Report: Newtown Massacre Was Over in Minutes


It took just a few minutes for 20-year-old Adam Lanza to end the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, says a report from Stephen Sedensky, State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury.

Police respond on Dec. 14, 2012 four minutes after the first 911 call was received by emergency dispatchers. Less than a minute later Lanza committed suicide, according to the report.

Police found five guns at the scene, although Lanza’s killing spree was traced back to just one semi-automatic rifle, a Bushmaster Model XM15-E2S. His self-inflicted wound was the product of a Glock 20 pistol.

All the weapons had been purchased legally by his mother, Nancy Lanza, who he killed earlier that day at their home.

Sedensky determined Lanza acted alone, based on “more than seven-hundred individual files that include reports, statements, interviews, videos, laboratory tests and results, photographs, diagrams, search warrants and returns, as well as evaluations of those items.”

Included in the reports were stories of heroism: teachers, hiding with students in restrooms, “used various ways to keep the children calm, from reading to having them color or draw pictures.”

One staff member, while on the phone with 911, went from room to room locking doors.

The report notes that law enforcement received “a large number” of tips from those purporting to have information related to the case. Each one was evaluated, according to the report, “although many times these ‘leads’ would go nowhere.”

“The obvious question that remains is: ‘Why did the shooter murder twenty-seven people, including twenty children?’ Sedensky wrote in the report. “Unfortunately, that question may never be answered conclusively, despite the collection of extensive background information on the shooter through a multitude of interviews and other sources.”

While the motive is not known, police found evidence that Lanza had spent time studying previous mass shootings, including a book about a 2006 shooting at an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania, copies of newspaper articles about other shootings — dating as far back as 1891 — and a spreadsheet with information about “mass murders over the years.”

Sedensky said in a statement that there will be no arrests or prosecutions in connection with the Newtown killings and that the investigation is considered closed.

The report is embedded below:

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