Gunman forced his way into school, cops probe ‘how, why’


The gunman who killed 26 people, including 20 children, in the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School here before committing suicide, forced his way into the building, the authorities said on Saturday morning. The gunman has been identified as Adam Lanza, 20.

"The victims have been positively identified," Lt J Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, said. He said investigators had found "some very good evidence" at Lanza's home that may help explain why he began his assault. "We are hopeful it will paint a complete picture of how and why," he said.

Only one of the shooting victims, who was shot in the foot, survived.

Lanza started his killing spree at his home near the school, where he shot his mother, Nancy, in the face, the authorities said. Lanza then drove his mother's car to the elementary school. Outfitted in combat gear and armed with semi-automatic pistols and a semi-automatic rifle, Lanza forced his way into the building and then chose his victims with a brutal efficiency, according to officials.

As children hid in closets, barricaded themselves in bathrooms and huddled in classroom corners, Lanza shot child after child. When the principal and teachers tried to intervene, they were shot dead too. The shooting spree lasted only minutes, but it was enough time to leave a nation stunned.

Law enforcement officials said the weapons used were a Sig Sauer and a Glock, both handguns. The police also found a .223 Bushmaster M4 carbine. State licensing records apparently indicated that Lanza's mother owned weapons of the same makes.

Lanza's older brother, 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, of Hoboken, New Jersey, was questioned, but a law enforcement official said he was not believed to have had a role in the rampage. Investigators were searching his computers and phone records, but he told officials he had not been in touch with his brother since about 2010. At one point, an official mistakenly identified the gunman as Ryan Lanza. Brett Wilshe, a friend of Ryan's, said the latter told him the gunman may have had his identification.

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