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A relative of Adam Lanza has revealed that the Newtown gunman had been beaten and taunted by his fellow classmates while he was a student at Sandy Hook Elementary, and his mother had considered filing a lawsuit against the school.
Speaking exclusively with the New York Daily News, Adam Lanza’s relative said that the 20-year-old who would grow up to murder his mother, Nancy, was viciously bullied by his classmates and would come home from class with bruises over his body.
Nancy Lanza was “irate” in her belief that the educators at Sandy Hook weren’t doing all in their power to protect her son, they said.
The relative told the Daily News that Adam Lanza wouldn’t confide in his mother when she asked him what was wrong.
“He would just sit there,” the relative said.
Adam Lanza shot dead 20 first graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14 in a matter of minutes, making it one of the worst school shootings in US history.
Last week, a never-before-seen photograph of Adam Lanza emerged, along with college records which include new information about the gunman including that he refused to identify his own gender when asked to do so in college documents.
Adam Lanza had been reportedly beaten and taunted by his fellow classmates while he was a student at Sandy Hook Elementary
Adam Lanza attended Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) for less than a year after his mother withdrew him from Newtown High School when he still only 16.
Students and teacher who remember Adam Lanza from his WCSU days recall that he was very quiet and struggled to mix with the other students although that was largely attributed at the time to him being younger than them.
Adam Lanza earned a 3.26 grade point average while there, but WCSU after less than a year in 2009, he then attended a community college, but also left that school after a year. Eventually, he worked at a part-time job for a while repairing computers, but that job ended when the business shut down.
He walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th and opened fire killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself.
He had killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in her bed before heading to the school.
A bipartisan legislative task force in Connecticut has agreed on a major overhaul of the state’s gun laws in the aftermath of December’s deadly attack.
The draft legislation, announced on Monday, would add more than 100 types of guns to the state’s list of banned assault weapons; limit the capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds; ban armor-piercing bullets; require background checks for all weapon sales, including at gun shows; establish safety standards for school buildings; allow mental health training for teachers; and expand mental health research in the state.
“Nobody will be able to say that this bill is absolutely perfect, but no one will also be able to say that this bill fails the test when it comes to being the strongest in the country and the most comprehensive bill in the country,” Connecticut Senate President Don Williams, a Democrat and a member of the task force, said Monday.
Last week, documents revealed how Adam Lanza sprayed 155 bullets at innocent children and educators during a five-minute rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Francine Wheeler, the mother of a victim of last year’s Sandy Hook shootings, has replaced President Barack Obama to deliver the weekly US presidential radio address.
Francine Wheeler, whose 6-year-old son Ben was killed in Sandy Hook shooting last year, used the nationally-broadcast statement to call for tighter gun controls.
Asking a citizen to deliver the weekly address is a highly unusual move.
The move comes as Barack Obama attempts to ratchet up pressure on the US Congress, which is due to debate new gun laws.
In an often emotional statement, Francine Wheeler recalled waiting for her son to return home following the shootings, and said the “tidal wave of anguish” resulting from that day had yet to recede.
She said new gun laws were needed to prevent more deaths.
Francine Wheeler, the mother of a victim of last year’s Sandy Hook shootings, has replaced President Barack Obama to deliver the weekly US presidential radio address
“We have to convince the Senate to come together and pass commonsense gun responsibility reforms that will make our communities safer and prevent more tragedies like the one we never thought would happen to us,” she said.
Francine Wheeler’s son Ben was killed along with 19 other children and six staff when 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire at his elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
The address was broadcast on radio and released as a video online.
This week senators are due to debate new laws that will extend background checks to gun sales made at gun shows and over the internet.
The measures are the result of a bipartisan deal struck between Republican and Democrat senators last week.
Senators later voted to debate the legislation, but no new laws have yet been passed.
A White House call for a ban on assault weapons and a limit to the capacity of ammunition magazines that can be sold has not gained traction among lawmakers.
In a statement President Barack Obama said Francine Wheeler’s message was one that “every American should hear”.
“This shouldn’t be about politics,” the president said.
“This is about doing the right thing for families that have been torn apart by gun violence, and for all our families going forward.”
The influence of America’s gun lobby in Washington remains strong, and means the measures being discussed are by no means certain to become law.
The US Senate has begun debate on a proposal to expand criminal background checks on gun buyers.
The bipartisan move marks the most serious consideration of gun control legislation in 19 years, though many hurdles remain before final passage.
Meanwhile, gun control advocates have gathered in Washington DC to make an emotional push for new restrictions.
The powerful gun lobby vows to oppose new gun control measures, arguing the US Constitution forbids them.
Thursday’s procedural vote to begin debate passed 68-31, with a handful of Republicans joining all but two Democrats, who have the majority in the chamber.
The US Senate has begun debate on a proposal to expand criminal background checks on gun buyers
It is the furthest into the legislative process any gun control bill has moved since 1994, when an assault weapons ban passed.
Senators could take weeks to thrash out all the likely amendments and there’s absolutely no guarantee that any of this will actually become law.
Gun control advocates planned several events on Thursday to draw attention to what is described as a national gun violence epidemic.
Religious leaders from Newtown, Connecticut began a 24-hour vigil at 11:30 local time on the National Mall near the White House and Capitol building.
More than 3,300 grave markers placed there will represent those killed by guns since a gunman killed 26 people at a primary school in Newtown in December.
Another group has been reading aloud the names, places and ages of these gun violence victims.
The lobbying push by both gun control and gun rights groups comes as a Democratic and a Republican senator have announced an agreement on a bill to expand background checks.
On Wednesday, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania unveiled a deal that would expand criminal background checks to all online and all gun show sales, establish a commission on mass violence, and ease some restrictions on transporting guns across state lines.
Their proposal is being hailed as the best chance for new gun control legislation, though it falls short of the far stricter measures backed by the White House.
Currently, so-called private gun sales by dealers who are not licensed, including some at gun shows, are not subject to criminal background checks on the purchaser.
Vice-President Joe Biden, a strong supporter of new gun control legislation, told MSNBC’s Morning Joe programme on Thursday that gun control was “one of the cases where the public is so far ahead of the elected officials”.
Joe Biden also accused the nation’s top gun rights lobbying group, the National Rifle Association (NRA), of spreading disinformation, and promised expanded background checks would not lead to a national gun registry.
But the NRA opposes the Manchin-Toomey deal, arguing background checks do nothing to prevent gun violence.
In a letter to senators on Wednesday, NRA lobbyist Chris Cox warned that the organization would score lawmakers based on their votes on the Manchin-Toomey deal and other measures it opposes.
President Barack Obama’s other proposals, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, have not gained traction in Congress.
In a statement Barack Obama said he wished the agreement were stronger but praised the move as progress.
“We don’t have to agree on everything to know that we’ve got to do something to stem the tide of gun violence,” the president said.
Senators will vote on a series of amendments to the legislation and then once more to close debate before voting on the bill itself.
Prospects for legislation in the House are unclear, with Republican House Speaker John Boehner saying he will wait until the Senate has a definite outcome before deciding whether to bring the bill to the House floor.
“It’s one thing for two members to come to some agreement,” he said.
“It doesn’t substitute the will for the other 98 members.”
Connecticut lawmakers have approved gun control measures, which campaigners say are the strictest in America, following December Sandy Hook massacre.
The new restrictions include a ban on new high-capacity magazines and background checks on all gun buyers.
President Barack Obama and gun control advocates say the measures are needed to curb an epidemic of gun violence.
Connecticut lawmakers have approved gun control measures, which campaigners say are the strictest in America, following December Sandy Hook massacre
In December 2012, gunman Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut, killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Gun rights groups argue the legislation – which was approved by both the senate and lower house in Connecticut – would not have prevented the Newtown school shooting.
Connecticut assembly passed the legislation after more than 13 hours of debate.
In Washington, the US Congress is set to debate new gun control legislation this month.
Gun control in Connecticut became a predominant political issue after 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook primary school with a high-powered rifle legally purchased by his mother – whom he also killed.
The killings also reignited national debate on gun control, and led to President Barack Obama making gun safety one of the defining issues of his second term, which started a month after the shooting.
Barack Obama plans to visit Connecticut on April 8 as his proposed gun control measures in Congress appear to have stalled. Correspondents say the president will use it to increase pressure on lawmakers in Washington.
Gun control measures passed by Connecticut on April 4 include:
- an expansion of the state’s assault weapons ban
- background checks for all prospective firearms purchasers, including in private transactions
- a ban on the sale or purchase of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds
- a registry of weapons offenders
- a state eligibility certificate to purchase a rifle or shotgun that involves a psychiatric commitment check
“This is a new and historic model for the country on an issue that has typically been the most controversial and divisive,” Connecticut Senate President Donald Williams was quoted by local media as saying at the end of a 6-hour debate in the lower house on Thursday morning.
The approval of the bill by both houses of the Connecticut assembly came after weeks of negotiations between Democratic and Republican legislative leaders, who said they were determined to produce a bipartisan bill in response to the tragedy.
Adam Lanza, the young man who killed 27 people in a massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, owned an arsenal of weapons and ammunition, court papers show.
Hundreds of rounds of ammunition and certificates from the National Rifle Association were among the items found in a search of Adam Lanza’s home.
Details of the searches were publicized after a court seal lapsed on Wednesday.
Adam Lanza, 20, first shot his mother, before killing 26 people at Sandy Hook elementary school in December 2012.
Adam Lanza, the young man who killed 27 people in a massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, owned an arsenal of weapons and ammunition
The mass shooting – which ended when Adam Lanza shot himself – shocked the US and revived debate over how to curb gun violence.
In a statement accompanying the release of the search warrants, state prosecutor Stephen Sedensky said Adam Lanza had managed to shoot all his victims and kill himself within five minutes of making his way into the school.
The 20 children and six staff members were all killed with a Bushmaster .223-calibre rifle, and the gun Lanza turned on himself was a Glock 10mm handgun, Stephen Sedensky said.
Adam Lanza had another loaded handgun with him in the school and three 30-round magazines for the rifle.
One more weapon, a 12-gauge shotgun with 70 rounds, was also found in the car Adam Lanza drove to the school.
Although the description of the gunman in the search warrants suggests he was found wearing military-style clothing and a bullet-proof vest, prosecutors said on Wednesday that Adam Lanza was not wearing such a vest.
Meanwhile, in Adam Lanza’s home a bayonet, a gun safe in his bedroom and several swords were discovered by investigators, search warrants revealed.
The documents showed Adam’s mother, Nancy Lanza, had written a cheque for her son to buy a weapon and placed it in a holiday card.
Books about autism and Asberger’s syndrome, as well as a smashed computer hard drive and gaming console were among the other items they found.
Some details such as the name of a witness, telephone numbers and serial numbers were redacted from the cache of documents.
The papers were made public at the request of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, who expressed concern about information that had been leaked to the press.
The body of Adam Lanza, the man who killed 27 people – including 20 children and his own mother – at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has been claimed for burial.
Adam Lanza shot himself in the head inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, ending a bloody shooting tragedy that has gripped Newtown, Connecticut.
Multiple reports said that Adam Lanza’s body was claimed several days ago by a person who did not wish to be identified.
Connecticut’s chief medical examiner Wayne H. Carver II told the Hartford Courant that the location of Adam Lanza’s burial will not be made public.
When asked by the paper if Adam Lanza’s father, Peter Lanza, who claimed the body, Wayne H. Carver would not comment.
A spokeswoman at the medical examiner’s office told The Associated Press she could not release any details about the status of Adam Lanza’s remains.
A private funeral was held earlier this month in New Hampshire for his mother, Nancy Lanza, who was shot to death in her bed on the morning of the school shooting rampage.
Police have not offered a motive for the killings.
The body of Adam Lanza, the man who killed 27 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has been claimed for burial
Earlier this week, it was revealed that scientists have been asked to study Adam Lanza’s DNA to see if has an “evil” gene that led him to carry out the massacre.
The study, which will look at any abnormalities or mutations in his individual DNA, is believed to be the first of its kind ever carried out on a mass murderer. The massacre prompted President Barack Obama to look into new gun controls and banning assault rifles such as AR-15 Bushmaster used by Adam Lanza in his rampage.
The study of the killer’s DNA was been ordered by Wayne H. Carver – who carried out the post-mortems on all the victims.
He has contacted geneticists at University of Connecticut’s to conduct the study.
Geneticists said they are likely looking at Adam Lanza’s DNA to detect a mutation or abnormality that could increase the risk of aggressive or violent behavior.
They could analyze Adam Lanza’s entire genome in great detail and try to find any unexpected mutations.
Arthur Beaudet, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, said the University of Connecticut geneticists are most likely trying to “detect clear abnormalities of what we would call a mutation in a gene”.
He added: “Or gene abnormalities and there are some abnormalities that are related to aggressive behavior.
“They might look for mutations that might be associated with mental illnesses and ones that might also increase the risk for violence.”
Arthur Beaudet, who is also the chairman of Baylor College of Medicine’s department of molecular and human genetics in Houston, Texas said geneticists should be doing this type of research because there are “some mutations that are known to be associated with at least aggressive behavior if not violent behavior”.
“I don’t think any one of these mutations would explain all of (the mass shooters), but some of them would have mutations that might be causing both schizophrenia and related schizophrenia violent behavior,” Arthur Beaudet said.
“I think we could learn more about it and we should learn more about it.”
Arthur Beaudet said studying the genes of murderers is controversial because there is a risk that those with similar genetic characteristics could possibly be discriminated against or stigmatized.
But he said the research into Adam Lanza would be helpful even if only a “fraction” may have the abnormality or mutation.
“Not all of these people will have identifiable genetic abnormalities,” Arthur Beaudet told ABC News.
“By studying genetic abnormalities we can learn more about conditions better and who is at risk and what might be dramatic treatments,” Arthur Beaudet said, adding if the gene abnormality is defined the “treatment to stop” other mass shootings or “decrease the risk is much approved”.
Although known to be shy and social inept Adam Lanza had not shown any violent streak although he was known to spend hours in the basement of his home playing violent video games.
Senior US Democrats Dan Malloy and Dianne Feinstein have called for stricter gun control following Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
Twenty children and six teachers died in Friday’s assault on Sandy Hook school by a lone gunman who then turned his weapon on himself.
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said he wanted stronger national limits.
And Senator Dianne Feinstein said she would introduce a bill to ban assault weapons as soon as Congress convened.
A nationwide ban on certain semi-automatic rifles in the US expired in 2004.
President Barack Obama – who shortly after the school attack urged “meaningful action” against gun crime in the US – is to visit Newtown on Sunday.
Barack Obama will meet families and emergency service workers, and speak at an interfaith vigil at the town’s high school.
Ahead of his visit, reports from Newtown say a service for the victims at St Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church has been abandoned and the church evacuated because of an unspecified threat.
The gunman behind Friday’s shootings has been named in media reports as Adam Lanza, who is said to have killed his mother before driving to the school, opening fire and then killing himself.
The state’s chief medical examiner said the gunman used a semi-automatic rifle as his main weapon, and all the victims appeared to have been shot several times, some of them at close range.
Speaking on Sunday, Governor Dan Malloy said Connecticut had an existing ban on assault weapons, but the lack of a similar law at federal level made it difficult to keep them out of the state.
“These are assault weapons. You don’t hunt deer with these things,” he told CNN.
“One can only hope that we’ll find a way to limit these weapons that really only have one purpose.”
Governor Dan Malloy had to break the news to most of the victim’s families on Friday.
“You can never be prepared for that – to tell 18 to 20 families that their loved one would not be returning to them that day or in the future,” he said.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, who represents California in the upper house of Congress and is a long-term supporter of stricter gun control, told US TV network NBC: “I’m going to introduce in the Senate, and the same bill will be introduced in the House (of Representatives), a bill to ban assault weapons.”
Asked if President Barack Obama would support her measure, she said: “I believe he will.”
Senior US Democrats Dan Malloy and Dianne Feinstein have called for stricter gun control following Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, another strong gun control advocate, has urged President Obama to act.
“We have heard all the rhetoric before,” he said.
“What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today.”
All 20 children who died in the shootings – eight boys and 12 girls – were aged between six and seven, according to an official list of the dead were killed. The youngest, Noah Pozner, had celebrated his birthday only last month.
The head teacher at Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Dawn Hochsprung, was among the dead, along with adults Rachel DaVino, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Russo, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto.
A woman who worked at the school was the only person to be shot and survive.
Scores of people have left tributes at a memorial outside the school, while a minute’s silence is being held before National Football League games across the US on Sunday.
Connecticut State Police say the process of releasing the victims’ bodies to their families is under way, and have condemned what they term “misinformation” being published on social media about the tragedy – including people wrongly claiming to be the gunman.
The authorities now say the gunman forced his way into the school, contradicting first reports that he was been let in voluntarily.
Investigators say they have gathered “good evidence” in the search for a motive, but have not given any details.
The gunman is said to have shot dead his mother at their home before driving to the school in her car and opening fire on the victims. Reports say the guns found at the scene were registered to her.
Education officials say they have found no link between the gunman’s mother and the school, contrary to earlier reports that said she was a teacher there, the Associated Press news agency reports.
Investigators said they believe Adam Lanza attended Sandy Hook many years ago.
The killings took place in two rooms and a hallway within a single section of the school, police have said. The shooting lasted just a few minutes.
As they heard the shots, teachers in other parts of the building tried to protect children by locking doors and ushering them into closets.
Police say that children are unlikely to return to the classrooms where the shootings took place. Surviving pupils will be taught at other schools in the area while a final decision about the Sandy Hook’s future is made, though one official said it was unlikely to re-open.
The suspected gunman’s father, Peter Lanza, said his family was “struggling to make sense of what has transpired”.
“Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy,” he said in a statement.
Pope Benedict XVI paid tribute to the victims and their families in his weekly address at the Vatican, saying he was “deeply saddened by Friday’s senseless violence”.
The attack at Newtown is the second deadliest shooting attack at a US school or university, after the Virginia Tech killings of 2007, which left 32 people dead and many injured.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to Newtown, Connecticut tonight to meet the families of victims killed in Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the White House announced.
Barack Obama is expected to meet with families and first responders at a 7:00 p.m. interfaith vigil.
According to the Hartford Courant, Barack Obama will not make any public appearances during his visit.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton tweeted helicopters could be over nearby Danbury, Connecticut, today were an advance team setting up for his visit.
Barack Obama will also appear on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, and tweeted out links to a website named Demand a Plan, which launched after the July shooting in Colorado and asks voters to pressure Congress and the White House into changing the law.
In his weekly radio and Internet address earlier on Saturday, Barack Obama said it was time to “take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this”.
Barack Obama stopped short of calling for tighter gun-control laws.
In the wake of the deadly shooting the pressure’s on the president, who promised during a debate two months ago that he would “keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill”.
Families in the small community of Newtown, Connecticut, were shattered by the loss of 18 children as young as five years old when gunman Adam Lanza burst into the school and began firing at random.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to Newtown, Connecticut tonight to meet the families of victims killed in Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School
Some lawmakers have targeted President Barack Obama to do something about gun control, which is exactly what the president pledged to do on the campaign trail.
Barack Obama’s remarks came at the second presidential debate against Republican rival Mitt Romney at New York’s Hofstra University on October 16, when he invoked the memory of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre from several months earlier.
He said: “So my belief is that… we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill.
“We’ve done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we’ve got more to do when it comes to enforcement.”
Wiping away tears as he spoke on Friday, President Barack Obama today signaled he would push for tight gun control in the wake of the massacre of 26 at an elementary school in Connecticut, saying there had been “too many” mass shootings in America.
During a moving appearance, he said the time had come to “take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics”.
Barack Obama struggled for words, pausing several times as he wept and described the “beautiful little kids between the ages of five and ten years old” slaughtered in the school massacre in Connecticut.
Seldom has a head of state expressed greater public emotion in modern times, White House aides held hands and also wept as they sat in the briefing room named after James Brady, the press aide wounded in 1981 when President Ronald Reagan was shot and who later became the nation’s leading gun control advocate.
Barack Obama was not the only one who showed deep emotion over the shooting. Parents lined up at schools across the country to pick up their children and make sure they made it home safely.
School administrators from Washington D.C. to Boston and Iowa issued statements assuring parents that they had stepped up security and that their schools were still safe.
Three teachers murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School all died heroes trying to save their students from gunman Adam Lanza who they recognized as the son of a kindergarten teacher there.
Authorities have identified principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47, school psychologist Mary Sherlach, 56, and 27-year-old Victoria Soto, a young first grade teacher, as three of the eight adults found dead on Friday.
Twenty-eight people died in the shooting rampage, including 20 young children between the ages of five and ten, alleged gunman Adam Lanza, who took his own life, and his mother Nancy, who was shot before the school massacre.
Victoria Soto sacrificed herself to save her students – throwing her body in front of the young children.
When Adam Lanza began started firing at the school in suburban Newtown, Connecticut, some teachers dived under tables – but Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach never hesitated.
They ran into the hallway to confront the danger – and were murdered execution-style as a result.
Victoria Soto sacrificed herself to save her students, throwing her body in front of the young children
The New York Times reports that Dawn Hochsprung buzzed Adam Lanza into the school, bypassing the newly-installed security system – recognizing him as the son of Nancy Lanza, a teacher there.
Little did she know that Adam Lanza had already killed his mother at the home they shared nearby. He took three of her guns and used her car to drive to the school.
Diane Day, a school therapist, told the Wall Street Journal that she and several other teachers were in a meeting with Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach when the shooting began.
“We were there for about five minutes chatting and we heard, <<pop pop pop>>,” she said.
“I went under the table.”
The principal and the school psychologist had other ideas. They jumped out of their seat and ran toward the sound of the gunfire.
“They didn’t think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on,” Diane Day said.
Rabbi Shaul Praver told MSNBC that Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach were killed execution-style.
Tributes for all educators poured in on Friday night.
A deeply distraught 10-year-old boy is a former student of Victoria Soto, who had taught at the school five years, said she was “really nice and funny”.
The woman’s cousin, Jim Wiltsie, told ABC News that police said the 27-year-old was trying to shield her students and usher them into a closet when she came face to face with the gunman.
“She put herself between the gunman and the children and that’s when she was tragically shot and killed,” Jim Wiltsie said.
“I’m just proud that Vicki had the instincts to protect her kids from harm,’ he continued.
“It brings peace to know that Vicki was doing what she loved, protecting the children and in our eyes she’s a hero,” he added.