US shooter ‘was the school nerd’
Newtown - Family and friends remember Adam Lanza as many things - intelligent, nerdy, goth, remote, thin.
Now the world will always remember him as a mass murderer. The 20-year-old man is believed to have killed his mother, gunned down more than two dozen people, 20 of them children, at an elementary school in the US state of Connecticut before he committed suicide.
Investigators have found “very good evidence” as to what might have motivated Lanza.
Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Paul Vance told a news conference it was hoped this evidence could be used “in hopefully, painting the complete picture as to how - and more importantly why - this occurred”.
Vance did not describe the evidence but did say the shooter forced his way into the school, as opposed to being let in.
Authorities found no note or manifesto, and Lanza had no criminal history. Witnesses said the shooter didn’t utter a word.
Adam Lanza attended Newtown High School, and news clippings from recent years show him on the honour roll. Joshua Milas, a classmate who was in the technology club with Lanza, said that he was generally a happy person but that he hadn’t seen him in a few years.
“We would hang out, and he was a good kid. He was smart,” said Milas, who graduated in 2009. “He was probably one of the smartest kids I know. He was probably a genius.”
The tech club held “LAN parties” - short for local area network - in which pupils would gather at a member’s home, hook up their computers into a small network and play games.
She recalled a school meeting in 2008 organised by the gunman’s mother to try to save the job of the club’s adviser. At the meeting, Milas said, Adam Lanza’s brother Ryan said a few words in support of the adviser, who he said had taken his brother under his wing.
“My brother has always been a nerd,” Ryan Lanza said then, according to Milas. “He still wears a pocket protector.”
Authorities say Adam Lanza shot his mother at their home before driving her car to Sandy Hook Elementary School and - with at least two handguns - carried out the massacre, officials said.
A third weapon, a .223-calibre rifle, was found in the car, and more guns were recovered during the investigation.
Ryan, now 24 and living in Hoboken, New Jersey, was being questioned, a law enforcement official said. He told authorities his brother was believed to suffer from a personality disorder, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Daily Mail reported Adam Lanza’s high school classmates always knew something was different about him.
He almost never spoke in class, but made good grades and was an honours student. He always seemed uncomfortable in social situations.
The newspaper reported it was understood he had mental disabilities - either Asperger syndrome or more severe autism.
A former babysitter told the Washington Post he was “rambunctious” as a teenager and prone to temper tantrums.
He had to be medicated to control his moods. - Sapa-AP