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National News

March 28, 2013

Cache of weapons found in Newtown gunman’s home

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A cache of weapons including guns, more than a thousand rounds of ammunition, a bayonet and several swords was found in the home of the gunman who carried out the Newtown school shooting, according to search warrants released Thursday.

Adam Lanza killed 26 people inside Sandy Hook Elementary School and took his own life within five minutes of shooting his way into the building, State’s Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III said in a statement accompanying the release of the warrants in the Dec. 14 massacre. Lanza was found dead in the school wearing military-style clothing.

The arsenal seized from Lanza’s home and the car he drove to carry out the massacre provided glimpses into the world of a troubled young man, but it does not answer the question of what could have motivated the attack. Investigators say it will take until June or later to complete the investigation.

Sedensky said Lanza killed all 26 victims inside Sandy Hook Elementary School with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle before taking his own life with a Glock 10 mm handgun. He said Lanza had another loaded handgun with him inside the school as well as three, 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster.

Sedensky said 154 spent .223 casings were recovered at the scene. A loaded 12-gauge Saiga shotgun was found in the Honda Civic Lanza drove to the school and the warrants said there were two magazines containing a total of 70 shotgun rounds. The warrant does not offer further explanation, and authorities did not respond to questions, but some Saiga shotguns can be fitted with magazines that hold up to 30 rounds.

Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son, Daniel, was killed at Sandy Hook, said he was not surprised by the details released Thursday.

“Most of this is pretty high-level stuff that we were aware of already and it just reminds me of what happened, that a gunman stormed his way into an elementary school and shot to death 26 people, 20 of which were first-grade boys and girls,” Barden said.

At the Lanza house, investigators found books about autism and Asperger’s syndrome as well as a National Rifle Association guide to pistol shooting, the warrants said. The NRA said Lanza and his mother were not members. Another book found at the home with tabbed pages is titled: “Train Your Brain to Get Happy.”

Writings and journals that belonged to Lanza were seized by police and turned over to the FBI for analysis. They also found three photos containing images of what appears to be a dead person covered with plastic and blood.

Police said they found a smashed computer hard drive and a gaming console in the house. An unnamed person told investigators that Lanza was an avid gamer who played “Call of Duty” and other games and rarely left his home.

Investigators found a holiday card containing a check made out to Lanza for the purchase of a firearm, authored by his mother, Nancy Lanza. Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother in their Newtown home before driving to the school to carry out the massacre.

Documents indicate authorities found a gun safe with shotgun shells in the house and numerous boxes of bullets. In a bedroom closet, they found ear plugs, a handwritten note regarding ammunition and magazines, paperwork on guns and a metal bayonet.

In a top drawer of a filing cabinet, they found paper targets. In a duffel bag, they found ear and eye protection, binoculars, numerous paper targets and an NRA certificate that belonged to Adam Lanza.

Authorities found numerous knives, including samurai swords. They found a military-style uniform in Lanza’s bedroom and handwritten notes containing the addresses of local gun shops. The guns found at the home included a .323-caliber Enfield Albian bolt-action rifle, a .22-caliber Savage Mark II rifle, a BB gun and a .22-caliber Volcanic starter pistol.

Among the items seized was a news article on a 2008 school shooting at Northern Illinois University.

A judge’s order to seal the warrants expired on Wednesday, and a Danbury Superior Court judge granted a request by Sedensky to withhold some details. Sedensky asked to redact the name of a witness, saying the person’s safety might be jeopardized if the name were disclosed. He also asked that the release not include other information such as telephone numbers, serial numbers on items found and a few paragraphs of an affidavit.

Until now, prosecutors had made few details of the Newtown investigation available, despite pressure to do so from the governor, who criticized leaks to the press and lawmakers who clamored for more details as they craft legislation on mental health and gun control.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced last week that additional information would be released at his request. He expressed concern that some information about the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook reportedly disclosed by a top state police commander at a recent law enforcement seminar in New Orleans was leaked.

In his statement, Sedensky said he ordered a stop to any presentations involving evidence in the case to prevent such disclosures. He said the investigation is ongoing.

“No conclusions have been reached and no final determinations have been made,” Sedensky said.

Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr. said this week that legislative leaders are eager to review the search warrant documents before finishing work on a bipartisan bill that addresses gun control and other issues related to the massacre.

Associated Press writers Dave Collins and Michael Melia in Hartford contributed to this report.

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