New information from police investigating the school shooting in Connecticut indicate that the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, forced his way into the school on the morning of December 14, killing two school officials as they tried to stop him from making his way to classrooms filled with children. After shooting the principal, 47-year-old Dawn Hochsprung, and 56-year-old Mary Sherlach, the school's psychologist, Lanza proceeded to at least two classrooms, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a pair of handguns, where he killed 20 children and the four teachers who were trying to protect them.
Law enforcement officials initially said they thought Lanza had been been buzzed into the school by Hochsprung, but it now appears that he breached school security by shooting through a glass door at the entrance, before going on his deadly rampage.
“We're doing everything we need to do to literally peel back the onion [of the investigation], layer by layer,” State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said at a news conference. He said they now know that Lanza “was not voluntarily let into the school. He forced his way in.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Lanza began the day by killing his mother, Nancy Lanza, in the home they shared, before driving to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he used firearms belonging to his mother to kill his victims. While it is not clear how many firearms were used, investigators said they found at least one semi-automatic rifle and two handguns at the school, all of them tied to the assault.
According to the New York Times, investigators said Lanza shot his victims, “first from a distance and then at close range, hitting some of them as many as 11 times, as he fired a semiautomatic rifle loaded with ammunition designed for maximum damage.”
Connecticut State Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver II said autopsies revealed that most of the children, between six and seven years old, had been shot more than once, saying the wounds were “all over.” He emphasized that they were “a very devastating set of injuries.”
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