Gun enthusiast mother Lanza’s first victim

International

MATT FLEGENHEIMER & RAVI SOMAIYA

Nancy Lanza loved guns, and often took her sons to one of the shooting ranges here in the suburbs northeast of New York City, where there is an active community of gun enthusiasts, her friends said. At a local bar, she sometimes talked about her gun collection.

It was one of her guns that was apparently used to take her life on Friday. Her killer was her son Adam Lanza, 20, who then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed 26 more people, 20 of them small children, before shooting himself, the authorities said.

Connecticut's Governor, Dannel P Malloy, said Sunday that Lanza killed himself as first responders were closing in on him — raising the possibility that he would have taken even more lives had they not arrived.

"We surmise that it was during the second classroom episode that he heard responders coming and apparently at that, decided to take his own life," Malloy said on ABC's "This Week."

Nancy's fascination with guns became an important focus of attention on Saturday as investigators tried to determine what caused Lanza to carry out one of the worst massacres in the US history.

Investigators have linked Nancy to five weapons: two powerful handguns, two traditional hunting rifles and a semiautomatic rifle. Her son took the two handguns and the semiautomatic rifle to the Newtown school.

Law enforcement officials said they believed the guns were acquired legally and were registered.

Nancy, 52, had gone through a divorce in 2008 and was described by friends as social and generous to strangers.

She lived in a large Colonial home in Newtown with Adam Lanza, and had struggled to help him cope with a developmental disorder that often left him reserved and withdrawn, according to relatives, friends and former classmates. An older son, Ryan, did not live with Nancy.

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