December 17, 2012

Gunman carried hundreds of rounds of ammo

Police say there was enough to kill almost all of the students if given enough time.

By MATT APUZZO and PAT EATON-ROBB/The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Kathy Murdy, left, and her husband, Rich, react Saturday in Newtown, Conn., as they look at the list of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The Associated Press

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This 2005 photo provided by neighbor Barbara Frey and verified by Richard Novia shows Adam Lanza. Authorities have identified Lanza as the gunman who killed his mother at their home and then opened fire Friday, inside an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself. Novia was the school district's former head of security, and he advised the school technology club that Adam and his older brother belonged to.

Barbara Frey via The Associated Press

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Agents also determined that Lanza's mother visited shooting ranges several times, but it's still not clear whether she brought her son to the range or whether he ever fired a weapon there, Colburn said.

Investigators have offered no motive for the shooting, and police have found no letters or diaries that could shed light on it.

Newtown police Lt. George Sinko said he "would find it very difficult" for students to return to the same school where they came so close to death.

But, he added, "We want to keep these kids together. They need to support each other."

Jennifer Waters, who at 6 is the same age as many of the dead but attends another school, came to Mass at Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic church with lots of questions.

"The little children — are they with the angels?" she asked her mother.

Joan Waters assured her daughter that they were, then hushed the child as services continued with boxes of tissues placed in each pew and window sill.

At a later Mass at St. Rose of Lima, the priest stopped midway through the service and told worshippers to leave, because someone had phoned in a threat. Police searched the church and the rectory but found nothing dangerous.

An overflow crowd of more than 800 people packed the church where eight children will be buried this week. Lanza and his mother also attended the church. Spokesman Brian Wallace said the diocese has yet to be asked to provide funerals for either.

In his homily, the Rev. Jerald Doyle tried to answer the question of how parishioners could find joy in a holiday season with so much sorrow.

"You won't remember what I say, and it will become unimportant," he said. "But you will really hear deep down that word that will finally and ultimately bring peace and joy. That is the word by which we live. That is the word by which we hope. That is the word by which we love."

The rifle used was a Bushmaster .223-caliber, a civilian version of the military's M-16 and a model commonly seen at marksmanship competitions. It's similar to the weapon used in the 2002 sniper killings in the Washington, D.C., area and in a recent shopping mall shooting in Oregon.

Versions of the AR-15 were outlawed in the United States under the 1994 assault weapons ban. That law expired in 2004, and Congress, in a nod to the political clout of the gun-rights lobby, did not renew it.

Investigators have said they believe Adam Lanza attended Sandy Hook many years ago, but they couldn't explain why he went there Friday.

Authorities said Lanza had no criminal history, and it was not clear whether he had a job.

A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the unfolding investigation, has said Lanza had been diagnosed with Asperger's, a mild form of autism often characterized by social awkwardness.

People with the disorder are often highly intelligent. While they can become frustrated more easily, there is no evidence of a link between Asperger's and violent behavior, experts say.

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