Newtown shooting records provide details from inside school


HARTFORD, Conn. — State police on Friday released thousands of investigative documents related to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

The more than 6,500 pages are heavily redacted with witness statements from some of the 12 children who survived the massacre partially blacked out. The release closes the state police investigation.

There are thousands of photographs, many blacked out and none from the horrific crime scenes inside the two classrooms or the hallways of the now-demolished school.

The report also contains statements from Newtown police officers who responded on Dec. 14, 2012, and from Sandy Hook school employees who survived the shooting.

State police also released 911 calls that they received on cellphones including two from inside the school as the shooting was taking place. One call came from a teacher shot in the foot and another from a woman who was in a meeting with Principal Dawn Hochsprung and School Psychologist Mary Schlerach, amongst others, when the shooting began.

The woman, who is not identified in the documents, tells the dispatcher someone has been shot twice “she’s breathing … but … just barely.”

“God he’s … he’s shot a hundred times … he must have some big artillery.”

The dispatcher tried to get the woman to explain the injuries to Natalie Hammond, who was shot twice by Adam Lanza as she ran behind Hochsprung and Scherlach.

As the call proceeds, the woman starts whispering because she fears that the shooter has returned. She is laying on the floor as she talks to the dispatcher who is asking if she can put pressure on Hammond’s wounds to which she replies “He’s f … right outside the door. I don’t want to move.”

They were eventually rescued by police.

Hammond was interviewed at the hospital and told police “she saw Hochsprung and Sherlach fall down in front of her. She said a gunshot hit her leg and felt a burning/warming feeling.” She then crawled back into the room and held the door closed.

Hammond said she heard “100’s of rounds” in 10-15 round bursts and that they were 7 or 8 breaks in the shooting when she believed he was reloading.

Hochsprung and Scherlach were the first two people killed by Lanza after he fired eight bullets through a glass window at the front entrance to gain entry to the school.

Lanza, who weighed 112 pounds and was carrying nearly 31 pounds of ammunition, used a Bushmaster .223 to fire a total of 154 shots in less than five minutes. After murdering the two women in the hallway he entered the classrooms of Victoria Soto and Lauren Rousseau.

In Rousseau’s classroom he killed 15 of the 16 students firing a total of 80 bullets at close range as the children attempted to hide in a bathroom in the back of the classroom. In Soto’s classroom Lanza shot Soto immediately and started shooting children until his gun jammed.

In the short time it took him to clear it and reload, one of the students, Jesse Lewis, yelled for children to run and at least six of them did out of the room right past Lanza and eventually out of the school until they were found by a neighbor on Riverside Drive.

Lanza fired 49 bullets killing five in Soto’s classroom, including Lewis, before taking his own life with one of the pistols he was carrying.

The state police report offers more details of life inside 36 Yogonanda Road where Nancy and Adam lived. Nancy Lanza was not allowed in his bedroom, where he had taped garbage bags over the windows to keep it dark.

In Lanza’s bedroom, investigators discovered his infatuation with mass shootings, especially the Columbine school massacre of 1999. They found photocopied newspaper articles on mass shootings dating to 1891. They found a spreadsheet listing mass murders through the years, with information about each shooting, such as weapons used and numbers killed.

They also found a check Nancy had written as a Christmas present so he could buy another gun.

The state police report shows that Nancy Lanza purchased the four weapons her son took into the school from March 2010 through January of 2012. The report redacts the locations where the guns were purchased. The Bushmaster used in the shootings was bought in March 2010.

State police sent a wide range of material about Adam Lanza to FBI profilers in Quantico, Va.

The documents included original drawings and writings — among them the violence-filled “Big Book of Granny” — and letters and notes referring to psychiatric treatment and evaluations of Adam Lanza as a young teenager.

For example, there were letters and emails between Nancy Lanza and doctors at the Yale Child Study Center, bills from a Brookfield, Conn., psychiatrist for “services provided” during 2005 to 2007, and “individual education plans” for Adam Lanza dating as far back as 1995.

The varied batch of material sent to the profilers also included pistol targets, a white Teddy bear, articles relating to autism and Asperger’s syndrome, an “Honorary Elf Diploma” from 1997, and a slew of books on military history and competitive shootings.

The documents were viewed by the FBI and returned to the state police by early August.

Investigators did seize Adam Lanza’s medical records, including what is described as “psychiatric notes/records from Yale Child Study Center pertaining to Adam Lanza” dated Feb. 7, 2007.

Investigators found other evidence in his room, including a computer game titled “School Shooter,” in which a player controls a character who enters a school and shoots students. There were also separate images of Lanza holding a pistol and a rifle to his head and what appeared to be a dead body wrapped in plastic.

Lanza showed severe signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, refusing to touch a doorknob, changing clothes several times a day, and being afraid to be touched and afraid of loud sounds.

Earlier this month Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III’s issued 44-page summary of the state police investigation that portrayed Lanza as an isolated, socially inept 20-year-old with a fascination for a dance video game and mass killers that seems to have been developed as far back as the fifth grade.

Sedensky concluded that Lanza acted alone and there would be no criminal prosecutions from the massacre and that despite the massive investigation there was no conclusions as to why he carried out the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

Sedensky also released a detailed time line of the events on the morning of Dec. 14 that shows Newtown police officers were outside the school for more than five minutes before entering and that Lanza killed himself inside teacher Soto’s room slightly more than a minute after police had arrived.

His report concluded that police “acted accordingly” because they didn’t know if there was more than one shooter and because they initially thought someone may have been shooting at them from outside the building.

 

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