Who is Adam Lanza? Why did he massacre a classroom of children?

Yesterday 20 children and seven adults lost their lives yesterday after 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother Nancy in the face and then went to  Sandy Hook Elementary School, where she worked, and opened fire in a classroom of children. He was dressed in black battle fatigues.

A team of 4 doctors, 10 technicians, and a medical student were on the scene until about 12:30 a.m. identifying and photographing the victims. The medical examiner says each child was shot between 3 and 11 times, at least two at very close range.

At first, news outlets mistakenly reported that the shooter was Adam’s older brother Ryan, who works for Ernst & Young in Hoboken, NJ, because Ryan’s identification was found at the scene.

There are some reports that the day before the incident, Adam Lanza had been at the school and had an altercation with four teachers, but those reports are now being called into question. In fact, many of the first reported facts about this massacre have been proven to be inaccurate, creating mass media confusion.

The New York Times reported that the principal buzzed Adam in because she knew he was the son of a teacher (his mom Nancy,) but CNN spoke to a close friend of Nancy’s who said that she was not a teacher, and was retired from a finance career:

 Nancy Lanza had retired or was on a break from her career, but she was not a teacher, the friend said.

The police announced today that they have found no record that Nancy worked at the school in any capacity. Also, Police Lietenant Paul Vance says that the principal didn’t buzz Adam in, as some initial reports stated, but he forced his way in.

So far it appears to be accurate that, as ABC News reports, principal Dawn Hochsprung (47) was the first person murdered, and that the entire school had to hear that happen because the intercom was turned on, possibly for morning announcements.

A third grader recounted what she heard that brutal morning, telling Good Morning America:

“Yeah, yeah, she was crying. I thought she was screaming. That’s what we heard over the loudspeaker. We heard kids crying.

We kept hearing gun noises and ‘put your hands up’…we kept hearing that.”

“We have established the point of entry. He was not voluntarily let into the school at all, he forced his way into the school, but that’s as far as we can go on that.”

Adam had been living with his mother Nancy and he used the handguns she bought after she got a divorce from his father four years ago, and wanted protection when she was alone in the house. Friends say she took her sons to target practice with her to learn how to use the guns.

A Glock and a Sig Sauer and a .223-caliber rifle were found at the scene, according to Newsday.com

November 24, 2008, three days before Thanksgiving, Nancy Jean Lanza sued Peter John Lanza for divorce. She checked “yes” under financial disputes, but “no” under parental disputes.

Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Paul Vance said at a news conference that investigators have gotten evidence that explains why this happened:

“Our investigators at the crime scene … did produce some very good evidence in this investigation that our investigators will be able to use in, hopefully, painting the complete picture as to how – and more importantly why – this occurred.”

Of course, there is no reason good enough to answer why this happened, but it sounds like Adam had a specific motive. Even so, it is still unimaginable why he opened fired in a room full of children, and shot them multiple times. There is no explanation for that, ever.

What does Adam Lanza look like?

The New York Times reports that Adam was an intelligent and quiet student who brought a black briefcase to his 10th grade honors English class.

He didn’t have a Facebook page, (unlike his brother, whose Facebook profile received a deluge of attention when he was misidentified as the killer,) and kept to himself. His fellow students interviewed by The Times claimed he had Asperger’s Syndrome, and they found it difficult to relate to him. At some point, he is believed to have dropped out of the school system.

His father Peter Lanza issued a statement today.

Matt Baie: “It’s not like people picked on him for it. From what I saw, people just let him be, and that was that.”

Olivia DeVivo: “You could tell that he felt so uncomfortable about being put on the spot. I think that maybe he wasn’t given the right kind of attention or help. I think he went so unnoticed that people didn’t even stop to realize that maybe there’s actually something else going on here — that maybe he needs to be talking or getting some kind of mental help. In high school, no one really takes the time to look and think, ‘Why is he acting this way?’ ”

Here are the list of victims released today:

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6
Rachel Davino, 29
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Lauren Russeau, 20
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27

CLICK HERE to read how you can help the victims and community, and how to help the children in your lives deal with this tragedy.

  • zippy

    are you kidding me?!?! why is it necessary to put how many times those innocent babies were shot?! that literally makes my stomach churn. i usually love this site but i don’t think i will be back after that article.

    • Maybe some of us would like to know the facts. If you have a problem with it why are you reading up on the incident?

      • zippy

        oh sorry i didn’t realize that some people want to hear the gory details of how those little children were murdered. and i’m avoiding the news sites. i didn’t expect starcasm of all sites to publish those kinds of details. they edited it out but when i got on the main page the head line said exactly how many times those children were shot. it’s sick

        • jenn

          The only details given are that they were shot more then once. Take a chill pill.

        • jeff

          Are you kidding? This is the INTERNET and the MEDIA. Are you going to put your head in the sand for the rest of your life? It’s reality and unfortunately the media is going to report things like this. If you don’t like it, turn off the internet, no one is forcing you to read it. It is reporting, and every news outlet is reporting the same thing. They do this with the stuff happening in Syria, in china, in all the other parts of the world. Why is this time so different? Because it’s little white american children? You need to sit back and analyse yourself lady, because that sort of ‘detail’ is everywhere and always has been.

          • Zippy

            The original article had gory details about exactly what happened in the title. It’s one thing if I was upset about it being on abc or something but this is a light gossip site that talks about teen mom as real housewives most of the time. This incident is sad enough without having to imagine those little kids being shot at 3 times. Maybe you don’t have children but I do and I can’t imagine losing a child and seeing details about them being shot all over the Internet. It’s not just this site, no news site should be publishing stuff like that. Try to think of the parents and how they feel! The media in general needs to stop treating these monsters like celebrities.

            • Imwithzippy

              Zippy, I’m with you. I’ve kept the tv news off…read this article and a few others on the internet because I thought it would give me just the basic facts. I, like you, do not need all the horrific details.

              I am pretty distubed that so many people defended the media in this thread and bashed you for wanting the more disturbing details of the childrens murders left out of the coverage.


    • Amanda B

      I’ve seen this info on CNN and The New York Times, and I’m sure all the news sites are talking about it. Are you going to never go to a news site again?

    • Omfg get over yourself.

  • jeff

    >The day before he incident, Adam Lanza had been at the school and had an
    altercation with four teachers.

    This was later recanted. It didn’t happen

    • jeff

      Thanks for updating the artical Starcasm Staff.

  • Rduckie

    This story is so heartbreaking. Although i did not know any of the victims, I have friends that knew some of the teachers who lost their lives. Words can’t describe how awful this tragedy is. Thoughts & prayers to the victims, their families, & the entire Newtown community.

  • “The principal had buzzed in Adam’s mother Nancy, a kindergarten teacher, and when she walked in, he shot her in the face.”
    I’m pretty sure at this point they’ve established that he wasn’t buzzed in, his mother wasn’t a teacher there, and she certainly wasn’t at the school at the time of the shooting. You may want to update your story so it’s factually correct….

    • starcasmnet


  • Numb

    I cannot fathom what kind of sick monster would murder poor innocent children like that. I don’t care if he had an argument with 4 teachers the day before the shooting or not, it still doesn’t justify or have anything to do with, why he would take out his mental problems on small children. This story really hits home to me, because I live in a small town much like Newtown is, No one in my area would ever even consider this to be a possibility to happen where I live. But the harsh reality is, it can happen anywhere. Our schools, need more security precautions to make sure stuff like this doesn’t happen. These children did not deserve this. Those children that survived will be scarred for the rest of thier lives, they don’t deserve that either. NO child should be put through what these children have.

    • Sad in MD

      It sounds like to me that Adam needed mental care as a child and didn’t get it. I blame that on the parents. I have a son who was diagnosed ADHD, ODD at 6. He went to ECI at age 3 and has been getting help every since his pediatrician noticed his speech delay. Some parents just turn there heads and pretend there is no problem. My son also goes to a special school for kids like him. He doesn’t get bullied or ignored. I am not condoning what Adam did but if he would have gotten the help and meds he needed at an early age this probably could have been avoided.

      • Tee

        I agree. My 5 year old brother has Aspergers/Autism and thank goodness we noticed early on. He is being treated daily with therapy and what not and does much better. I am heart broken for all those involved as well as for Adam, he clearly had a mental instability that as a result of being untreated left 20 sets of parents childless. It is heartbreaking in all aspects.

        I am not in any way saying it’s right, but it is tough to judge someone who was going through their own hell without any form of help.

        Prayers to everyone.

  • jeff

    Man, it makes me sad to see the kids names in alphabetical order like that. It’s like a classroom roster we all had in our class rooms growing up. I bet that same list is hanging up somewhere in that room.

  • Veronica

    How terrible! God be with the families who lost loved ones . & may those beautiful babies rest in peace. It breaks me heart. Even if I didn’t know any of them it still hurts me so much, I have 2 kids and can’t imagine having to go thu something like this.
    I hope, no.. I KNOW Adam Lanza will rot in hell like he derives!

  • tab

    ALL media outlets need to STOP reporting about why he may have done this and report about those that lost their lives. let’s not give this coward any more attention or give some other psycho a reason to copycat.

  • kristi

    His mother did not work at the school . She was not at all associated with the school .