Official: More guns found in school after massacre

Published On: Dec 14 2012 08:12:00 AM HST   Updated On: Dec 14 2012 07:43:54 PM HST

Hartford Courant

Law enforcement officials speaking on condition of anonymity said that Adam Lanza killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, then drove to the school in her car with at least three guns

NEWTOWN, Conn. -

A law enforcement official said authorities investigating a mass shooting that killed 26 people at an elementary school in Connecticut found more guns inside the school than the initial two that had been reported.
The official would not say what type of guns were found but said all the weapons were being traced by state and federal authorities. The official was not authorized to speak to reporters about the investigation and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Authorities said Adam Lanza, 20, opened fire Friday inside the school in Newtown, massacring 26 people, including 20 children, then killed himself. He was carrying at least two handguns.

A law enforcement official also said some guns owned by Lanza's mother matched the models of the guns used in the shooting.

The official cautioned that investigators haven't conclusively linked the guns used in the rampage to the ones Nancy Lanza owned.

The official said state police records showed Nancy Lanza had legally purchased five firearms and all were registered in Connecticut. Authorities are still trying to account for all the guns.

The official was also not authorized to speak to reporters about the investigation and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Hundreds of people packed a church and spilled outside to remember the victims of the shooting Friday night.

Candlelight vigil

Candlelight vigil

Candlelight vigil

A candlelight vigil is held for the victims of a massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

With the church filled to capacity, hundreds of people stood outside Friday night at St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown; some of them held hands in circles and said prayers. Others lit candles and sang "Silent Night."

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was among the speakers.

Anthony Bloss, whose three daughters survived the shooting, said they heard gunshots but they weren't talking much about the shooting. He said he felt completely numb.

Tracy Hoekenga said she wanted to come to the vigil because she was struggling with many emotions. Her two boys survived the shooting.

Police wouldn't say what may have motivated Adam Lanza to open fire inside two classrooms Friday morning, but a law enforcement official who was been briefed on the investigation said he was believed to suffer from a personality disorder.

After the shooting rampage, investigators said Adam Lanza shot and killed himself, and they said Nancy Lanza was found dead at their home.

Nancy Lanza was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The official said Adam Lanza drove his mother's car to the school after she was killed.

Police said Adam Lanza carried two handguns into the school, while a rifle was found in the back of a car. They said the shootings took place in two classrooms, but they didn't provide details on exactly how it unfolded.

Students and their parents described teachers locking doors and ordering the children to huddle in classroom corners or hide in closets as shots echoed through the building.

Young students crying and looking frightened were escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line after the shots rang out in Newtown, 60 miles northeast of New York City.

One man said his 6-year-old son was in class when the gunman burst in and shot the teacher. He said his son "grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door."

The father of one 7-year-old said the boy heard a noise that sounded like "cans falling." A teacher went out to check on the noise, came back in and locked the door until police arrived.

A teenager who rushed to the school to check on his sister after hearing the gunfire from his nearby home said the 9-year-old girl had heard a scream come over the intercom at one point.

As they left the school, the children -- some crying, others looking frightened -- were told by police to close their eyes so they wouldn't see the carnage around them.

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A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said the brother of the gunman has been "extremely cooperative" and is not under arrest.

The official told The Associated Press that Ryan Lanza, 24, of Hoboken, N.J., was still be being questioned but is not in custody and is not believed to have any connection to the school killings.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation.

The official said Ryan Lanza's computers and phone records were being searched but only "in an abundance of caution." He said Ryan Lanza told authorities he had not been in touch with his brother in recent years.

A tearful President Barack Obama said the country's leaders must "take meaningful action" regardless of politics in response to the mass shooting.

The president teared up, at times using an index finger to wipe at the corner of his eyes, as he addressed the nation from the White House. He also paused repeatedly as he struggled to keep his composure while speaking of the children, who had died and the life milestones they now would miss.

"The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers -- men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams," Obama said.

Shortly before speaking, Obama ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff on public grounds through Tuesday.

"As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown or a shopping mall in Oregon or a temple in Wisconsin or a movie theater in Aurora or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children, and we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics," Obama said.

The attack came less than two weeks before Christmas and appeared to be the nation's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.

So far, authorities have not spoken publicly of any possible motive.


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