Ryan Lanza, Wrongly Named As Mass Murderer, Left To Grieve

Hoboken man learns his brother killed 27 people, including their mother.

Ryan Lanza was at his job in Manhattan on Friday when news outlets began to report that he had massacred 20 school children in a sleepy Connecticut town.

The reports said Lanza, a 24-year-old Quinnipiac University graduate, had murdered someone in his Hoboken apartment and then drove to Newtown, Conn., where he used a .223 caliber rifle and two other guns to kill 27 people before turning the gun on himself.

The dead included his mother, Nancy.

Lanza's thoughts quickly went to his developmentally disabled younger brother, Adam, whom he began to fear may have been responsible for the violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, friends said.

As media reports continued to name Ryan Lanza as the shooter and plastered his face across the world, he took to Facebook and told friends he was not the man responsible for the brutal slaying.

"Oh my god, I think my mother is dead," he wrote, a friend told Patch.

Ryan Lanza and his roommate were being questioned Friday night at Hoboken Police headquarters. Neither have been charged with any crime, Hoboken Police Captain Jim Fitzsimmons said.

"Ryan is in shock," a close friend, Brett Wilshe, told Patch.

Lanza works in the city at a financial company, Ernst & Young, and lives in a five-story brick building on Grand Street known as "The Metropolitan."

Media outlets quickly scrambled to "The Metropolitan," where Hoboken police gathered with FBI agents. Initial reports said that someone was killed at the apartment and that Lanza's girlfriend was missing. As curiosity grew from onlookers and media members, police draped yellow police tape around the perimeter, closing both sides of Grand Street just after 2:30 p.m.

No bodies were found inside the building, Fitzsimmons said.

Lanza was planning to head to Connecticut after hearing about the shooting, friends told Patch.

Those who know the Hobokenite, described as "nice" and committed to his friends, were also shocked by the news.

"At first you're devastated that 30 people were shot to death," friend Katie Colaneri told Patch. "And then you find out it's someone that you know, that you've met, that you've hugged. And you don't know whether to feel angry or sad. You find out your friend is alive but caught up in this mess. It's incredible."

"He's not a guy capable of shooting up a school," another friend of Ryan's told Patch Friday afternoon.


Patch Local Editor Paul Milo contributed to this story. 

cc December 17, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Its funny, everybody wants to jump on gun laws, the media, and everybody else! I'm not a gun person, but I do agree with the statement that"guns don't kill people, people kill people".this is a sad day for our country and we should be concerned about the people who are dealing with such a tragedy, if he didn't have a gun, it could have been a knife, a club or a damn spoon! I have never posted anything before but felt that this deserved it, lets hope and pray for those left behind, there is a dead man to blame, lets get it off the news and let them grieve in peace, this is going to start a big debate what we should be doing instead of helping those have lost, think what this will do to the survivors for the rest of there lives.it will take years or never to put the joy of the holidays back in their lives, my heart goes out to them! Sorry for your lose Sandy Hook Elementry
Julia December 17, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Gun control is not pathetic in this country...there are so many "controls" yet they are rarely carried out. More gun control will do nothing. For you to say that anyone who owns a gun is a potential murderer is highly offensive. You'd better hope that the 2nd amendment stays put...the alternative is that the bad guys and the government (one in the same?) are the only ones who have guns. I personally would end up sleeping with one eye open every night if that were the case because criminals will still get guns even if it's illegal. The only people who suffer from gun bans are law abiding citizens who want to defend themselves from violent criminals. Also, that nasty 2nd amendment is in place to prevent the government from complete tyranny.
Julia December 17, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Julia December 17, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Suzie, it seems you feel that you have to defend that you own guns...YOU DON'T! It is your right as an American citizen and you show own them proudly. All these anti-gun nuts scream and yell right up until they are the ones looking down the barrel of a gun and can do nothing about it except wait 15 minutes till the police arrive - too late! This is just another way for Obama to attempt to take guns away from law abiding citizens...disgusting how he would use something like this tragedy. Not really surprised, though.
Julia December 17, 2012 at 06:58 PM
I know drunk driving is a horrible thing but let's not get carried away. Let's make a list of every "item" that has caused a death and outlaw all of them, OK? Drugs/guns/alcohol/rope/knives/matches/baseball bats/scarves/bare hands/airplanes/cars...I'm sure there are many more! Let's just do away with everything that might look/smell/taste like it could hurt someone. There. All better.
Julia December 17, 2012 at 07:01 PM
There are tons of them, Suzie! And in response to Nancy Duggan - TV has been around for a very long time. Violent? You bet. You put violence on TV and in movies, violence in video games, God out of EVERYTHING, the mentality of "whatever feels good, do it", etc. That's where all the violence comes from.
Roxie English December 17, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Remember Richard Jewell (now deceased) who was a guard at the Atlanta Olympics (1966)? He discovered a bomb and took appropriate action (notified police, warned people away from the backpack containing the bomb, etc). He was identified as a hero for his actions. That is until he was falsely accused of being the bomber a few days later. He was later completely cleared -- it turned out it was a man who blew up an abortion clinic and later confessed to the bomb event in Atlanta. The police, including the FBI, rushed to judgement, as did the news media. The harrassment he suffered went on for weeks (months?) and was unforgiveable. Mr. Jewell eventually sued for libel and won big (for those days) monetary awards. He came to symbolize the excesses of law enforcement and the news media. But as far as I can see, nothing's changed in news reporting since then. ` Well, except now we also have the "social" media set who send the false information around the world at warp speed.
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I was wondering how long it would take for the conspiracy theorists to come out of the woodwork though some have already said it was MK Ultra.
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Don't believe or repeat everything you hear or read in the media. Words are thrown about by people who do not know the meaning of the words they are using. To wit; developmentally disabled, mentally impaired. Automatic assault weapons. All of these are used for dramatic effect by the press. None of the guns used was an automatic weapon. Listen to the news with a large box of salt next to you.
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 01:46 AM
cc, would you label the shooting by the Empire State Building a few months ago a mass shooting? After all more than four people shot. They were shot by the police but...
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 02:10 AM
I hope you qualify with your gun regulary and clean it as well as have relatively new ammunition or you will be beaten with your own gun.
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 02:12 AM
you can mention any god you wish just don't force it down anyone's throat. You can also pray if it makes you feel good but don't expect prayer to change anything. It won't bring those killed back and it won't console those who lost them.
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Dear Chopped Liver: get a life. This is beyond politics.
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Johanna, it's not January yet and you've already gone over the cliff?
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 02:29 AM
But no, the policeman called a SWAT team who called the bomb squad who took the backback to a range where it was detonated because he thought it had a bomb. And the teacher/principal in a panic shot himself in the foot. Oh, please, stop this 'if more people were armed' nonsense.
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Rod, you are a potential rapist. Should you be castrated?
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Suzie, I don't own a gun and have no intention of owning one but I respect your right as a responsible person to own one.
RidgewoodResident December 18, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Rod Gibbons, you're a guy who would take a flamethrower to the country if you had the chance. It's easy to see why you think there are no responsible weapon owners. You clearly wouldn't be one.
tamarya December 18, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Yes 20 children are dead and resting in peace, leave it at that. 6 innocent people over 18 are dead also, I see no mention of them and one teacher gave her life to protect her class. However you are missing the point that a surviving family member of the killer is being labeled as the killer himself. Will ask you the same question I asked nancy, would you like the title of a child killer. Would you like if thats what you were labeled as. I think John who commented after me had a good conclusion, they should keep it anonymous and claim under investigation till they know all info is correct. And you seem to be more focused on destroying the guns over accepting the fact 20 kids are dead and regardless of what happens to any gun we can still get killed and those 20 kids are not returning unfortunately.
tamarya December 18, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Rod you sound like a complaining child with the guns, and don't ever become ill terminally because your right to live will get thrown right out the window and you are not stopping it.
John Santaella December 18, 2012 at 10:49 PM
If I only had a gun... http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/defend-gun-7312540
jay from wayne December 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM
does adam lanza really exist??
stacie bohr December 19, 2012 at 10:59 AM
John Santaella December 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Are the conspiracy theorists coming out of the closet?
Jeanette L December 20, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Thanks for the link John. I really had no idea, not owning a gun, how in some ways it's more dangerous because it gives a false sense of security. And now impossible it is, without training, to actually use a gun for protection. So it really gives a false sense of security to owners who purchase guns for protection.
John Santaella December 20, 2012 at 06:24 AM
I do not in any way wish to trivialize what has happened in Newton, CT. Murder is horrendous and the numbers in one episode don't make more or less so. There are more suicides in this country by guns than there are murders by guns. Those suicides are by and large committed by handguns than by semi-automatic rifles. Revolver or pistol; one shot is all it takes. Most people who own guns do not commit crimes with them. Notice I did not say ''do not commit crimes'' I'm sure many bankers own guns and they'll rob you with a pen than with a gun.
Heidi Jones December 20, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I do hope Ryan and his father know that there are people out here hoping and praying for his family as well. They are victims of this tragedy too and it's not fair to assume they aren't hurting and grieving.
Kat K December 21, 2012 at 01:38 PM
My heart goes out to Ryan Lanza. I can't even imagine what he must be going through. I will keep him in my prayers, as he is a victim of this whole ordeal as well. Peace Be With You, Ryan.
John Santaella December 21, 2012 at 08:01 PM
If it were me I'd be wanting a beer about now.
Anabell Jones January 02, 2013 at 08:00 PM
I'm not saying teaching gun safety will end the recklessness of gun use http://www.airsplat.com/airsoft-safety.htm but it does not hurt to educate!


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