Newtown Sandy Hook School Massacre: Updated Timeline, Chronological Assemblage of Coverage
Updated March 1, 2013
The following timeline of the December 14 mass killing of 20 children and 8 adults in Newtown Connecticut attempts to demonstrate how the event was presented to the public by corporate news media. The chronological assemblage of coverage is not comprehensive of all reports published on the incident but rather seeks to verify how the storyline was to a substantial degree constructed by federal and state law enforcement authorities and major media around the theory that 20-year-old Adam Lanza was the sole agent in the massacre.
This scenario became an established reality through the news media’s pronounced repetition of the lone gunman narrative and meme. This proposed scenario significantly obscured the fact that police encountered and apprehended two additional shooting suspects on the school’s grounds within minutes of the crime. These suspects remain unaccounted for by authorities but the roles they may have played arguably correlate with the shifting information presented by authorities and major news media on injuries and weapons vis-à-vis the mass carnage meted out in the school. While the certain detainment of additional suspects was pointed to by alternative news media, including Natural News, Infowars, Veterans Today and Global Research in the days following the tragedy, the untenable lone gunman narrative has become firmly established in the public psyche via an overwhelming chorus of corporate media reports and interpretations.
Note: Times of occurrences referenced are Eastern Standard Time and in some instances signify time of publication rather than the specific incident cited. Time of publication does not always correlate with exact time of incident. “n.t.” denotes “no time” of publication referenced.
At the start of the 2012-13 academic year Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung announces in a public letter to families the Newtown School District’s new security system installed “in all elementary schools.” Under the newly-announced security regimen, “exterior doors will be locked during the day. Every visitor will be required to ring the doorbell at the front entrance and the office staff will use a visual monitoring system to allow entry. Visitors will still be required to report directly to the office and sign in. If our office staff does not recognize you, you will be required to show identification with a picture id. Please understand that with nearly 700 students and over 1,000 parents representing 500 SHS families, most parents will be asked to show identification. Doors will be locked at approximately 9:30 a.m.” “Principal Outlined New Security Procedures at Sandy Hook Elementary,” Hartford Courant, December 14, 2012, 8:25PM EST.
- October 17
Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung Tweets photo of emergency drill held at Sandy Hook fire station with Sandy Hook Elementary faculty and students participating. Esther Zuckerman, “The Sandy Hook Principal’s Twitter Feed is Haunting,” The Atlantic Wire, December 14, 2012.
- November 7
Following Obama’s reelection Senator Diane Feinstein is believed to be meeting with relevant federal agencies to lay groundwork for reenacting assault weapons ban. “Senator Diane Feinstein Moves to Ban All Assault Rifles, High Capacity Magazines, and Pistol Grips,” Market Daily News, November 7, 2012.
- November 27
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy announce Project Longevity, a joint venture by the Justice Department and State of Connecticut, at a news conference in New Haven, Connecticut. The endeavor is described by one law enforcement officials as “a statewide approach that targets repeat criminals, creates alternatives for potential gang members and rallies neighborhoods against violence.” Federal money is being directed to engage Connecticut-based agents, academics and social workers who will work for or with the FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Dave Ingram, “Project Longevity: Justice Department, Connecticut State Officials Target Gun Violence,” Reuters/Huffington Post, November 27, 2012. See also, Erin Logan, “Attorney General Eric Holder Discussing Gun Violence,” WTNH.com, November, 27, 2012.
- December 14
Only 35 minutes away from Newtown an active shooter drill is taking place at a school in Carmel, Putnam County. The operation is conducted by the Putnam County Emergency Response Team (“ERT). “The ERT is comprised of specially trained and heavily armed officers from the Sheriff’s Office and the Carmel and Kent Police Departments,” the Southeast Brewster Patch newspaper reports. “When news broke of the Newtown shooting, the Putnam County ERT commander called Newtown Police and offered to have the ERT respond to the Sandy Hook school, but that response was not needed because Connecticut police had already secured the scene.” “Sheriff: Putnam Officials to Talk School Safety This Afternoon,” Southeast Brewster Patch, December 18, 2012.
(9:30AM [see below])
CNN reports local authorities take the first 911 calls from Sandy Hook Elementary School. “‘Sandy Hook school. Caller is indicating she thinks someone is shooting in the building,’” a dispatcher told fire and medical personnel, according to 911 tapes. “Sandy Hook Shooting: What Happened?” CNN, December 14, 2012. (Recording of fire and law enforcement radio dispatch [below] indicates CNN’s 9:30AM time and account of events is incorrect.)
Sandy Hook Elementary School reading consultant Becky Virgalla said she was in a meeting with Principal Dawn Hochsprung, school psychologist Mary Sherlach and other colleagues when the shooter broke into the building on Dec. 14. When they heard the commotion Hochsprung, Sherlach and lead teacher Natalie Hammond proceeded into the hall “to check out the noise that we didn’t know [were] gunshots at first,” Virgalla told Reuters Television at a December 23 Newtown memorial. “The three of them were shot and they yelled back ‘shooter, stay put.’ And they saved my life and the life of four others who were at that meeting,” Virgalla said. “Becky Virgalla, Newtown Shooting Survivor, Says Principal, Others Saved Her in Sandy Hook Rampage,” Reuters/Huffington Post, December 23, 2012.
Recording of Newtown and Connecticut emergency fire and law enforcement radio dispatch indicates potential of active shooter situation at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “6-7. Sandy Hook School. Caller indicates she thinks there’s someone shooting in the building.” RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police/Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
Newtown and Connecticut emergency fire and law enforcement radio dispatch suggests arrival of law enforcement at scene; “front glass has been broken [unintelligible]. They’re unsure why.” RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police/Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
Newtown and Connecticut emergency fire and law enforcement radio dispatch indicates continuance of gunfire at Sandy Hook school. “All units: The individual that I have on the phone is continuing to hear what she believes to be gunfire.” RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police/Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
Newtown and Connecticut emergency fire and law enforcement radio dispatch indicates law enforcement units and backup continual arrival at Sandy Hook Elementary. RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police/Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
Newtown and Connecticut emergency fire and law enforcement radio dispatch indicates “the shooting appears to have stopped. It is silent at this time. The school is in lockdown.” RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police/Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
Newtown and Connecticut emergency fire and law enforcement radio dispatch indicates citing of shooter suspects fleeing crime scene. “Reports that a teacher saw two shadows running past the building–past the gym, which would be rear [inaudible] the shooting.” RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police/Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
Newtown and Connecticut emergency fire and law enforcement radio dispatch indicates officers’ encounter with and apprehension of additional shooter suspects fleeing scene. “Yeah, we got ‘em. He’s comin’ at me down Crestwood Way! Coming [inaudible] up the left side.” RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police/Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
Chris Manfredonia, alleged father of a 6-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary student, claims he is on his way to the school “to help make gingerbread houses with first-graders when he heard popping sounds and smelled sulfur.” Manfredonia runs around the facility in attempt “to reach his daughter and was briefly handcuffed by police. He later found his child, who had been locked in a small room with a teacher. ‘The whole reason we moved here a year ago is because when you drive down the subdivision, it’s a happy place,’ said his wife, Georgeann Manfredonia. “‘There’s a ton of children here and the families are very kind and supportive.’” Richard A. Serrano, Allen Semuals, Tina Susman, “Gunman Kills 20, 6 Adults at Connecticut Elementary School,” Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2012.
Newtown and Connecticut emergency fire and law enforcement radio dispatch indicates “one now in room one who [unintelligible] injury to the foot. [unintelligible] call for an ambulance [unintelligible]. RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police/Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
Newtown and Connecticut emergency fire and law enforcement radio dispatch indicates officers’ discovery of “bodies here” and requests for ambulatory/first responders’ backup. RadioMan911TV, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown Police/Fire and CT State Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
(9:50AM [see below])
CNN reports police and first responders arrive at Sandy Hook Elementary. Police did not discharge their weapons. The gunman took his own life with a handgun. “Sandy Hook Shooting: What Happened?” CNN, December 14, 2012. (Recording of fire and law enforcement radio dispatch [above] suggests CNN’s 9:50AM time and account of events is incorrect.)
Hartford Courant publishes online Google map of Sandy Hook Elementary School. “Map of Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Hartford Courant, December 14, 2012.
In a December 14 Newtown Bee article unidentified school personnel are commended for their courage. Among them are school principal Dawn Hochsprung, who recounted to Bee Editor John Voket how “a masked man entered the school with a rifle and started shooting multiple shots – more than she could count – that went ‘on and on.’” The problem with the account was that it conflicted with a subsequent storyline where Hochsprung was the first to be killed by the gunmen.
Original December 14 Newtown Bee story with interview of deceased Sandy Hook Elementary Principal Dawn Hochsprung. Captured by Bing web spider on 12/13/12.
From Bingj.com: “Below is a snapshot of the Web page as it appeared on 12/13/2012 (the last time our crawler visited it). This is the version of the page that was used for ranking your search results. The page may have changed since we last cached it. To see what might have changed (without the highlights), go to the current page.”
Three days later the paper issued a retraction and revised the story further. No additional explanation was provided concerning what party Volkert interviewed and quoted at the crime scene, suggesting a conflicted attempt to establish the storyline.
Connecticut State Police report assisting Newtown police in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. “The Hartford Courant [<-hyperlink is to a different story] reports there are multiple injures [sic] and unconfirmed reports that one of the shooters is dead while the other is still at large. The school superintendent’s office says the district has locked down schools to ensure the safety of students and staff. Crimeside Staff, “Connecticut School Shooting: Police Investigating Reports of a Shooting at Elementary School,” CBS News, December 14, 2012.
[Famous photo taken by Newtown Bee editor is distributed via CBS and other national media.]
Shannon Hicks/The Newtown Bee
Connecticut School Shooting: Police Investigating Reports of a Shooting at Elementary School,” CBS News, December 14, 2012, 1047AM EST.
A Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps dispatcher says a Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher was taken to hospital after being shot in the foot. “There are reports of multiple injuries,” CBS notes. The Newton Bee reports a student with apparently serious wounds was carried out of the facility by a police officer. The school superintendent’s office says all schools in the district remain in lockdown. Crimesider Staff, “Connecticut School Shooting Update: One Gunman Dead, One Teacher Injured at Elementary School,” CBS News, December 14, 2012.
Police say the shooter is dead and two weapons were recovered from him. “The source says one weapon recovered is a Glock and the other is a Sig Sauer.” Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
Hartford Courant mysteriously publishes online Googlemap of neighborhood where Nancy and Adam Lanza reside, which is 36 Yogananda St. “Map of 46 Yogananda St. Sandy Hook, CT,” Hartford Courant, December 14, 2012.
Anonymous witness and parent of student says that while attending a meeting with faculty regarding her child she heard “at least 100 rounds” being fired when the shooting began about 9:30 to 9:35AM. “There was a ‘pop pop pop’ in the hall outside the room. Three people went out of the room into the hall where the sounds had come from. ‘Only one person came back.’” The same witness says “she then called 911. She said she never saw the shooter but she later was escorted outside the room past two bodies lying in blood.” “Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
An anonymous federal law enforcement source informs news media the death toll is closer to 30 than 20, with most of those killed being children. The source, who says he is in contact with authorities on the scene, says the suspected gunman had a connection to the school but would not elaborate. Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
CNN is “told that 18 to 20 of the dead are children.” Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
An anonymous law enforcement official tells CNN that the suspect’s name is Ryan Lanza and he is in his 20s. Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
Anonymous federal law enforcement authorities say “the shooting happened quickly and happened in a concentrated area.” Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
Father of Sandy Hook Elementary School third grade student Stephen Delgiudice describes to CBS News what his daughter heard over the loudspeaker from the principal’s office. This prompted the teacher to lock the classroom door. “We have a pretty good program in Newtown,” Delgiudice says. “where basically a code red reverse 911 type of a call, and a, came through. [It said] there’s a shooting at the school and naturally I obeyed the speed limit and drove immediately to the school. And ah, y’know it was just mass-mass chaos. I finally got to my daughter—a friend of mine led me to my daughter. I wanted to see her face and hold her, which I did, and once I did that there was a sense of relief, but, uhm, it was just chaos.” Crimesider Staff, “Connecticut School Shooting: Father Says Student Heard Commotion Over Loudspeaker,” CBS News, December 14, 2012.
President Obama addresses nation. “As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago – these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
A federal law enforcement official informs CNN that “shooter arrived and headed directly toward and to his mother’s classroom. That and the other information now emerging – another family member killed, police interviews – lead them to believe his mother was the primary target. But they note he also came armed with clear intention of mass killing.” Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
There were a total of 27 people dead at the school, Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police tells assembled reporters. “Eighteen students were pronounced dead at the scene, and two others died at the hospital.” In addition, six adults were pronounced dead at the scene. Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
CNN now reports “three guns found at the scene … the third weapon found on the scene was a .223 Bushmaster. The other weapons, previously reported, are a Glock, and a Sig-Sauer. No word on the models of Glock or Sig-Sauer.” Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
Witnesses attest to seeing bloodied children, hearing as many as 100 shots, and “loud booms.” “It was horrendous,” parent Brenda Lebinski said, who rushed to the school where her daughter is a third grade student. “Everyone was in hysterics – parents, students. There were kids coming out of the school bloodied. I don’t know if they were shot, but they were bloodied.” Lebinski said another parent in the school “during the shooting told her a ‘masked man’ entered the principal’s office and may have shot the principal. Lebinski, who is friends with the mother who was at the school, said the principal was “’severely injured.’” Lebinski’s daughter’s teacher “immediately locked the door to the classroom and put all the kids in the corner of the room.” Nearby resident Melissa Murphy listened to events unfold on a police scanner. “’I kept hearing them call for the mass casualty kit and scream, “Send everybody! Send everybody!” Murphy said. ‘It doesn’t seem like it can be really happening. I feel like I’m in shock.’” A girl interviewed by an NBC Connecticut affiliate said she heard seven loud “booms” while in gym class. “A police officer came in and told us to run outside and so we did,” the unidentified girl said on camera. Dan Burns and Chris Kaufman, “Connecticut Gun Rampage: 28 Dead, Including 20 Children,” Reuters, December 14, 2012.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls for greater gun control measures. “We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress,” Bloomberg said. “That must end today.” Dan Burns and Chris Kaufman, “Connecticut Gun Rampage: 28 Dead, Including 20 Children,” Reuters, December 14, 2012.
US officials representing three different lettered agencies separately identify the suspected shooter as Adam Lanza, in contrast to what investigators said earlier in the day. No explanation is given regarding what prompted confusion among investigators. Lanza’s older brother, Ryan, was taken into custody for general questioning in Hoboken, New Jersey but was not labeled a suspect. “Children and Adults Gunned Down in School Massacre,” CNN, December 14, 2012.
Fox News presents “newly released police dispatch audio” of exchange between 911 dispatcher and Newtown Police and Connecticut State Police encountering two shooting suspects on school grounds. “I have reports that the teacher saw two shadows running past the building, past the gym which would be rear [inaudible].” “Yeah, we got him. He’s coming at me, down [inaudible].” “911 Call Dispatch Audio Reveals Police Response to Sandy Hook School Shooting,” Fox News, December 14, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16AfZXH33eQ
CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° reports on the Sandy Hook tragedy using video footage from an apparently unrelated event. “At 0:06 in and at 1:02 into the following video on CNN’s website,” the alternative news outlet Intellhub observes, “[y]ou will notice the police running through a cross walk area that simply does not exist at Sandy Hook Elementary. Take note of the rounded curb area that leads into a grassy area of some sort with a tree present in the center of the grassy area. This area does not exist on Sandy Hook Elementary Schools property.” CNN, “Tragedy Strikes at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Anderson Cooper 360°, December 14, 2012.
Police recover long gun from automobile in Sandy Hook parking lot. “Police Find Long Gun in Trunk of Car in Sandy Hook Parking Lot, Newtown Connecticut,” NBC News, December 14, 2012.
Unexpurgated NBC News video coverage of Connecticut State Police press conference reveals (at 2:32) forensics team recovering two long guns from vehicle Adam Lanza’s allegedly drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School. NBC News, “Connecticut School Massacre Briefing from Local Police,” Youtube, December 14, 2012.
CBS correspondent notes how police have a second shooting suspect in custody who they are interrogating. “Well, they have an individual in custody, who they’re talking to. I am told they’re looking into the person as possibly a second shooter. Now that changes the dynamics here a little bit which goes from—if in fact this turns out to be confirmed—it goes from a lone gunman scenario where somebody has this argument with society and wants to take revenge with the most defenseless people in society to a team of individuals who’ve gotten together and conspired to do something like this.” “School Shooting: Possible Second Gunman in Custody,” CBS News Online, December 14, 2012.
The Associated Press interviews an unidentified Sandy Hook Elementary student who describes seeing a shooting suspect prone on the ground in the school’s parking lot. Unidentified student: “And then the police like were knocking on the door, and they’re like, ‘We’re evacuating people! We’re evacuating people!’ So we ran out. There’s police about at every door. They’re leading us, ‘Down this way. Down this way. Quick! Quick! Come on!’ Then we ran down to the firehouse. There’s a man pinned down to the ground with handcuffs on. And we thought that was the victim [sic]. We really didn’t get a good glance at him because there was a car blocking it. Plus we were running really quick.” “Raw: Student Describes Scene at School Shooting,” Associated Press, December 14, 2012.
Newtown residents who knew the Lanzas and relatives speak to Hartford Courant reporters. Andrew Lapple was in homeroom with Lanza, describing the boy as a skinny, somewhat timid kid “who never really talked at all.” “Lapple said he played Little League baseball with Lanza,” the Courant reports, “and remembers he wasn’t very good. Instead, Lanza was more of a ‘tech-geek,’ he said. ‘He was always carrying around his laptop holding onto it real tight,” Lapple said. ‘He walked down the halls against the wall almost like he was afraid of people. He was definitely kind of strange but you’d never think he’d do something like this.’” Another classmate recalled Lanza as being especially reserved. Kateleen Soy said she was in Lanza’s seventh-grade class at St. Rose of Lima School in Newtown. She recalled Lanza entered the class after the school year was underway and departed before the spring term ended. “He was really shy, really painfully shy,” Soy said.”He was a little hard to talk to.” Soy then recalled seeing him in the hallway when they were both students at Newtown High School. “I wanted people to know he wasn’t always a monster,” Soy said. “He became one, but he wasn’t always that way.” Former bus driver Marsha Moskowitz recalled the Lanza brothers. “You know the trouble kids, and you figure, ‘Pfft, that one’s going to be trouble.’ But I never would have thought that about them,” she said. Moskowitz encountered Nancy Lanza a few weeks prior and “exchanged pleasantries,” the report says. Adam Lanza’s grandmother, Dorothy Hanson, 78, told The Associated Press she was too distraught to speak when reached by phone at her home in Brooksville, Fla. “I just don’t know, and I can’t make a comment right now,” Hanson said in a shaky voice as she started to cry. She declined to comment further and hung up. Matthew Kauffman, “Gunman Kills 26 at Sandy Hook School in Newtown,” Hartford Courant, December 14, 2012.
Neighbors and friends of 52-year old Nancy Lanza interviewed by Hartford Courant staff say
she was a kind woman with a sense of humor. Slender, with short hair, Lanza was a fixture at neighborhood events such as the Labor Day parade, and had a special interest in Christmas lights.” Lanza’s friend and neighbor Rhonda Cullens fought back tears Friday afternoon in the doorway of her home on Founders Lane, just around the corner from the Lanza residence. She said she met Nancy Lanza playing bunco, a popular dice game, with a group of women in the neighborhood, but she hadn’t seen her for years since she stopped playing with the group. “She was just a sweet, caring person,” Cullens said.
Matthew Kauffman, “Gunman Kills 26 at Sandy Hook School in Newtown,” Hartford Courant, December 14, 2012.
Larry Barton, a professor at The American College in Pennsylvania who has researched violence in workplaces, public spaces and schools for 30 years says the Sandy Hook massacre may be the largest elementary school shooting in world history. This is because most incidents of this nature involve high school or college students. “This is among the most diabolical crimes, to kill kindergarten-age children,” Barton said. “It’s very rare.” Matthew Kauffman, “Gunman Kills 26 at Sandy Hook School in Newtown,” Hartford Courant, December 14, 2012.
- December 15
State Police Lt. J. Paul Advance on ABC’s Good Morning America with George Stephanopoulos. Vance: This is something that’s going to take a significant amount of time. From the onset we’ve had teams looking into the background of [Adam Lanza], peeling back the layers of the onion, so to speak. We have many, many questions that we need to ask—that we need to explore. Stephanopoulos: Three guns found on site? Vance: We haven’t discussed that as of yet, but, uh, in excess of three guns. Stephanopoulos: More than three guns. And we know also that the guns match those of his mother may have had. Have you been able to put that together yet?” Vance: We’re—we’re—I don’t have that information specifically– Stephanopoulos: Do you know if they were obtained legally? Vance: Again, that’s something we would also have to explore during the investigation. ABC News, “Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” Good Morning America, December 15, 2012.
Sandy Hook resident Gene Rosen comes forth with story that he encountered six first grade children from Sandy Hook Elementary in his front lawn while feeding his cats. “I thought they were practicing for a play or Cub Scouts, and I went and approached them and it became clear that they were so distressed,” Rosen told CBS News. “And I took them into my house, and they were crying and talking, and I got them into my house, and they were crying and talking [sic], and I got them some stuffed animals.” “Neighbor Found Terrified Children on Front Lawn after School Massacre,” CBS New York, December 15, 2012.
Federal and state officials confirm to NBC News that there were four handguns recovered in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Previous reports indicated that two handguns were recovered. Officials also confirm that Adam Lanza left the AR15 military style rifle in his automobile. “They say now that there were actually four handguns inside the school,” Pete Williams reports from Newtown, “not just two as we were initially told. Four handguns and apparently only handguns that were taken into the school. We knew that Adam Lanza, the man said to be the gunman here, also had an ‘assault-style’ AR-15 -style rifle that he had had taken to the school, it was in the car he drove there, his mother’s car, but we have been told by several officials that he had left that in the car.” Pete Williams, Today Show, NBC News, December 15, 2012. Kyle Becker, “NBC Admitted: No ‘Assault Rifle’ Used in Newtown Shooting,” Independent Journal Review, January 15, 2013.
MSNBC: “Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver provides an update to the media after he and his team examined the victims’ bodies at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown following Friday’s shootings.” In this exchange Carver and State Police drastically change the story on what weapons were used in the shooting, contending that the Bushmaster 223 was the sole weapon Lanza wielded. Carver exhibits an amazing degree of deferral to law enforcement and overall lack of knowledge about the postmortem operation he has just presided over. For example, a reporter asks, “Were [the students] sitting at their desks or were they running away when this happened?” Carver responds, “I’ll let the guys who—the scene guys talk—address that issue. I, uh, obviously I was at the scene. Obviously I’m very experienced in that. But there are people who are, uh, the number one professionals in that. I’ll let them—let that [voice trails off].” Shortly thereafter another reporter asks, “How many boys and how many girls [were killed]?” Carver shakes his head slowly, “I don’t know.” “Medical Examiner: Rifle Primary Weapon Used in Shootings,” MSNBC, December 15, 2012.
List of Sandy Hook Elementary victims is released. “Police Release Names of Newtown School Shooting Victims,” Hartford Courant, December 15, 2012,.
Federal authorities confirm there is no record of Adam Lanza using local Newtown shooting range. Michael Isikoff and Hannah Rappleye, “Mom of Suspected Shooter-First to Die—Was Avid Gun Enthusiast, Friend Says,” NBC News, December 15, 2012.
Federal officials claim Lanza took three weapons to Sandy Hook Elementary, a Glock and Sig Sauer, and a Bushmaster .223-caliber semiautomatic assault-style rifle. Authorities remain unclear on whether all guns were used in the attack. Michael Isikoff and Hannah Rappleye, “Mom of Suspected Shooter-First to Die—Was Avid Gun Enthusiast, Friend Says,” NBC News, December 15, 2012.
“An official with knowledge of the investigation” informs the Associated Press that three weapons were found inside Sandy Hook Elementary on or near Adam Lanza’s body—a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle, a Glock 10mm pistol, and a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol. “Three other guns have also been recovered, but it was not clear where they were found, the official told AP. They were a Henry repeating rifle, an Enfield rifle and a shotgun.” Matt Appuzo and Pete Yost, “Connecticut Shooter Adam Lanza’s Guns Were Registered to Mother Nancy Lanza: Official,” Associated Press/Huffington Post, December 15, 2012.
Adam Lanza’s aunt Marsha Lanza describes Nancy Lanza as “meticulous” and “self-reliant,” pointing out that she kept three guns in the home “for self-defense.” “She would never leave the guns out,” Marsha Lanza asserts. Josh Kovner and Edmund H. Mahoney, “Adam Lanza: A ‘Quiet, Odd’ Loner Living on the Fringes,” Hartford Courant, December 15, 2012.
Law enforcement officials state the murder weapon was one of three guns owned by Nancy Lanza: a semiautomatic rifle or two semiautomatic pistols. Josh Kovner and Edmund H. Mahoney, “Adam Lanza: A ‘Quiet, Odd’ Loner Living on the Fringes,” Hartford Courant, December 15, 2012.
Investigators believe Adam Lanza’s behavior was consistent with Asperger’s syndrome, a disorder within “the autism spectrum … marked by difficulty with social interaction. Many with Asperger’s are otherwise high-functioning people. There is no pre-disposition toward violence, experts said.” Josh Kovner and Edmund H. Mahoney, “Adam Lanza: A ‘Quiet, Odd’ Loner Living on the Fringes,” Hartford Courant, December 15, 2012.
Law enforcement authorities provide press with detailed information on event which becomes bedrock “official” storyline that Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. After shooting his mother twice in the head while she lie in bed Lanza proceeded to Sandy Hook Elementary where he “fired a half-dozen thunderous rounds from a semiautomatic rifle to open a hole big enough to step through in one of the school’s glass doors.” He entered the school and shot Principal Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach who after hearing the “sounds of gunfire and shattering glass, bolted into a corridor from a conference room across the hall from the classrooms … The first classroom Lanza reached was teacher Kaitlin Roig’s. Alarmed by the gunfire, Roig hid her students in a bathroom and closed her classroom door. Lanza passed by Roig’s classroom in lieu of substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau’s, shooting all 14 children who investigators believe were huddled and clutching one another in fear, in addition to Rousseau and a special education teacher who happened to be in the room. Lanza next arrived at teacher Victoria Soto’s classroom, who is believed to have hidden her 6- and 7-year old students in a closet. When Lanza demanded to know where the children were, Soto tried to divert him to the other end of the school by saying that her students were in the auditorium. As six of Soto’s students attempted to flee Lanza shot them, Soto and another teacher in the room. Searching for survivors police found the remaining seven of Soto’s students still hiding in the closet. They told the police what had happened. The two teacher’s aides who were killed were Mary Anne Murphy and Rachel Davino. It was unclear which aide was in which room when they were killed. The first officer arriving at the school found Lanza’s body near the door of Soto’s classroom. The intense violence lasted about 10 minutes. Lanza fired at least three, 30-round magazines with deadly accuracy. Two of the people he shot survived. All of the victims were shot multiple times. ‘I did seven (autopsies) myself with three to 11 wounds apiece,’ Chief State Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver III said Saturday. ‘Only two were shot at close range. I believe everybody was hit (by bullets) more than once.’” Edward H. Mahoney and Dave Altimari, “A Methodical Massacre, Horror and Heroics,” Hartford Courant, December 15, 2012.
- December 16
“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.”—Adam Lanza’s father Peter Lanza said in a statement. Jonathan Dienst, “Conn. Shooting Suspect Adam Lanza’s Father: ‘We Too Are Asking Why,’” NBC News, December 16, 2012.
On CBS’s Face the Nation Bob Orr remarked that at least two computers at the Lanza residence were “smashed to smithereens.” CBS correspondent and former FBI agent John Miller noted “that subpoenas have been issued for all of the shooter’s email accounts and his mother’s accounts, including all of the ‘sent’ mail and ‘received’ mail over a long period of time. Miller said that Lanza’s mother, Nancy, had battled with the school system and eventually took her son out of the schools and home-schooled him.” Christopher Keating, “Newtown Update: CBS Says Two Computers ‘Smashed to Smithereens’ In Lanza Home in Newtown; Subpoenas for All Emails of Mother and Shooter,” Capitol Watch, Courantblogs, December 16, 2012, n.t. [Such programs are typically taped the preceding Friday afternoon.-JT]
Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance states Adam Lanza possessed “an extraordinary amount of weaponry … In addition to an assault-style rifle and at least two handguns, he also had a shotgun in reserve in the car he drove to the school.” Lance claims that when Lanza’s body was found he “still had ‘hundreds of rounds’ of ammunition in multiple magazines, after having already fired hundreds of rounds inside the school.” M. Alex Johnson, “Very Heavily Armed Gunman Shot Mother Multiple Times Before Killing 26 at Connecticut School, Police Say,” NBC News, December 16, 2012.
Details emerge on Adam Lanza enrolling at Western Connecticut State University in 2008 at age 16. Lanza successfully completed six courses “including website production, data modeling, Philosophy 101 and ethical theory — and compiled a solid 3.26 grade-point average.” University officials claim Lanza presented no disciplinary concerns. M. Alex Johnson, “Very Heavily Armed Gunman Shot Mother Multiple Times Before Killing 26 at Connecticut School, Police Say,” NBC News, December 16, 2012.
President Obama travels to Newtown to address grieving community and repeatedly allude to gun control legislation in an 18 minute speech. “We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change. Since I’ve been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings, [the] fourth time we’ve hugged survivors, the fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims … Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?” Daniela Altimari, “We Must Change, President Tells Nation,” Hartford Courant, December 16, 2012, 11:16PM EST.
Alex Israel was in the same class at Newtown High School with Adam Lanza, who lived a few houses down from her. “You could definitely tell he was a genius,” Israel says. “He was really quiet, he kept to himself.” Lanza’s former bus driver regarded Lanza as “’a nice kid, very polite’ like his brother.” Another former classmate remarked that Lanza “was just a kid” — not a troublemaker, not antisocial, not suggesting in any way that he could erupt like this.” Michael Martinez and David Ariosto, “Adam Lanza’s Family: Mom Liked Parlor Games, Guns; Dad, a Tax Exec, Remarried,” CNN.com, December 16, 2012.
Connecticut State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance tells the Huffington Post that Adam Lanza specifically used the Bushmaster .223 rifle to carry out all of the Sandy Hook murders. “Adam Lanza used a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle during his rampage through Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday,” the Huffington Post reports, “firing dozens of high-velocity rounds as he killed 20 children and six adults … Lanza, 20, carried ‘many high-capacity clips’ for the lightweight military-style rifle, Lt. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, told The Huffington Post in an email. Two handguns and a shotgun were also recovered at the scene. John Rudolf and Janet Ross, “School Shooter Adam Lanza Used Military-Style Bushmaster Rifle,” Huffington Post, December 16, 2012.
Senator Dianne Feinstein announces that she intends to introduce legislation reauthorizing a federal assault weapons ban originally passed in the early 1990s during the Clinton administration that was allowed to lapse in 2004. John Rudolf and Janet Ross, “School Shooter Adam Lanza Used Military-Style Bushmaster Rifle,” Huffington Post, December 16, 2012.
Health science and investigative writer Mike Adams observes that much like the Tucson Arizona, Aurora Colorado, and Wisconsin Sikh temple shootings, mass media are scrubbing their coverage and doctoring the storyline to obscure the fact that there were additional suspects and probable shooters at the crime scene. Mike Adams, “Newtown School Shttps://memorygapdotorg.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1504&action=edithooting Already Being Changed by the Media to Eliminate Eyewitness Reports of a Second Shooter,” Natural News, December 16, 2012, n.t.
- December 17
Connecticut State Police announce they have taken over all crimes scenes connected to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting for an indefinite time as their investigation proceeds. “[We have] seized the crime scenes under search warrant [and are] holding on to them indefinitely,” Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance told reporters at a morning press conference. David Lohr, “Sandy Hook Crime Scene: Police ‘Indefinitely’ Seize All Sites Connected to Shooting,” Huffington Post, December 17, 2012.
Divorce records reveal the parents of Adam Lanza had joint custody of their son and that Lanza’s father paid yearly alimony totaling $240,000 in 2010, $265,000 in 2011 and $289,800 in 2012. Nancy and Peter Lanza’s divorce cited irreconcilable and was made final in September 2009. The divorce decree designated Adam Lanza’s primary residence with his mother in the Yogananda Street address which Peter Lanza quitclaimed to Nancy. Peter was designated as solely responsible for the cost of college for Adam and brother Ryan and for buying Adam a car. Nancy Lanza seldom discussed domestic affairs with friends. She was otherwise regarded as very open and generous. Allaine Griffith, “After Divorce, Lanzas Had Joint Custody of Adam,” Hartford Courant, December 17, 2012.
A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is uncertain whether Nancy Lanza brought her son to the range or whether he ever fired a weapon there. Allaine Griffith, “After Divorce, Lanzas Had Joint Custody of Adam,” Hartford Courant, December 17, 2012.
Sandy Hook Elementary nurse Sally Cox tells ABC of her encounter with gunman on the morning of December 14 as she crouched underneath her desk. “I could see him from the knees down, 20 feet away, his boots were facing my desk,” Cox said in an interview on Good Morning America. “It was seconds… and then he turned and walked out and I heard the door close.” The 60-year-old staff member then heard “loud popping noises” outside the infirmary. Cox was joined by a school secretary and together they dialed 911 before hiding in a supply closet. Lauren Effron, “Sandy Hook School Nurse Hid From Shooter, ‘His Boots Were Facing My Desk,’” ABC News, December 17, 2012.
Funerals for massacre victims begin in Newtown, with first being for 6 year old Sandy Hook first-grader Jack Pinto. “There are many ways to measure what was lost Friday morning at Sandy Hook,” the Washington Post observes, “a school shooting that has spurred a national debate about public safety and a speech by the president. But no accounting of the damage was as searing as the one that began Monday, when parents stepped behind lecterns and spoke about the children they would miss.” Eli Saslow and Steve Vogel, “Funerals for Newtown Massacre Victims Begin,” Washington Post, December 17, 2012.
Two witnesses in Sandy Hook school shooting are unidentified adults. “There are two adults that were injured in the facility—in the school—and suffered gunshot wounds and are recovering,” Connecticut State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance stated. “Our investigators will in fact speak with them when it’s medically appropriate, and certainly they will shed a great deal of light on the facts and circumstances of this tragic investigation that we’re undertaking.” [Vance’s emphasis] “Key Witnesses in Connecticut School Shooting are Survivors,” Hartford Courant, December 17, 2012.
A special broadcast of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s syndicated television program is devoted to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Oz asks “Louie,” a Sandy Hook 3rd grader, “what you remember from that day.” “I remember that a lot–a lot of policemen were in the, uhm, school,” Louie responds. “Uhm, well, a lot–I was like [pause] hiding under–when we were having a drill we were hiding under, like … ” As Louie hesitates and takes several deep breaths, his mother nudges him while Oz taps the boy on the shoulder and changes the subject. “Take your time. There’s no hurry. Let me ask you, What would you like to say to your teachers?” Semuj1, Hurry–D/L Dr. Oz Interview, Sandy Hook Third Grader Louis ‘Having a Drill‘ – National TV,” Youtube, February 4, 2013; See also The Dr. Oz Show, “Dr. Oz Visits Newtown,” n.d.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveils “Demand a Plan” campaign, sponsored by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns bipartisan coalition that requests Congress and President Obama move immediately on gun control measures. Bloomberg calls Washington’s inability to act a “stain on our nation’s commitment to protect our children.” Carlo Delaverson, “NYC Mayor Launches Campaign Against Gun Violence,” NBC News, December 17, 2012.
- December 18
Infowars reporter Rob Dew utilizes overlooked excerpts from CBS and Associated Press coverage of the massacre to explain how there were additional shooter suspects apprehended by law enforcement on the morning of December 14 that have been left unaccounted for and since dropped from public view. Rob Dew, “Sandy Hook 2nd Shooter Coverup,” Infowars Nightly News, December 18, 2012.
Teresa Rousseau, mother of slain Sandy Hook teacher Lauren Rousseau, states that her daughter’s 2004 Honda Civic was “riddled with bullet holes” when law enforcement authorities removed it from the school’s parking lot. Henrick Karolizyn and Larry McShane, “Mother of Substitute Teacher, Lauren Rousseau, Killed in Newtown Massacre Stunned: ‘We Survive War, She Dies Teaching,’” New York Daily News. Also, excerpt of newscast, “Lauren Rousseau’s Car is Riddled with Bullet Holes in Sandy Hook Parking Lot,” n.t. or date.
- December 19
Law enforcement authorities claim Adam Lanza was equipped with three weapons as he entered Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14: a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and two handguns — a Glock 10 mm and a Sig Sauer 9 mm. A shotgun was left in his car. Authorities say Lanza used one of the handguns to take his own life but have not disclosed whether it was the Glock or the Sig Sauer. “In fact,” CNN observes, “many details remain unknown about the weapons Lanza used that day to kill 20 children, his own mother, six other adults and then himself.” Steve Almasy, “Newtown Shooter’s Guns: What We Know,” CNN, December 19, 2012.
Connecticut Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver II says he will work with a University of Connecticut geneticist to determine what prompted Adam Lanza to act. “I’m exploring with the department of genetics what might be possible, if anything is possible [sic],” Carver says. “Is there any identifiable disease associated with this behavior?” David Owens, “Obama Calls for New Proposals for Gun Control in Wake of Newtown Massacre,” Hartford Courant, December 19, 2012.
Hundreds attend wake of Sandy Hook Principal Dawn Hochsprung, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, US Senator Richard Blumenthal and US Senator-elect Chris Murphy. Matthew Kauffman, “Communities Say Farewell to Four More Victims of Newtown Shootings,” Hartford Courant, December 19, 2012.
- December 20
US Attorney General Eric Holder makes unannounced visit to Newtown to meet with Sandy Hook first responders following a meeting in Washington with Vice President Joe Biden, presumably to discuss forthcoming gun control legislation. “Holder to Meet with First Responders in Newtown,” Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press/Hartford Courant, December 20, 2012.
Further analysis by alternative news media points to additional Sandy Hook shooting suspects overlooked by corporate media. Niall Bradley, “Sandy Hook Massacre: Official Story Spins Out of Control,” Veterans Today, December 20, 2012; James F. Tracy, “The Newtown School Tragedy: More Than One Gunman?” Global Research, December 20, 2012.
- December 26
Connecticut State Attorney General Stephen Sedensky files court plea to postpone release of contents yielded through five search warrants. Sedensky argues that unsealing such findings might “seriously jeopardize” the investigation by divulging evidence heretofore known only to other “potential suspects.” Pointing to “information in the search warrant affidavits that is not known to the general public,” Sedensky also contends that opening the warrants would “identify persons cooperating with the investigation, thus possibly jeopardizing their personal safety and well-being.” Ralph Lopez, “Sandy Hook DA Cites ‘Potential Suspects,’ Fears Witness Safety,” Digital Journal, February 5, 2013.
Witness to shooting Becky Virgalla interviewed by Connecticut news media. [Video of interview at Hartford Courant website has since been taken down.] “Witness to the Sandy Hook Massacre,” Hartford Courant, December 26, 2012. See Deborah Lutterbeck, “Witness to the Sandy Hook Massacre,” Reuters, December 23, 2012.
- December 27
The Newtown Bee reports a “reliable local law enforcement source” asserts the “man with a gun who was spotted in the woods near the school on the day of the incident was an off-duty tactical squad police officer.” Adam Gorosko, “Police Union Seeks Funding for Trauma Treatment,” December 27, 2012.
- December 28
Attorney Irv Pinsky asks State of Connecticut Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. for permission to file $100 million dollar lawsuit on behalf of unnamed 6-year-old Sandy Hook student for negligence and trauma suffered after hearing screaming, cursing, and gunfire over school’s intercom system. As a result, the “child has sustained emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and extent of which are yet to be determined,” the proposed claim asserts. Pinsky’s claim also alleges “that the state Board of Education, Department of Education and Education Commissioner had failed to take appropriate steps to protect children from ‘foreseeable harm.’” Mary Ellen Godin, “Claim Seeks $100 Million for Child Survivor of Connecticut School Shooting,” Reuters, December 28, 2012.
- December 23-30
Adam Lanza’s body reportedly turned over by Connecticut Medical Examiner to father Peter Lanza “sometime last week.” “Father Claims Adam Lanza’s Body,” Hartford Courant, December 31, 2012, 3:38PM.
- December 29
As part of their investigation Connecticut State Police will not recreate what took place in Sand Hook Elementary on December 14 or interview any of the surviving students. Instead, police consider recreating the Sandy Hook School massacre parking lot scene to determine if the bullets fired into the lot were strays the gunman fired in teacher Victoria Soto’s first grade classroom, or if he was firing directly at arriving officers. Investigators have completed trajectory work in the classroom but wish to line up the police cars and see if some of the bullets were potentially aimed at them. No police cruisers were hit and no officers. The partial re-creation will in all probability be the last analysis state police conduct on school grounds before concluding that portion of the investigation. Dave Altimari, Jon Lender, and Edmund H. Mahoney, “Police to Re-Create Scene Outside Sandy Hook School,” Hartford Courant, December 29, 2013.
- December 31
Connecticut Attorney General says $100 million claim against state on behalf of 6 year old Sandy Hook student is “misguided,” and maintains that “a public policy response by the U.S. Congress and the Connecticut state legislature would be ‘more appropriate’ than legal action.” Edith Honan, “Connecticut Attorney General Says Newtown Legal Claim Misguided,” Reuters/Hartford Courant, December 31, 2012.
- January 1
State Attorney General George Jepsen says lawsuit brought against state lacks a “valid basis.” According to a report Jepsen said “the claims commissioner’s office was not the appropriate venue for a discussion about the shooting.” Amanda Falcone, Request to Sue State for Newtown Shooting Has No Basis, Attorney General Says,” Hartford Courant, January 1, 2013.
New Haven attorney Irving Pinsky withdraws claim on behalf of traumatized Sandy Hook student after receiving new evidence. “If the state were liable in this instance, where would the state’s liability ever end?” State Attorney General George Jepsen said. Brian Dowling and Hilda Munoz, “Attorney Withdrawing Request to Sue State in Sandy Hook Shootings,” Hartford Courant, January 1, 2013.
- January 2
Jean Henry, a processing technician for the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is placed on a paid leave pending an investigation of an incident on December 16 where she permitted her husband, an unauthorized employee, to view the body of alleged mass killer Adam Lanza. Jon Lender and Dave Altimari, “State Worker Placed on Leave After Showing Husband Adam Lanza’s Body,” Hartford Courant, January 2, 2013.
- January 3
Sandy Hook students return to classes 7 miles south of Newtown at Chalk Hill School in Monroe Connecticut. The school was closed about two years ago and recently cleaned and painted to accommodate students. Amanda Falcone, “Sandy Hook Students Back in Class,” Hartford Courant, 5:18PM EST, January 3, 2013.
Connecticut State Attorney’s Office and State Police refuse to give timeline for Sandy Hook shooting investigation. “It cannot be stated too often how invaluable and necessary the work of the United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other federal agencies was and is to this investigation,” State Attorney General Stephen J. Sedensky III said. Christine Dempsey, “No Timeline for Newtown Shooting Probe,” Hartford Courant, January 3, 2013.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy announces intensified gun control measures and mental health protocols and intervention through establishment of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission. The “expert panel that will review current policy and make specific recommendations in the areas of public safety, with particular attention paid to school safety, mental health, and gun violence prevention.” “We don’t yet know the underlying cause behind this tragedy, and we probably never will,” Malloy said. “But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. I want the commission to have the ability to study every detail, so they can help craft meaningful legislative and policy changes.” The committee’s initial report is due to the Governor by March 15. Governor Daniel P. Malloy, “Gov. Malloy Creates Sandy Hook Advisory Commission to Address Key Areas in Violence Prevention” (press release), State of Connecticut Governor’s Office, January 3, 2013, n.t.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg meets privately in his office with former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was almost fatally shot at a constituent meeting in Tucson in January 2011. The sit-down was not listed on Bloomberg’s public schedule and a Bloomberg aide refused to state what was discussed. Holly Bailey, “Bloomberg Meets with Gabrielle Giffords on Gun Control,” Yahoo News, January 3, 2013, n.t.
- January 4
Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords visits Newtown families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook shooting. John Christoffersen, “Wounded ex-Rep Giffords Meets with Conn. Families,” Associated Press/Yahoo News, January 5.
- January 6
Police say Adam Lanza used a pair of earplugs during his alleged December 14 shooting spree. Investigators surmise Lanza may have developed the habit while frequenting gun ranges “or to muffle children’s screams during his shooting rampage.” “‘It’s just weird [that he popped in earplugs] given what he was about to go do,’ a source said. ‘It’s not like he had to worry about long-term protection of his hearing because he had to know he wasn’t coming back out of the building.’ Police say Lanza was wearing an olive green utility vest packed with 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster .223 rifle. Lanza left a 20 round capacity shotgun in the trunk of the car he drove to the school. Authorities say each gun was “registered to his mother, Nancy Lanza, and appear to have been bought legally between 2010 and 2012 … Police also found bullets outside the school in the parking lot, including some in at least three cars belonging to school personnel, including Rousseau’s car.” David Altimarti and Jon Lender, “Sandy Hook Shooter Adam Lanza Wore Earplugs,” Hartford Courant, January 6, 2013.
- January 11
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper launches blistering attack on Florida Atlantic University Professor James F. Tracy for “spinning conspiracy theories” and declining to appear on his cable news program, Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees. “His name is James Tracy. This is a picture of him,” Cooper fumed a la Geraldo Rivera, as a photo of Tracy appeared on screen. “This is what he looks like. James Tracy is his name. Now, he claims the shooting did not happen as reported and may not have happened at all.” Earlier that day, CNN and Cooper sent their regional reporter John Zarrella to Tracy’s place of employment, where he accosted the dean of his college to ascertain Tracy’s location, eventually interviewing the university president. Zarrella and his crew then proceeded to Tracy’s residence where they taped and aired video footage while telephoning for an on-camera interview. Tracy spoke to Zarrella via telephone and issued this statement, a portion of which was read on-air, informing Zarrella that his family preferred Tracy retreat from the limelight. Throughout the segment Cooper appeared indignant that he and CNN’s journalistic efforts in the wake of the December 14 tragedy would be questioned. “To suggest that reporters on the ground didn’t work to find out what happened there on the ground is beyond crazy,” Cooper opined. “Everybody asked questions. That’s what we do.” According to Cooper, an invitation to appear on the program remains open. Anderson Cooper and John Zarrella, “KTH: Exposing Newtown Conspiracy Theory,” Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees, January 11, 2013.
- January 13
Newtown city officials convene community to float proposal of demolishing Sandy Hook Elementary School. “Newtown First Selectwoman E. Patricia Llodra said that in addition to the community meetings, the town is planning private gatherings with the victims’ families to talk about the school’s future. She said the aim is to finalize a plan by March.” “Newtown Weighs Fate of Sandy Hook Elementary School Building,” Associated Press/New York Post, January 13, 2013.
- January 14
Probate records are filed for Nancy Lanza, the mother of Sandy Hook school shooter Adam Lanza. The estate’s value is not reflected in the probate. No will is recorded. Ryan Lanza asks for an attorney to be appointed as temporary administrator in order to track assets and determine whether Nancy Lanza had a will. Dave Altimari, “Nancy Lanza’s Probate Record Filed,” Hartford Courant, January 14, 2013.
- January 18
“To eliminate any confusion or misinformation” Connecticut State Police reiterate the weapons found at the Sandy Hook Elementary School crime scene. “#1. Bushmaster .223 caliber– model XM15-E2S rifle with high capacity 30 round magazine; #2. Glock 10 mm handgun; #3. Sig-Sauer P226 9mm handgun; #4. Izhmash Canta-12 12 gauge Shotgun (seized from car in parking lot).” Lt. J. Paul Vance, “Update: State Police Identify Weapons Used in Sandy Hook Investigation [sic]; Investigation Continues,” State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, January 18, 2013.
- January 24
The16-member Sandy Hook Advisory Commission established by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to study the Newtown massacre and make recommendations for legislative and public policy changes begins work forty days after the event. Taking its lead from President Obama’s January 16 Executive Orders ostensibly intended to “curb gun violence,” the study group appears poised to link firearms ownership with “public safety” and mental health. “Gov. Malloy tells the commission that its tasks were both critically important and extremely difficult — to balance Second Amendment rights with public safety, to improve school safety, and even to help find ways to ‘reduce the stigma of mental illness. I believe that responsible, law-abiding citizens of our state have a right to bear arms — but that right cannot come at the expense of public safety,’ Malloy said. ‘We need to develop a common sense way to regulate access to guns.’” Connecticut is presently among states with the strongest gun laws and law enforcement authorities maintain that Adam Lanza’s mother legally obtained the weapons used in the massacre. Jon Lender, “Sandy Hook Commission Begins Work,” Hartford Courant, January 24, 2013.
- January 28
Parents of three children killed in the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre testify through the day and into the night on proposed tougher gun laws. They appeared before state legislators serving on the Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety. An estimated 2,100 people attended the public hearing at the state Capitol complex. “Noah was our 6-year-old force of nature,” Veronique Pozner said of her son who was slain in the shooting. “He lies forever motionless in the earth. He will never get to attend middle school or high school, kiss a girl, attend college, pick a career path, fall in love, marry, have children or travel the world. This is not about the right to bear arms,” Pozner said. “It is about the right to bear weapons with the capacity of mass destruction. … The time is now. Let the state of Connecticut become an agent for change. Assault weapons should be comprehensively banned. … The equation is terrifyingly simple: Faster weapons equal more fatalities.” Although the parents shared their grief and a desire for a specific government intervention, they were divided between the two camps: gun owners and firearms industry representatives, and proponents of stronger gun restrictions. Mark Mattioli, father of James, another child killed, said new gun controls are not right response to the massacre. “I believe in simple [and] few gun laws,” he said. “I think we have more than enough on the books. We should hold people individually accountable for their actions and we should enforce laws appropriately. And I would say we’re not currently enforcing them appropriately.” Jon Lender and Christopher Keating, “Parents of Massacre Victims United in Grief, Divided on Gun Control,” Hartford Courant, January 28, 2013.
- January 30
Witnesses of the December 14 massacre, including parents, educators and first responders, testify at Newtown High School before state legislators serving on the Bipartisan Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety. Redding CT Police Chief Douglas Fuchs states: “By 9:45 that morning I found myself with two other Redding police officers and Redding EMF standing in the parking lot of Sandy Hook School.” First reports of shots being fired at Sandy Hook was at 9:35AM. The distance from the Redding Police Department to Sandy Hook Elementary is 11.9 miles and takes 26 minutes to travel at legal speed. Assuming Fuchs and his cohorts were traveling at twice the legal speed (120MPH) to the school it would take them 13 minutes to arrive at 9:45AM. This is assuming there were in fact calls for backup to surrounding communities. Mark Follman and Brett Brownell, “WATCH: Newtown Parents Speak Out,” Mother Jones, February 8, 2013.
- January 30
Marshall K. Robinson, forensic scientist for the Bridgeport, Conn. Police Department condemned proposed assault weapon and high-capacity magazine bans and pointed out the small number of crimes committed by high-capacity weapons. Robinson makes his remarks at the Connecticut State Capitol before the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group convened at the Connecticut State Capitol in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Robinson also spoke in opposition to statements from many of the other 1,300 speakers in attendance advocating for banning high-capacity AR-15 and AK-47 firearms. The forensics expert pointed out that less than two percent of the firearms he has examined since 1996 that have been linked to violent crime in Bridgeport have been the caliber of AR-15 or AK-47 weapons. Patrick Howley, “Forensic Scientist at Newtown Hearing Slams Assault Weapons Ban,” Daily Caller, February 4, 2013.
- February 18
Public Broadcasting Service begins a week-long series of programs on the Sandy Hook Tragedy intended to bolster the official version of events that Adam Lanza was the sole assailant in the school shooting, thereby prompting a national discussion on the relationship between mental health, school safety, and gun control. “In the wake of the Newtown tragedy,” the taxpayer-supported entity announces, “PBS continues its coverage with a series of specials from PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, Washington Week, NOVA, Need to Know and more, looking at gun laws, mental illness and school security.” PBS.org/WNET, “After Newtown Special Programming,” February 18, 2013.
- February 19
Newtown officials move to restrict public access to all death and burial records of Sandy Hook massacre victims. Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia and her staff vow to “do something about” requests for evidence of the tragedy, particularly from the press. Aurelia turns to State Representatives Dan Carter and Mitch Bolinsky and the leadership of the state association of town clerks to develop a bill prohibiting release of actual death and marriage certificates except by “legally entitled immediate family members or their representatives.” Aurelia and her staff support such legislation with in-person or written testimony on February 20 at a hearing of the Public Health Committee at the Capital’s Legislative Office Building. In her solicitation Aurelia writes, “From the horrific tragedy in Newtown, awareness has come that we need to protect the personal information of all residents in our towns. Over the past seven weeks the media has repeatedly contacted my office requesting copies of all the death records. They want to know where the victims are buried and how they died. These records contain home addresses, who identified the deceased and their address, burial location and mother’s maiden name.” Aurelia expresses frustration at receiving requests for death certificates and other proprietary information from the New York Post , the Connecticut Post , the Associated Press, the Hartford Courant, and other news outlets. “Some are also requesting all my e-mail correspondence and text messages related to 12/14,” she said. John Voket, “Town Clerk, Staff Supporting Access Restrictions to Vital Records,” Newtown Bee, February 19, 2013.
- February 21
A bill is introduced to the Connecticut State Legislature to restrict access to death certificates of decedents younger than 18 years of age by State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, a freshman Republican lawmaker from Newtown. “I was shocked, dismayed and deeply disturbed when, on Dec. 17, I got a call from the town clerk about the prospect of having a reporter standing beside her during one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the United States in Newtown looking for death certificates of children,” Bolinsky said. Christopher Keating and William Weir, “Lawmakers Seek to Restrict Access to Death Certificates,” Hartford Courant, February 21, 2013.
- March 4
In its March 4 issue The New Yorker magazine publishes a fawning profile of the Newtown Bee‘s staff and the weekly newspaper’s coverage of the Sandy Hook massacre. The article references “conspiracy theorist” Scott DeLarm’s photographic essay, “An Inquisitive Couple’s Visit to Newtown, Connecticut,” published here and at GlobalResearch.ca in late January. “A man from Ottawa, who contributes to a Web [sic] site called Global Research,” the piece reads,
showed up at the Bee office, and interrogated [Bee editor Curtiss] Clark about a sentence in an article that referred to a second suspect who was later released. Clark directed him to the police department. When the man continued to demand information, Clark said, ‘I don’t intend to discuss this any further,’ turned his back, and shut the door to the newsroom, a rare occurrence at the Bee … Clark tries to be gentle with “local crackpots,” but he wasn’t willing to extend the courtesy to people from out of town. He and John Voket hoped to find a psychologist who could explain to readers why people insisted that covert forces were at work in the massacre. Clark had a feeling that the conspiracy theorists were troubled by the same mystery as the journalists who lingered in town. There was almost no information about the months that led to the shooting. Lanza appeared to have no friends and had smashed his computer’s hard drive, and in recent years his mother had invited few people inside their home. It was still a crime without a story. “They need some architecture to make sense of this randomness,” Clark Said.
Rachel Aviv, “Local Story: How a Local Newspaper Covers a National Tragedy,” The New Yorker, March 4, 2013.