affidavit.
The Hartford Courant previously reported that investigators had found news articles about the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik in a bedroom. Breivik killed 77 people in two attacks in July 2011, most of them teenagers who were attending a summer camp.
Those articles were not mentioned in the documents released Thursday.
The searches did turn up medical records, which are not identified, and some of Lanza’s school records. Among the records was a report card for Adam Lanza from many years ago. It was issued by Sandy Hook Elementary School.