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No Motive Yet In Connecticut School Shooting

Newtown police say all victims' families have been notified and that officials are not yet releasing the names of the gunman or children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Newtown, Conn., residents reeling from the massacre of 26 people, including 20 children, at an elementary school on Friday are searching for answers about the gunman’s motive.

Police have said that they are “working backwards” to piece together the “why” behind the mass shooting in this town of about 27,000 about 60 miles northeast of New York City. A 12 p.m. Saturday prayer service is scheduled for St. John's Episcopal Church in Sandy Hook, a section of Newtown.

Newtown Police Lt. George Sinko, the department’s public information officer, told Patch Saturday morning that investigators have no sense of what prompted the gunman to act.

“There is no sense of motive at this time,” Sinko said.

Though Connecticut State Police have declined to identify the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, he is being widely identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza. According to NBC News, three weapons used in the shootings—two 9 mm handguns and a rifle—were legally purchased and registered to Lanza’s mother, a teacher at the school whom police say was found dead at her Sandy Hook home.

Parents of schoolchildren at the scene Friday told Patch that the school was locked and that all visitors needed to be buzzed in. Sinko said Saturday that the gunman appeared to have blasted his way inside.

Police radio dispatches aired by CNN reveal harrowing early communications to emergency responders who arrived at the elementary school around 9:40 a.m. Friday.

"Caller is indicating she thinks that someone is shooting in the building," a dispatcher says. "The front glass has been broken."

And later: "All units, the individual that I have on the phone is continuing to hear what he believes to be gunfire. Units are responding to Sandy Hook school as this time. The shooting appears to have stopped. The school is in lockdown."

According to Sinko, the gunman may have shot out glass next to the front door of the school.

“We say that because the window next to the door was shattered. We are still investigating," Sinko said.

Sinko said investigators are sorting through a “tremendous amount of evidence."

Much of the investigators’ work involves checking motor vehicles, Sinko said.

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More links to Newtown Patch’s coverage:

  • Reaction: Sandy Hook School Shooting
  • Police Raid Sandy Hook Home Hours After Shooting
  • [PHOTOS] Newtown School Shooting

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BRER December 15, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Motive? Feeling homicidal and suicidal due to mental illness and thanks to the easy access to guns at home, impulses quickly and easily became reality. I am less shocked by his behavior and more shocked by the mom who has 3 guns (!) to which her mentally ill kid has access to!
thewordgo December 16, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Absolutely correct, Brer. The irresponsible mother is as much to blame here having had those kinds of weapons in the home.
Suzanne Troya December 16, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Yes, I agree with both your comments. I just don't understand the logic behind purchasing a gun with an adult son living at home, who is not in clear mind. It's just not logical.
Teaneck_Resident December 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I'm agree with all of you on this. As a firearms owner I would never..never have any firearms in the home if I lived with someone who is not of clear mind. Secondly, why did he have access to them? The mother is as responsible for, if not more responsible than the shooter. I don't think stricter gun laws will do anything in this sort of case. There is just no way of injecting common sense into some people's brains. I will bet she even took him the the range and showed him how to shoot.
Suzanne Troya December 16, 2012 at 03:18 PM
I have a bad gut feeling. Yes, there are reports that she did take to her son to ranges, and that she was very verbal about her lengthy divorce. She reportedly told some that she stopped working to be full time with him. I don't want to speculate, or make a false accusations. But I'm more curious into the mother's mind right now than the son's.
George Walsh December 16, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Gun control may not prevent this case or others like it, but it highlights the fact that there are more than 80 gun murders per day in the US, many, many of which are preventable with better gun control.
BRER December 16, 2012 at 05:41 PM
I think better gun control is in order. I am not exactly sure what Japan is doing but reportedly they have a very strict gun control system and much less gun related harms, probably to the dismay of those who spew things like guns don't kill people. The mom reportedly became fascinated with guns after her divorce and per her relative, it was for "protection". But how many guns does one need to serve the purpose of "protection"? Ironically, she has a case of guns and yet she ended up shot in the face and not by an intruder. The gunman went to a gun shop to buy guns 3 days prior and was rejected. Looking at his sorry look in that picture, I doubt he could manage to buy illegal guns off the street. He probably would get robbed instead. If the mom does not have the stash of guns at home and if it is difficult for him to buy illegal guns let alone rifles off the street, it is more likely than not if he is to do some physical harm to others, it will not be to this extent. Here he is absolutely shooting up targets as if he were playing those video games that rack up sales to the billions yearly... Think for a second of your top 5 most evil guys in the human history. To me he is right up there, mental illness or not. Multiple shots into 6-7 yos again and again takes the top prize in evilness.
George Walsh December 16, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Japan starts from the premise that gun ownership is illegal. Japan allows ownership only of a shotgun or an air rifle, and then only with registration, mandatory traing before acquisition of the weapon. I know that will not fly in the US where gun ownership is considered oddly patriotic. However, there can be better control of guns with registration, training and monitoring. This perpertrator essentially "stole" the guns from his mother supposedly. Proper storage under combination lock may have deter his theft but in the end there is no way to prevent all gun violence as long as guns are owned by such a large portion of the US population.
BRER December 16, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Thanks George for the info. I agree with the proper storage under lock suggestion but that pokes a hole in the rhetoric that owning a gun serves to protect the owners from intruders. If I were an intruder, I would not knock on the front door and alert the gun owner to get ready before we play out a fair fight.
George Walsh December 16, 2012 at 09:30 PM
It is a myth that gun ownership protects the owner from an intruder. That is one of the myth promoted by the pro-gun element, along with the myth that to prevent such violent acts more people need to be carrying weapons with them so the shooter can be "taken down" by an armed bystander. Rubbish. In the late 1800's US most people had weapons and the murder rate was ridiculously high. Just think of the portrayals of the "wild west" when gun ownership was near 100%. Register guns like automobiles and track their ownership and transfer the same way. It's a start.
DXJ December 21, 2012 at 05:14 AM
The murder rate has halved each century for the last three with little correlation with gun ownership or the number of guns. I suspect it has a lot more to do with the rule of law, equal treatment under the law and a gradual rise in overall prosperity. My question is why were the teachers and authorities powerless to defend the children? How about replacing a 6 figure janitor with a semi-retired police officer?

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