The gunman, Adam Lanza, who is reported to be reclusive, shy and intensely bright, lived in a house full of guns, it emerged today.
His mother Nancy, 52, was “a big, big gun fan” who went target shooting with her children, the family’s friends recall.
“She said she would often go target shooting with her kids,” Dan Holmes, owner of the landscaping firm Holmes Fine Gardens, told reporters.
The man also rmembered that Lanza once showed him a ‘high-end rifle’ that she had purchased. ‘She was very proud of it,’ he said. ‘She loved her guns.”
He son Adam Lanza, 20, shot his mother in the face at his home, before driving three miles to the school in Newtown, Connecticut.
The 20-year-old drove his mother’s car to the school where she worked, walked into her classroom around 9.30 am and opened fire. Six adults and 20 children were shot at the place and two children died in hospital.
Wearing a bullet-proof vest, Lanza was armed with a Sig Sauer and a Glock handguns, typically capable of firing 15 rounds and 17 rounds each.
The Telegraph reports that the killer also had at his disposal a Bushmaster assault rifle, capable of firing 30 rounds before needing reloading.
There was one more gun found later in his mother’s car. In all, more than 100 shell casings were found.
When the news surfaced on Friday and Ryan Lanza was identified as the killer, people who knew the family had named the wrong brother.
“Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were five years old,” wrote Tim Dalton, a neighbour and former classmate, on Twitter. “As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised.”
“This was a deeply disturbed kid,” a friend of family said. “He certainly had major issues. He was subject to outbursts from what I recall.”
He went on, revealing that the 20-year-old gunman had acted as though he was immune to pain.
“A few years ago when he was on the baseball team, everyone had to be careful that he didn’t fall because he could get hurt and not feel it,” recalled the friend. “Adam had a lot of mental problems.”
The gunman’s brother Ryan has reportedly told police that his sibling suffered autism or Asperger’s syndrome, and a personality disorder.
Peter Lanza, the father of Ryan and Adam, issued the following statement Saturday, issued on behalf of the family by Nancy Lanza’s brother, a police officer in Kingston, New Hampshire.
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured. Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy,” the statement reads.
“No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired.”