The following timeline of the December 14, 2012 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.
- May 17
First Selectman A. Fenn Dickinson of Newtown, a 42-year-old Democrat serving his third term as Newtown’s foremost public servant, is killed when a truck backs over him at a road project in Sandy Hook. Dickinson Drive, the road leading to Sandy Hook Elementary, is named after the local leader. “Do You Remember?” Newstimes.com, May 22, 2005.
- June 26
President George W. Bush signs Executive Order 13407 to establish a Public Alert and Warning System for national emergencies potentially involving the public at large. “It is the policy of the United States,” the EO’s policy summary reads,
to have an effective, reliable, integrated, flexible, and comprehensive system to alert and warn the American people in situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other hazards to public safety and well-being (public alert and warning system), taking appropriate account of the functions, capabilities, and needs of the private sector and of all levels of government in our Federal system, and to ensure that under all conditions the President can communicate with the American people.
The Department of Homeland Security is designated as the government entity for establishment of the integrated mass communication system. “Executive Order 13407 (PDF),” Government Printing Office, June 2006.
- December 4
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, New York State Police (NYSP) Superintendent Wayne E. Bennett, and Connecticut Department of Public Safety (DPS) Commissioner Leonard C. Boyle release a 207-page report chronicling shortcomings in the Connecticut State Police (CSP) internal affairs system and recommending reforms thereof. The investigation was requested by state troopers filing whistleblower complaints with Blumenthal’s office on the DPS internal affairs process. Commissioner Boyle also asked the NYSP to investigate those complaints and others received from state troopers about the internal affairs system. The report caps a 13-month joint investigation by Blumenthal’s office and NYSP involving 262 interviews, 207 of them with current or former sworn DPS employees, thousands of pages of documents, and 112 formal requests for information. “Attorney General-NY State Police Report Finds Shortcomings in CT State Police Internal Affairs System, Calls for Reforms,” State of Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, December 4, 2006.
- September 22
US Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency and State of Connecticut Division of Emergency Services and Public Protection conduct Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) Training Course at Sandy Hook Fire Department. The training consists of “instructor-led course presentations” in addition to “small group activities, videos, and group discussions.” According to the description, “the course also provides overviews of HSEEP-related initiatives such as technology (e.g., the HSEEP Toolkit) and capabilities-based planning (e.g., Target Capabilities List [TCL]). This blended approach will give participants hands-on experience that readily translates to real-world exercise skills. Activities include creating exercise documentation, conducting exercise planning conferences and briefings, and practicing exercise evaluation.” “September 22: The HSEEP Training Course,” Connecticut Division of Emergency Services and Public Protection, n.d.
- February 23
Connecticut State Senators Steven T. Mikutel, Leonard A. Fasano, Michael A. McLachlan, and Len Suzio introduce SB 1054, a bill “to allow the parents of a child who was a homicide victim to request that the autopsy report not be publicly disclosed.” SB 1054: An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Autopsy Reports, Sunlight Foundation/Open States, retrieved March 1, 2013.
- February 25
In a memorandum to the state legislature’s judiciary committee Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver II questions the necessity of SB 1054. “The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as an institution and I are very concerned about the privacy rights of individuals who are examined through our office and particularly with respect to homicide victims whose family find their privacy and grieving invaded by a curious public. I believe that the proposed legislation is redundant of current statute, regulations, and practices. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner does not now and has never released autopsy reports to the general public, let alone autopsy reports of a pediatric homicide victim.” Dr. H. Wayne Carver II to Chairman Coleman, Fox and Members of the Connecticut State Judiciary Committee, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, February 25.
- March 9
State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance, a regional celebrity, announces on WPLR radio that he will try out for the next season of the Survivor television series. Tryouts are next Wednesday at Foxwoods. Vance tells the Connecticut Post that he will “do the interview (with Survivor) and explore the process.” Vance’s son, J. Paul Vance Jr. called WPLR’s “Chaz and A.J.” show earlier to nominate his father as a candidate, and Vance Sr. subsequently called in to say he was up to the “tall order,” of trying out for the show. The show’s hosts said that wardrobe will be important. “Wear your shirt, with the police hat and a grass skirt,” said show co-host Chaz. “State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance to Try Out for ‘Survivor’,” Connecticut Post, March 9, 2011.
- August 16
Connecticut Governor Dannell P. Malloy appoints J. Paul Vance Jr. as the state’s new claims commissioner. The Republican politician was appointed to the job with a $114,000 salary, where he will more or less decide who can sue the state.Penelope Overton, “Vance Appointed State’s Claims Commissioner,” August 16, 2011.
- October 1
Existing law preventing disclosure of autopsies to the press or public is bolstered through passage and enactment of recommendations encompassed in SB 1054 by Connecticut State Senate and General Assembly.
Section 1. Subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 1-210 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof Effective October 1, 2011
(3) Records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of … “the records of an investigation and examination by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the death of a person under eighteen years of age caused by an apparent homicide, including the autopsy report and other scientific findings.”
SB 1054 An Act Concerning the Disclosure of Autopsy Reports, Sunlight Foundation/Open States, retrieved March 1, 2013.
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 protocol “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 10
Newtown Schools superintendent Janet Robinson speaks before the Newtown Board of Finance discusses closing one of the town’s schools given the area’s 25-year-low in elementary school enrollment. “When asked about space needs,” the 12-10 meeting minutes read, “school closing declining enrollment Dr. Robinson said that the Ad Hoc Facilities group vetted every option. Their recommendation was when elementary enrollment is projected to be 1500 a study should be commissioned to begin looking at closing a school.” Robinson proposes embarking on a study to determine the feasibility of closure. “Our problem is [that] our parents really cherish their neighborhood schools,” Robinson notes, “even though these are not small neighborhoods. So, we have to prepare the parents for this in advance.” Janet Robinson, “State of Schools Presentation,” in Town of Newtown Board of Finance Meeting Minutes, and 2012-12-10 Board of Finance.wmv (electronic record at 1:18:13) Town of Newtown, Newtown, CT, December 10, 2012.
- December 11
Adam Lanza reportedly visits a sporting goods store in Danbury and attempts to purchase an assault rifle but was denied NBC reports. Julia Terruso, “Reports: Gunman Had Altercation at School Day Before Shooting,” Star Ledger, December 15, 2012.
- December 13
Connecticut State Representative John Frey Tweets his presence at the Sandy Hook Elem. Holiday concert, 4:13pm. “At the Sandy Hook Elementary School concert cheering nieces Joan and Bridget.” http://twitter.com/johnfrey/status/279378604469657601
The alleged gunman at Adam Lanza has an argument with four staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School, officials tell NBC. NBC reports that Lanza went to the school on December 13 and was in an altercation with four staff members, three of whom are killed in the December 14 shooting. The fourth person will not be at the school the day of the shooting, NBC says. Julia Terruso, “Reports: Gunman Had Altercation at School Day Before Shooting,” Star Ledger, December 15, 2012.
- December 14
“Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters” emergency exercise conducted jointly by FEMA and the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection commences 14 miles from Newport in Bridgeport Connecticut. “The goal of the course,” the description reads,
is to enable participants to improve their community’s mitigation and emergency operations plan specifically regarding the needs of children. The course will provide them with the information needed to address the unique needs of children prior to, during and following disasters. It will also provide them guidance and direction on how to form coalitions and how to become advocates for the unique needs of children in all aspects of emergency management.
Shepherd Ambellas and Alex Thomas, “Sandy Hook Shooting: Active Shooter Drill Confirmed By Law Enforcement Raises Suspicion of False Flag Operation, [News Analysis]” theintellhub.com, January 12, 2013.
“Active shooter drill” exercise commences by Putnam County Emergency Response Team in Carmel Connecticut, 45 miles away from Newtown. “By grim coincidence, even as the terrible events were unfolding in Newtown on Friday morning,” the Southeast Brewster-Patch reports,
the Putnam County Emergency Response Team (“ERT”) happened to be assembled for regular training in Carmel, and team members were at that very moment engaged in a mock scenario of an active-shooter in a school. The ERT is comprised of specially trained and heavily armed officers from the Sheriff’s Office and the Carmel and Kent Police Departments. 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.
Ashley Tarr, “Sheriff: Putnam Officials to Talk School Safety This Afternoon,” Southeast Brewster-Patch, December 18, 2012.
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.)
Attorney Joel T. Faxon of Newtown, who serves on the town’s five-member police commission and is a strong advocate of strengthened gun control measures, claims he is taking one of his three children to the local middle school. As he approaches the school’s front doors, he receives a text message that all the town’s schools are on lockdown. This precaution takes place on occasion because of the school’s proximity to a state prison. “I told my son, ‘Okay, something’s going on. Let’s get out of here.” Returning to his vehicle, Faxon sees
the chief of police in his official car, headed to the Sandy Hook school, and I looked at my son and I said,”‘Oh my God, there must have been a shooting.” The chief doesn’t respond to anything other than a very serious incident. Within a minute of that time, I got a news report text from the Hartford Courant, that said police were responding to incident on Dickenson Drive, and I thought, “There’s only one thing on that street. And that’s the school.”
Faxon pulls over to the side of the road. “At that point, literally 50 state police and Newtown police cars went by us, and they all went to Sandy Hook Elementary School. I knew there had been some kind of a catastrophe there,” Faxon recalls. Faxon texts Bridgeport police captain James Viadero, who he works on a the police commission with. “He was filling me in on what was happening, in real time.” As the story took shape in the news only a single death was reported. Yet Faxon said the numbers the Viadero relayed “were just shocking.” Faxon’s other son goes to another elementary school and was at the the doctor’s office for a checkup. His daughter, a student at the high school, also in lockdown, was texting her father, “‘Daddy, what’s going on?’ I knew she was safe.” Faxon observes ambulances heading to the scene. “There were ambulances going down there [to the school], but there were no ambulances coming back to go to the hospital” with survivors, Faxon said. “Just like in 9/11, when the hospitals were all racing to be prepared for the wounded, who never arrived.” Thomas B. Scheffy, “Joel Faxon Has Been Part of the Gun Debate in His Hometown,” Connecticut Law Tribune, December 21, 2013.
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. 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.
Fourth grate teacher Ted Varga arrives for work at Sandy Hook. Moments later, according an the account Varga related to the New York Daily News, he and four colleagues narrowly escaped a hail of bullets. “You hear screams and gunshots, but it is still surreal,” Varga said. “This is an elementary school. … I heard someone say, ‘Oh my God.’ And then you hear shot after shot after shot.” Undaunted, Varga ran down a hallway “filled with smoke and the smell of gunpowder,” according to the press account, “to escape through an emergency exit and then returned to help three colleagues flee through a window. An unidentified teacher hid underneath a mound of donated Christmas gifts for the needy, hoping the killer jiggling the door to the conference room would move on. “She heard heavy breathing,” Varga says. “She knew it was him. … It’s a miracle we’re alive, but it’s still such a tragedy. You’re exposed to a myriad of emotions that even now I can’t really understand.” Henrick Karoliszyn, “Five Teachers Escape Death as Massacre Rages in Newtown,” New York Daily News, December 19, 2012.
In the Sandy Hook library three faculty members hear noises and move 15 or so students to a storage closet in the library filled with computer servers. “Hold hands. Be quiet,” one teacher tells the children. One child questions “whether there are pots and pans were clanging. Another thought he heard firecrackers. Another worried an animal was coming to the door,” the Washington Post reports. “They were children in a place built for children, and the teachers didn’t know how to answer them … ‘It’s a drill,’ said a library clerk named Mary Anne Jacobs.” Eli Saslow, “Sandy Hook Massacre: Teachers Sought to Soothe Children in Moments of Terror,” Washington Post, December 15, 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 Bee Associate Editor Shannon Hicks is among the first on the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary. Hicks says she was at the Bee‘s offices about one and one quarter miles from the school when she heard about a possible shooting on the police scanner. A volunteer firefighter, Hicks is “behind the first dozen police officers,” according to John Voket, also associate editor at the weekly. This is because the Sandy Hook firehouse where Hicks is stationed shares a driveway with the school. When Hicks proceeds down the driveway she begins frantically taking photos of the scene “through the windshield of her car, with one hand on the steering wheel and one holding her camera, Voket says. One well-knonw photo featured in news coverage may have been of the first cluster of evacuating students, Voket further notes. Julie Moos, “How the Newtown Bee is Covering Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting,” Poynter.org, December 15, 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.
First responders initially believe there may be two gunmen and are unaware of the carnage in the school until they find 18 children and a teacher in a classroom closet, a recording of the police dispatch authenticated by police indicates. Tracy Connor, “Call For Everything: Police Scanner Recording Reveals Early Moments of Newtown Tragedy,” NBC News, December 19, 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.
Emergency medical technician Peter Houlahan and other EMTs are told their expertise is not needed inside the school or elsewhere on school grounds. “A person who experiences tragic events will inevitably look back and try to identify that last moment where there was still hope,” Houlahan recalls, “that instant before all was lost and their life changed forever. For the EMS teams staged in front of Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, that moment came when the Newtown EMS captain ordered us to stand down, that there was no one left to help, no one left alive.” Peter Houlahan, “Sandy Hook EMT and Former Whittier Resident Reflects on Massacre,” Daily News, December 23, 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.
“Two unidentified nuns” are photographed by journalist Don Emmert, apparently departing the crime scene at Sandy Hook Elementary. One of the individuals has what appears to be official identification around her/his neck. The photo is carried by the Chicago Tribune with the title, “Elementary School Shooting.” “Elementary School Shooting,” Chicago Tribune, December 14, 2012.
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 Shannon Hicks is distributed via CBS and other national media.]
Connecticut School Shooting: Police Investigating Reports of a Shooting at Elementary School,” CBS News, December 14, 2012, 1047AM EST.
Reuters’ Deputy Social Media Editor Matthew Keys reports that police are questioning a handcuffed suspect in relation to the Sandy Hook School shooting. Matthew Keys Twitter Feed, December 14, 2012.
Reuters’ Deputy Social Media Editor Matthew Keys reports that according to the Hartford Courant’s Dave Altamari there are multiple victims in the school shooting, including children. Parents are now at the scene. Matthew Keys Twitter Feed, December 14, 2012.
Reuters’ Deputy Social Media Editor Matthew Keys notes WABC TV live aerial coverage shows “law enforcement at on roof of school at center of shooting.” Matthew Keys Twitter Feed, December 14, 2012.
Reuters’ Deputy Social Media Editor Matthew Keys reports police have told ABC News that two gunman are involved in the elementary school shooting. Matthew Keys Twitter Feed, December 14, 2012.
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.
Peter Lanza drives up to his home to encounter Stamford Advocate reporter Maggie Gordon in his driveway. Lanza rolls his window down after stopping his blue Mini Cooper in his driveway. “Is there something I can do for you?” he asks. Gordon tells him she is a reporter for the Stamford Advocate, and explains that she was informed that someone at his address had been linked to the shootings in Newtown. “His expression twisted from patient, to surprise to horror,” Gordon writes. “[I]t was obvious that this moment, shortly after 1:30 p.m. Friday, was the first time he had considered his family could have been involved. He quickly declined to comment, rolled up the window, parked in the right side of the two-car garage and closed the door.” Maggie Gordon, “Reporter Broke News to Father of Suspect,” Stamford Advocate, 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.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy explains to the nation that he and his administration had been advised in advance that an event of Sandy Hook’s magnitude may soon take place in their state. “Earlier today a tragedy of unspeakable terms played itself out in this community. Lieutenant Governor and I have been spoken to in an attempt that we might be prepared for something like this playing itself out in our state.” The remark may be in reference to “Project Longevity,” a joint effort of the US Department of Justice and Connecticut announced on November 27 “to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities … To accomplish this, law enforcement, social service providers and community members are recruited, assembled and trained to engage in a sustained relationship with violent groups.” “Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy: ‘You Can Never Be Prepared,” ABC 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.
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.
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.
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.
WUSA 9 News correspondent Andrea McCarren reports of her encounter with Sandy Hook Elementary School nurse’s encounter with the gunman as he walked into her office. According to the nurse the two make eye contact before the gunman exited the office to begin his murderous rampage. “And as I walked down the streets of Newtown to get to this location not far from Sandy Hook Elementary,” McCarren reports, “I happened to run across a woman who had tears in her eyes and she was being led by two younger women and I asked if she was OK. It turns out she was the school nurse at Sandy Hook Elementary and was for fifteen years. She describes the gunman coming into her office. They met eyes [sic]. She jumped under her desk, and he inexplicably just walked out.” Andrea McCarren, “Aftermath of School Shooting,” WUSA 9 News, 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.’” An unidentified girl interviewed by an NBC Connecticut affiliate says she heard seven loud “booms” while in gym class. “A police officer came in and told us to run outside and so we did.” Dan Burns and Chris Kaufman, “Connecticut Gun Rampage: 28 Dead, Including 20 Children,” Reuters, December 14, 2012.
Photo slide show of Sandy Hook massacre aftermath posted by Reuters includes shots taken by Reuters-commissioned photographer Michelle L. McLoughlin. This includes an especially famous photo by McLoughlin, “Young children wait outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012.” McLoughlin is located in New Haven, 49 minutes away from Newtown. Dan Burns and Chris Kaufman, “Connecticut Gun Rampage: 28 Dead, Including 20 Children: Slideshow,” 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.
Sandy Hook students and staff relate their experiences of gunman Adam Lanza’s rampage to journalists. The New York Post reports Lanza arrived on December 14th “with high-powered handguns shortly after 9:30AM.” A student tells WCBS-TV, “I saw some of the bullets [sic] going down the hall, and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom.” Newtown resident Brad Tefft says very young children sped past horrific bloodshed to safety. “My neighbor’s daughter is in kindergarten at the school,” Tefft tells The Post. “She was in the classroom when the shooter came in and shot the teacher. She ran out past a couple of bleeding bodies.” The Post claims “roughly 100 shots rang out.” “It was horrendous,” parent Brenda Lebinski, whose daughter is in the third grade, says to NBC. “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 informs The Post a classmate of her daughter, Sofia, could hear a man in the hallway yelling “f–k you” while her and her classmates huddled closely in a locked classroom. Someone gained control of the school’s intercom system and Gunfire could be heard in the background of an announcement. “It really started when she heard gunshots and screams on the intercoms,” a relative of a Sandy Hook student tells MSNBC. A female student says she was in the gym when the attack began, telling WVIT-TV: “The gym teachers told us to go into the corner. I kept hearing these booming noises. We all started crying, so all the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us.” Music teacher Maryrose Kristopik shelters 15 children by barricading the music classroom door as Lanza pounded on it in a fury. “The shooter kept banging on the door screaming, ‘Let me in! Let me in!’ But he didn’t get in,” a parent informs the Daily Mail. First-grade teacher Kaitlin Roig speaks to ABC, claiming she hid her 14 students in the class lavatory, placing some on the toilet so they all could fit, and moving a storage unit to block the door. The 29-year-old Roig says she locked the door and told the kids, ages 6 and 7, “to be absolutely quiet. If they started crying, I would take their face and tell them, ‘It’s going to be OK,’ ” she said. “I wanted that to be the last thing they heard, not the gunfire in the hall.” The sizable law enforcement response from law enforcement arrives on the scene in minutes and officers begin leading children out, holding hands. Officers tried to shield them from the tragedy by telling them to close their eyes. A 9-year-old boy says to ABC News Radio that a cop entered his classroom asking: “Is he in here? Then he ran out and then our teacher, somebody, yelled, ‘Get to a safe place.’ So we went to the closet in the gym,” the boy recalls. “The police were like knocking on the door and they’re like, ‘We’re evacuating people, we’re evacuating people,’ so we ran out.” Alexis Wasik, a third-grader at the school, claims she saw her former nursery school teacher taken out on a stretcher. “We had to walk with a partner,’ the 8-year-old tells media. Natalie O’Neill, Mel Gray, and Todd Venezia, “A Scene of Blood, Horror, and Heroism at Tragic Sandy Hook School,” New York Post, December 15, 2013.
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
New York City CBS affiliate reports 2 handguns found inside Sandy Hook Elementary School “near Lanza’s body” and “a rifle in the car in the parking lot. It’s not known how many rounds he fired,” the reporter notes, “but both guns are capable of carrying high capacity extended clips which can hold up to thirty rounds.” An eight year old boy, Bear Nikitchyuk, says he was attempting to deliver attendance reports to the principal’s office when he “saw some of the bullets going past the hall that I was right next to, and then a teacher pulled me in to her classroom.” Another child says his teacher told the class a wild animal was in the building. “We had to lock our doors so the animal couldn’t get in,” the boy says. Newtown resident Janice Markey claims that at sunset she was searching “for her friend’s missing child and relayed the awful news. ‘They just told us that everybody that’s missing–that’s presumed missing–is in the school and are dead [sic]. The two that they transported to the hospital are now dead as well.” Tony Aiello, “Elementary School Tragedy,” cbsnewyork.com, December 15, 2012.
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.
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.
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.
Ridgefield state Rep. John Frey tells the NewsTimes that his sister, Tricia Gogliettino was driving to Sandy Hook Elementary School on the morning of December 15 to drop off a gingerbread house she and her first-grade child had completed as a school project. According to Frey, Gogliettino was on Riverside Road about one mile from the school when she claims to encounter five young children running up the road. Gogliettino stops her car to inquire what is wrong. The children reply, “Someone is trying to kill us. We were told to run.” Gogliettino put the children in her car and attempted to contact the school but got no answer. She then calls Newtown police, who requested she bring the children to the police station. Gogliettino remarks that while at the station she was allowed to sing to the five children while calling their parents. She then receives a text that her own three children who attend Sandy Hook Elementary are safe, Frey said. “Someone Is Trying to Kill Us,” Newstimes.com, December 15, 2012.
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.
Robbie Parker, father of slain Sandy Hook first-grader Emilie Parker, makes emotional public statement televised on CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. “I can’t imagine how hard this experience must be for you, and I want you to know that our family and our love and our support goes out to you as well,” CNN recounts Parker saying, as it chronicles its news event. “Fighting back tears with his voice cracking,” CNN reports, “Parker asked Saturday night that the tragedy ‘not turn into something that defines us, but something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate and more humble people.’” Chelsea Carter, “Shooting Victim’s Dad: ‘The World is a better place because she’s been in it,’” CNN, December 17, 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.
ABC News interviews Sandy Hook Elementary student Ella Seaver who experienced the December 14 event.
Reporter: “What do you remember? What happened?”
Seaver: “We got to school, did everything we needed to and then we heard all this racket at, uhm, our classroom. And we were, like, all scared. Then we heard them say, ‘Go in your cubbies.’”
Reporter: “Everybody went to their cubbies?”
Seaver: “Mm-hmm.”Reporter: “Did you hear any more bad noises?”
Reporter: “And while it was going on your teacher was reading you books and keeping you calm?”
Seaver: “Yeah.”Reporter: “You have a good teacher, don’t you?”
Reporter: “D’you love your teacher?”
Reporter: “Did she–your teacher–seem nervous?”
Seaver: “No.” [Shakes head.]
Reporter: “She just kept her calm and read you a story?”
Seaver: “Mm-hmm.” Reporter: “Do you remember which one?”
Seaver: “Uhm, she read us The Nutcracker and another book that was about Christmas.”
ABC News, “Connecticut Shooting Parents Seek Information About Loved Ones At Sandy Hook,” December 15, 2012.
Students at Sandy Hook describe the aftermath of the shooting to reporters. “[A]s reporters converged on the school,” the Hartford Courant reports, “the children generally seemed more composed than their parents.” While news of the incident circulated through Newtown students’ parents are said to have filled streets as they converged on the school area. “Police evacuated the children to a nearby firehouse,” the Courant reports, “and tearful parents were led into the same building. Most came out relieved, clutching and caressing their children. A few came out empty-handed and grief-stricken. “I saw policemen — lots of policemen in the hallway with guns,” 9-year old fourth grader Vanessa Bajraliu, recalls. “‘The police took us out of the school. We were told to hold each others’ hands and to close our eyes. We opened our eyes when we were outside.” Bajraliu’s brother, Mergim Bajraliu, 17, “a senior at Newtown High School, was at his nearby home when he heard shots, he said. He went to a neighbor’s house. ‘Then we heard sirens,’” he says. Barjraliu says he ran to the school and saw a young girl being carried out that looked badly injured. Bajraliu says another girl had blood on her face. Bajraliu claims he found his sister and whisked her away. Richard Wilford said his son Richie, a second-grader, heard what he says sounded like “pans falling” when gunshots allegedly rang out. “He said that his son told him that his teacher went to check on the noise, then returned to the classroom, locked the door and told the students to stand in the corner. ‘What does a parent think about coming to a school where there’s a shooting?’ Wilford said. ‘It’s the most terrifying moment of a parent’s life. … You have no idea.’ Third Grader Alexis Wasik, 8, tells reporters police accounted for every occupant of the school before students were escorted to the nearby firehouse. “We had to walk with a partner,” Wasik says. One child departing from the school claims there is broken glass everywhere. A police officer ran into her classroom, she remembers, and told students to run outside and don’t stop until they get to the firehouse. Parent Audra Barth, who was leaving the school with her first-grade son and third-grade daughter, tells how a teacher put first-graders into the restroom when bullets came through the window. A 9-year-old fourth-grader, Brendan Murray, says he was in his gym class when he heard “‘lots of banging.’” Teachers then hustled students into a nearby closet where they remained for about 15 minutes before police officers appeared and directed them to leave the building. The boy says the students then ran down a hallway and police could be seen at every door. “‘Lots of people were crying,’” he recalls. “Newtown Families Grieve As Medical Examiner Works to Identify Victims in Sandy Hook Shooting,” 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.
Several dozen Newtown residents found “Newtown United,” later named “Sandy Hook Promise.” The group appears devoted to using the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre to campaign for gun control and raise awareness of the potentially negative effects of violent video games. Amazingly, less than one week after its inception a select number of founding members—including one 16-year-old who formerly attended Sandy Hook School–travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with federal legislators. Michael Dinan, “Newtown United: Grassroots Group Seeks to Curb Gun Violence,” Newtown Patch, December 22, 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 Shooting Already Being Changed by the Media to Eliminate Eyewitness Reports of a Second Shooter,” Natural News, December 16, 2012.
As news of Newtown massacre spreads popular music stars and actors use social networking sites to state their opinions on the tragedy, with many attacking the National Rifle Association (NRA) and calling for gun laws to be revamped. “How many times do we have 2 (sic) hear ‘gunman kills’. FK (f**k) The NRA!” Pop superstar Cher Tweets to her followers. “We cant cure gun violence completely, but we can bring it down to the LEAST Murders by GUN in a Civilized Country! I know people kill people, but HOW MANY FEWER CHILDREN WOULD THIS CRAZY MAN HAVE KILLED WITHOUT HIS THREE fkng (f**king) GUNNNNNNNNS (sic). He couldn’t have done this kind of damage without 3 guns, multiple clips &tons of ammunition no matter how crazy he was.” Actor Zach Braff writes, “No one is saying you can’t have your gun, crazy angry gun guy. But most of the country is tired of how easy it is to get a gun. Sane people, we mustn’t let up on our politicians when this tragedy fades front the top story. This time lets not get silenced by the NRA.” Singer Cyndi Lauper opines, “Really so sad today in CT. Why does it have to be so easy to carry guns? Just so sad all the way around.” Actress Sophia Bush writes, “We need to reform our laws AND our way of thinking. It shouldn’t be easier to get a gun than to get mental health care.” Actor Sean Astin Tweets, “The last minutes of this awful day pass… My anger about gun violence & failures regarding related mental illness challenges rages in my soul”. “Cher and Cyndi Lauper Join in Calls for Tighter Gun Control,” Daily Express, December 16, 2012.
Rabbi Shaul Praver of Adath Israel in Newtown, Conn. accompanies a grieving Veronica Pozner, mother of slain six-year-old Sandy Hook victim Noah Pozner into the funeral home where her son rested. A sheet covers Noah’s corpse up to his neck, and a social worker counsels Pozner not to remove it. Pozner grieves as Rabbi Praver consoles her. Praver tells the press he did not know Noah or his twin sister, Arielle, another Sandy Hook student present during the shooting, yet Praver bar mitzvahed the family’s oldest son and taught the oldest daughter. “Remembering Noah Pozner, Newtown’s Jewish Victim,” Chicago Jewish News, December 21, 2013.
- 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.
Truckloads bearing more than 60,000 toys and stuffed animals begin arriving in Newtown, filling up the gymnasium at Edmond Town Hall in the center of the township. “When I realized that it was getting so large, I thought that we should get this to the children before the holidays,” Newtown Social Services caseworker Ann Benore says. Benore organized the toy giveaway for all Newtown children and families. A special collection of toys are reserved for student survivors of Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Toys are first examined by a group of local police officers in the gym. “Children ooh and ahh as they enter,” the report notes, “and are handed bags. They walk through and choose cuddly bears or games, or both.” Volunteers on hand, some of whom have traveled from out of state to offer their services, instruct children on how to make Christmas ornaments. In one area, teacher Christina Morse Scala helps residents draw and create sculpture with recently donated art supplies. “It allows them to express without having to use words. It gives them an opportunity to reflect, bring them to a safe place,” Scala observes. Diane Orson, “Toy Donations Pour Into Newtown,” National Public Radio, December 24, 2012.
ABC correspondent Katie Couric interviews Sandy Hook residents Rob and Barbara Sibley whose son Daniel was a Sandy Hook Elementary. Barbara Sibley claims to have arrived at the school after the assailant(s) forced his way in yet before shooting commenced.
When I got out of [my] car and started walking toward the building I noticed a car in the, uh, drop-off area in front of the entrance–like a black hatchback, had all the doors open and black sweatshirts strewn around it. And again I thought, “That’s really odd. You don’t usually see that, uhm, at the school.” And then I walked to the doorway and there was another mom standing there. And all the while I’m thinking to myself, “The building is so quite, and why is it so quiet” [sic]. And, uh, I said to her, “Is something going on?” And she said, “I don’t know, but look.” And she pointed and I looked, and, uhm, next to the door where there’s a buzzer–you have to buzz into the building–the whole plate glass window to the right of the door was shattered, and there’s glass everywhere. And we looked at that and we said, “Well, this is really strange.” And as soon as, uhm, those words kind of came out of our mouth [sic] uhm, we started hearing gunshots. I knew that it was gunfire but y’know I didn’t–I just ran y’know? I just ran.
Barbara Sibley then explains how shortly thereafter she witnessed the orderly evacuation of students from the school, was reunited with her son, and was invited by him to walk down to the fire house. “One Family’s Story of Survival,” CatieCouric.com, December 17, 2012.
n.t. [Date is estimated]
Facebook establishes a special liaison between itself and Newtown families and affiliated organizations seeking to memorialize the victims on its platform. According to the Hartford Courant, “shortly after” the December 14 shooting, the popular social media site “set up a special process for them where they have a direct line to someone at Facebook,” Facebook spokeswoman Jodi Seth says. “That is unique for Newtown. Every piece of content that has been escalated to us through the families and foundations has been reviewed, every email has been responded to, and action is taken in line with our terms of service,” Seth says. The Facebook representative further notes that Facebook is in daily contact with Tom Bittman, chairman of Sandy Hook Promise, a local group established as a response to the incident. Jenny Wilson, “Facebook Will Scrub Newtown Victims’ Memorial Pages,” Hartford Courant, February 25, 2013.
- December 18
The parents of Sandy Hook Elementary substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau are informed they cannot view their daughter’s body. “They told me, ‘You can’t see (the body),’” Rousseau’s Canadian father Gilles Rousseau informed listeners of Radio-Canada, the French-language CBC. “Because most people he shot, it was two or three shots in the face, point-blank.” Mr. Rousseau further said the bullets used were powerful enough to tear through the school’s walls and leave numerous holes in his daughter’s car parked outside. Lise Millette, “Lauren Rousseau, Teacher killed in Newtown Shooting, Mourned by Canadian Family,” Canadian Press via Huffington Post, December 18, 2012.
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.
Fox News Radio reports that investigators speaking with the Hartford Courant say 20-year-old Adam Lanza’s electronics may not offer much in terms of evidence or motive. They say his cellphone “had little-to-no phone calls or text messaging communications history on it. He also destroyed his computer in such a way as to prevent a forensic investigation of it.” “Investigation Continues Into Newtown Shooting,” Fox New Radio, 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 22
The fourth meeting of the new community group Newtown United is attended by US Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator-elect Chris Murphy, presently a congressman representing Connecticut’s 5th district that includes Newtown. Blumenthal and Murphy encourage Newtown United to develop its support network nationally and to fight for strengthening gun control measures. “I think this horrific tragedy has changed America in a way that it’s ready to stop the spread of gun violence,” Blumenthal says. “There has been a seismic change in public consciousness and the political landscape.” Murphy similarly remarks, “We have to talk about the celebration of violence in this country.” Newtown resident and energy consultant David Stout emphasizes that guns are not at issue as much as responsible use of them. Some in attendance want the group to be more aggressive. “Now is the time to push,” Jason Petrelli says. “We can’t sit back. We can’t get trapped in this room. It’s time to push right now.” Before departing Blumenthal congratulates Newtown United, saying: “Here you have been hit with the most horrific tragedy within recent memory except maybe 9/11, and its impact on the town could have been divisive and destructive, but instead it has brought people together in a way that has been incredibly impressive.” The major point that both Blumenthal and Murphy continually emphasize is that Newtown United must find a way to capture and sustain interest in overhauling gun legislation in the face of one major enemy: time. “The other side is waiting for time to pass,” Murphy reminds those in attendance, referring to the gun lobby. Michael Dinan, “Newtown United: Grassroots Group Seeks to Curb Gun Violence,” Newtown Patch, December 22, 2012.
Money, toys, food and other gifts continue to stream in to Newtown from around the world. Some parcels are delivered with decorations made by schoolchildren. The United Way of Western Connecticut reports the official fund for donations had $2.6 million as of Saturday, December 15. In addition, other private funds are set up. Former Sandy Hook student Ryan Kraft, who once babysat Lanza, sets up a fund with other alumni that has collects almost $150,000 and is designated for the Sandy Hook PTA. Area officials are uncertain what they will do with all of the funds collected. Pat Eaton-Robb, “Toys, Money, Food Pour In From Around the World as Connecticut Town Mourns Shooting Victims,” Yahoo News/Associated Press, December 22, 2013.
- December 23
Spiritual and psychological leaders in the Newtown community come forward to make public pronouncements and assist in the mourning process. “This will never leave you and should never leave you. Your tears are proof of your love. The trick is, you’ve got to find a new form for your love,” observes Dr. John Woodall, a psychiatrist and Newtown resident. Woodall is founder of The Unity Project, an organization that has collaborated with the US State Department to assist in recoveries from tragedies including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the war in the former Yugoslavia and conflicts in Uganda involving child soldiers. The Unity Project, according to Woodall’s blog, “develops essential core skills for personal, community and organizational transformation in order to prepare young people for a well-rounded, happy and productive life as members of a global community.” Dr. Woodall says it’s not possible to answer the question of why the Dec. 14 tragedy happened. “The only helpful question to ask is what next?” Woodall says. Jesse Washington, “After Newtown, Connecticut, School Shooting, Healers Say: Decide for Change, For Good,” Cleveland Plain Dealer/Associated Press, December 23, 2012.
- December 25
Scarlett Lewis, mother of 6-year old Jessie McCord Lewis who was slain at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, returns to the grade school classroom where her son perished after a grief counselor told Lewis that “Native Americans consider the place where the dead are slain to be sacred ground,”
“I went because Jesse lived that. He was there. I wanted to honor him and be at the place where he lost his life. … It was devastating, the destruction and damage. I’ve been going to that school for 12 years. The front doors and the side glass were completely blown out and gone and covered with plywood, but you knew what was under it. … And then, the first two classrooms were completely gone. The windows were all blown out. The only other family who had been there was Miss Soto’s family. [Victoria Soto was Jesse's teacher]. … So we took a piece of glass because there was glass scattered all over and we had a little ceremony. We said we’re going to carry around a piece of glass and we’re going to remember Jesse’s bravery. Whenever we feel like we can’t do something, we’re going to think about our piece of glass and think about what Jesse did running into harm’s way.”
Tina Burgess, “How One Sandy Hook Mother Lives on After Her Son’s Death,” Examiner.com, January 6, 2013.
- 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 University of Connecticut men’s basketball team visits Newtown to visit with kids, hang out, play some ball, etc. Head coach Kevin Ollie recently said that he wanted the team to be able to “do something for the kids.” At the request of Newtown officials there is no media being permitted for the basketball team’s visit. The team’s enthusiasts anticipate the team will remark on the visit at a subsequent news conference. David Borges, “UConn Visiting Newtown This Afternoon,” New Haven Register, December 27, 2012.
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.
The Washington Post reports that the Lanza family has retained a public relations firm to deal with the press. “When the New York Post reported as fact a comment on a fake Facebook page seeming to belong to Adam’s older brother,” the Post‘s Bonnie Goldstein notes, “the Lanza family “spokesperson” Errol Cockfield refuted the story.” Cockfield works for Edelman, purported to be the “world’s largest PR firm.” He previously worked as communications director for Eliot Spitzer when Spitzer was New York’s governor. Until spring of 2013 Edelman was chief of staff for a New York state legislative leader. Bonnie Goldstein, “Massacre Message Management is New PR Task,” Washington Post, 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 7
Corporate media begins broad defense of official Sandy Hook narrative against widespread and varied skepticism in alternative media with prominent South Florida Sun-Sentinel article centering on Florida Atlantic University communications professor James Tracy. In a series of essays on his personal blog, Tracy questions conflicting and unusual information on the incident’s coverage in mainstream media. Mike Clary, “FAU Prof Stirs Controversy by Disputing Newtown Massacre,” South Florida Sun Sentinel, January 7, 2013.
The Sandy Hook Shooting: Fully Exposed, a 30-minute video distributed via YouTube debuts and will garner 8.5 million views within the first week of its release. Max Read, “Behind the Sandy Hook Truther Conspiracy Video that Eight Million People Have Watched in One Week,” Gawker.com, January 15, 2013.
- January 9
Salon.com political reporter Alex Seitz-Wald begins series of articles profiling and critiquing Sandy Hook “truth movement.” Alex Seitz-Wald “Meet the Sandy Hook Truthers,” Salon.com, January 8, 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.
Attorney Alexis Haller, Noah Pozner’s uncle, authors and submits a detailed memorandum to the Obama Administration’s White House Task Force on Gun Violence on behalf of the Pozner family. ” The eight-page document “proposes a range of [state, federal and local] legislative reforms to help prevent another targeted school shooting … The proposals … are based upon conversations within the family, consultations with school security experts, independent research related to prior school shootings, and discussion with legal professionals to focus on criminal law.” The statement urges linking gun control measures to mental health diagnoses, federal grants for school security system upgrades, and mandatory lockdown drills at public schools. Alexis Haller, “Memorandum from The Maternal Family of Noah Pozner to The White House Task Force on Gun Violence,” 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 16
Anderson Cooper AC360 producer Devna Shukla contacts Professor James Tracy via email and invites him on Cooper’s program. “Our offer still stands to have you on AC360,” Shukla’s email reads. ” We can send a truck to any location of your choice. We can pretape or have you on live at 8pET.” “AC360′s 180,” memoryholeblog.com, January 31, 2013.
James Tracy responds via email to AC360 producer Devna Shukla, “Does this Friday at 8PM work?” Shukla does not respond. Tracy forwards the email to Shukla twice over the next forty eight hours. Apparently Cooper’s “open invitation” for Tracy to appear on AC360 has been revoked. “AC360′s 180,” memoryholeblog.com, January 31, 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.
The New York Times publishes an emotional piece featuring the accounts of several Newtown police officers who were first to arrive on the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary on the morning of December 14, claiming that the officers reached the school in three minutes. “The gunfire ended; it was so quiet they could hear the broken glass and bullet casings scraping under their boots,” the story reads.
The smell of gunpowder filled the air. The officers turned down their radios; they did not want to give away their positions if there was still a gunman present. They found the two women first, their bodies lying on the lobby floor. Now they knew it was real. But nothing, no amount of training, could prepare them for what they found next, inside those two classrooms. “One look, and your life was absolutely changed,” said Michael McGowan, one of the first police officers to arrive at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, as a gunman, in the space of minutes, killed 20 first graders and 6 adults. It is an account filled with ghastly moments and details, and a few faint instances of hope … The stories also reveal the deep stress that lingers for officers who, until Dec. 14, had focused their energies on maintaining order in a low-crime corner of suburbia. Some can barely sleep. Little things can set off tears: a television show, a child’s laughter, even the piles of gifts the Police Department received from across the country.
According to the article, the officers proceeded “from room to room, urgently hunting for the killer before he could do more harm.” This partially contradicts the official story that Lanza fatally shot himself in the head in teacher Victoria Soto’s classroom “when authorities were closing in” [Hartford Courant, 3-13-13].
Ray Rivera, “Reliving Horror and Faint Hope at Massacre Site,” New York Times, 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.
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.
CBS News broadcasts interview of Nicole Hockley, mother of Sandy Hook shooting victim Dylan Hockley, who was also a neighbor of Nancy and Adam Lanza. “That house was kind of a black spot in the neighborhood,” Hockley recalls.
No one spoke about them. I’ve never heard a neighbor speak of them. Perhaps if there was more engagement within a community with neighbors looking out for each other, supporting each other, then maybe they would have gotten help in a different sort of way. But to everyone on your street except for one house, and that happens to be a house with people that–or a person who does this–that’s kind of hard to swallow. So there is some regret there.
Michelle Miller, “Lanza Home a ‘Blackspot’ in Neighborhood,” CBS News, January 30, 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
Lieutenant J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police, the principal agency investigating the Newtown mass shooting doesn’t think that alleged shooter Adam Lanza was attempting to mimic Norwegian killer Anders Breivik or other mass murderers. “It’s someone’s theory, but not ours,” Vance told ABC News. “It’s not anything official that we’ve garnered.” Vance continued, “I can’t substantiate that at all and, quite frankly, that did not come from us. It’s nothing that came from us and we are the official agency investigating.” Shushanna Walshie, “CT Police: Reports Lanza Emulating Other Shooters Unsubstantiated,” ABC News, February 19, 2013..
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.
- Week of February 25
Newtown School Superintendent Janet Robinson steps down for position as superintendent in Stratford, Connecticut. School board chairwoman Debbie Leidlein disagreed with Robinson over various policy issues. In the summer of 2012, by a 4-3 vote, the panel declined to extend Robinson’s three-year contract. This tension apparently subsided after the December 14 mass shooting because of Robinson’s steadfast leadership in the wake of the tragedy. “Superintendent’s Move to Stratford Best Resolution to Months of Acrimony [Editorial]” Newstimes.com, February 28, 2013.
- February 27
Neil Heslin, the father of a boy murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School is overcome with grief in front of a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on a proposed assault weapons ban. “Jesse was the love of my life. He was the only family I had left. It’s hard for me to be here today to talk about my deceased son. I have to. I’m his voice,” Heslin says. Heslin’s son, Jesse Lewis, 6, was among the 20 children and six teachers and school administrators murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., last December. Heslin tells of the last moments he spent with Jesse before dropping him off at school on December 14th. “It was 9:04 when I dropped Jesse off. Jesse gave me a hug and a kiss and at that time said goodbye and love you. He stopped and said, I loved mom too.” Heslin and his wife are separated. Another witness at the hearing was Dr. William Begg, a physician present in the emergency room the day of the massacre. “People say that the overall number of assault weapon deaths is small, but you know what? Please don’t tell that to the people of Tucson or Aurora or Columbine or Virginia Tech, and don’t tell that to the people in Newtown,” Begg said as his noticeable grief elicited a round of applause from hearing attendees. “Don’t tell that to the people in Newtown. This is a tipping point. This is a tipping point and this is a public health issue. Please make the right decision.” Arlette Saenz, “Newtown Parent Sobs at Senate Gun Hearing,” ABC News, February 27, 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.
- March 5
Sheila Matthews, co-founder of the national parents’ rights organization AbleChild, and Newtown resident Patricia Sabato collect hundreds of signatures from Newtown area residents calling for the release of the complete autopsy/toxicology results and medical/psychiatric records of alleged shooter Sandy Hook School shooter Adam Lanza. The appeal to Newtown and Sandy Hook community members is enthusiastically received. The activists send the petition to lawmakers and hand-deliver a letter to the State’s Medical Examiner, H. Wayne Carver II, M.D., requesting that Lanza’s autopsy/toxicology and medical/psychiatric history be made public. The petition is accompanied by two full pages of federal and state law supporting the release. Kelly Patricia O’Meara, “Was Connecticut Shooter, Adam Lanza, On Psychiatric Drugs? Medical Examiner Snubs Official Request for Toxicology Report,” Citizens Commission on Human Rights, March 15, 2013.
Major media outlets criticize what they deem undue secrecy surrouning the Sandy Hook School shooting investigation. Representatives of news media including the Associated Press assert such records as those obtained through search warrants of the Lanzas’ house and cars should be unsealed, saying the public has the right to see such records. It is only necessary to withhold such records when an investigation might be compromised through disclosure. “There seems to be absolutely no reason that they would need to. It’s not going to jeopardize the case in any way,” says Linda Petersen, chairwoman of the Freedom of Information Committee of the Society of Professional Journalists. Attorney William Fish, who represented news media in high-profile cases in Connecticut where evidence was sealed in Connecticut, also argues the sealing is likely unjustified as no prosecution is likely. He conceded, however, that “it’s not a surprise to me that a court has in fact sealed the records just because it’s so horrible.” John Christoffersen, “Connecticut Massacre Records Secret, Media Seek Access,” Associated Press / Yahoo News, March 5, 2013.
- March 13
Filmmaker Michael Moore makes an appeal on his blog for the release of crime scene photos of the Sandy Hook shooting. Moore believes that the shock effect of such imagery will bring about the end of the National Rifle Association and cause a wave of support for bolstering nationwide gun control measures. “And when the American people see what bullets from an assault rifle fired at close range do to a little child’s body,” Moore argues, “that’s the day the jig will be up for the NRA. It will be the day the debate on gun control will come to an end. There will be nothing left to argue over. It will just be over. And every sane American will demand action.” The famous director invokes photos of Emmett Till’s corpse and the victims of My Lai to link Sandy Hook and pro-Second Amendment groups to racism, the civil rights struggle, and American imperialism. Dorrie Carolan, co-president of the Newtown Parent Connection, remarks that carrying through with Moore’s idea would be a “horrendous offense” to families of the Sandy Hook victims. “Sandy Hook Families Rip Michael Moore’s Call to Release Crime Scene Photos,” FoxNews.com, March 15, 2013.
Before carrying out the Sandy Hook massacre Adam Lanza conducted research on numerous mass murders, sources close to investigation inform the Hartford Courant newspaper. The Courant earlier reported investigators finding news articles concerning Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik at the Lanzas’ Newtown home. Sources now say investigators recovered articles and related documents on other mass murders in one of two bedrooms he occupied in the house. Dave Altamari, Edmund H. Mahoney, and Jon Lender, “But two sources said that law enforcement computer forensic specialists are continuing efforts to obtain information from the damaged hard drive. Investigators are also using all means to obtain information from Internet service providers and any other relevant entities to obtain records showing how Lanza used his computer, including what sites he visited, what research he conducted and with whom he corresponded. Dave Altamari, Edmund H. Mahoney and Jon Lender, Adam Lanza Researched Mass Murderers, Sources Say,” Hartford Courant, March 13, 2013.
Sources reveal that law enforcement computer forensic specialists are proceeding with efforts to recover information from Adam Lanza’s damaged hard drive. Investigators are also pursuing all avenues to gain information from Internet service providers and other pertinent entities to find out Lanza used his computer, including the websites he visited, the research he conducted and who he communicated with online. Dave Altamari, Edmund H. Mahoney and Jon Lender, Adam Lanza Researched Mass Murderers, Sources Say,” Hartford Courant, March 13, 2013.
- March 14
Thomson Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys, who provided minute-by-minute account of the Sandy Hook shooting aftermath via his Twitter, is indicted for purportedly conspiring with hacking group “Anonymous” to break in to Tribune website in December 2010 shortly after his termination from the company. Keys, 26, is being charged with three hacking-related counts and could up to 10 years in prison for the alleged incident. Victoria Kim, “Thomson Reuters Editor Matthew Keys Faces Hacking Charges,” Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2013.
- March 17
Unnamed law enforcement officials say to have uncovered a painstakingly thorough 7-foot-long, 4-foot-wide spreadsheet with names, body counts and weapons from previous mass murders at the Lanzas’ Newtown residence. ‘It sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research,’ claims an experienced law enforcement officer who wants to remain anonymous. “He didn’t snap that day, he wasn’t one of those guys who was mad as hell and wasn’t going to take it anymore,” the source said. “He had been planning this thing forever. In the end, it was just a perfect storm: These guns, one of them an AR-15, in the hands of a violent, insane gamer. It was like porn to a rapist. They feed on it until they go out and say, enough of the video screen. Now I’m actually going to be a hunter.” Mike Lupica, “Morbid Find Suggests Murder-Obsessed Gunman Adam Lanza Plotted Newtown Conn’s Sandy Hook Massacre for Years,” New York Daily News, March 17, 2013.
- March 19
Newtown residents want to legally acquire firearms at twice the rate as usual in the three months following December 14, Newtown police say. Officials received 79 permit applications from the population of 27,000 in the three month period following the Dec. 14 massacre. “A good percentage of people are making it clear they think their rights are going to be taken away,” Robert Berkins, records manager for Newtown police. In the past applicants have been hunters, target shooters and business owners. Now, however, police see a broader variety of applicants. John Christoffersen, “Newtown Gun Applications Jump After Sandy Hook Shooting,” Huffingtonpost.com, March 19, 2013.
- March 20
A 28-member task force assembled to decide the fate of Sandy Hook Elementary School will decide on the fate of the school structure within the span of several weeks. The task force “will review a set of options assembled by a team of construction specialists, engineers, architects and land use agents assembled by Newtown Land Use director George Benson.” The committee intends to make a recommendation to the Board of Education by mid-May, a GE Capital report from Selectman Pat Llodra states. In a prelude to the decision public task force meetings will take place “4 or 5 times” from early April to mid-May. “I received a great deal of information on guiding principles from many conversations with various constituent groups and recently asked several additional groups to provide their feedback on the guiding principles,” said Llodra. “I reached out to parents of the victims, parents of the survivors, Sandy Hook School faculty and staff, and Sandy Hook School parents.” Following the December 14 shooting local leaders say they are engaging residents and specialists in an ongoing conversation about the questionable future of the building. In January leaders initiated a series of public town hall meetings to solicit opinions from the community. The same officials say they also met privately with Sandy Hook Elementary staff and family. Davis Dunavin, “Task Force to Talk Future of Sandy Hook School Building,” Newtown Patch, March 20, 2013.
- March 21
Alissa and Robbie Parker, parents of 6-year-old Emilie Parker who died in the December 14 massacre, tell CBS This Morning they met with Adam Lanza’s father Peter Lanza for over, inquiring on his son’s medical and mental health history, as well as other concerns. “I felt strongly that I needed to tell him something, and I needed to get that out of my system,” Alissa Parker said. “I felt very motivated to do it and then I felt really good about it and prayed about it. And it was something that I needed to do.” Otherwise no information is presented on what was discussed or at what time the meeting took place. The Associated Press reports no answer at the Parkers’ home phone on the morning of March 21. A message from AP for comment from Peter Lanza is given to a spokesman for the Lanza family. “Parents of Newtown Victim Met with Killer’s Father,” CBS/Associated Press, March 21, 2013.
- March 23
President Barack Obama uses his weekly radio address to call on Congress to pass a ban on military-style assault weapons and restrictions on ammunition sales. “These ideas shouldn’t be controversial – they’re common sense. They’re supported by a majority of the American people. And I urge the Senate and the House to give each of them a vote,” the president declares. Obama has campaigned for a national program of stricter gun control measures since the December 14 Newtown massacre last year claiming the public wants strengthened laws to curb mass shootings. Senate majority leader Harry Reid introduced firearms legislation earlier in the week that excluded the assault weapons ban, saying there were insufficient votes to pass such a bill. The National Rifle Association and its congressional Democratic and Republic allies oppose such measures. Paul Harris, “Obama Urges Assault Weapons Vote Despite Senate Decision to Drop Ban,” UK Guardian, March 23, 2013.
- March 24
Since the December 14 massacre over 40 organizations raise about $15 million, $10.2 million of which is given to the United Way of Western Connecticut. The money is purportedly collected to assist victim’s families, traumatized students and first responders, establish memorials and potentially help rebuild the school. The money collected is now given to a local foundation that announces it will be in charge of who receives money and what other concerns funds will be directed toward. At the weekend a group of 50 parents and family members directly affected by tragedies at Aurora, Columbine, the World Trade Center or Virginia Tech publicly declare that following past events such charities failed to provide aid to the neediest, requesting that funds be sent directly to victims and victims’ families. “From this point on, virtually every substantive decision is guaranteed to displease someone,” says William Rodgers, Newtown’s second selectman and a nonvoting director of the newly-formed Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation. Peter Applebome, “Tragedies of the Past Offer a Guide as Newtown Aid Goes Unspent,” New York Times, March 24, 2013.
- March 25
Newtown Bee Associate Editor Shannon Hicks responds to query from memoryholeblog on whether the multiple photographs she took at Sandy Hook Elementary as the shooting transpired have been shared with law enforcement or will at any time be made publicly available. “The photos I took on 12/14 have not been shared with anyone,” Hicks said in an email. “We have no plans to do so, either. I would appreciate it if you consider this our final contact,” she continued. “I have enough work to do without getting involved in the kind of ‘research’ that continues to hurt those who live in Newtown.” Shannon Hicks to James Tracy / Memoryholeblog.com [email in possession of author], March 25, 2013.
- March 26
News media and Connecticut state political representatives anticipate release of crime scene evidence by the state attorney’s office on March 28. Whether or not this new information will bring the General Assembly closer to voting on a package of gun control bills is still not clear. Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane is anticipated to release portions of the Sandy Hook investigation on Thursday morning. Kane and Danbury State’s Attorney say they have briefed lawmakers but will not take questions from the press. “There may or may not, his words not mine, be things within that information that would be helpful to us,” observes Rep. Larry Cafero. Mark Davis, “Sandy Hook Details to be Released,” News8 WTNH.com, March 26, 2013.
- March 27
Fire destroys the Newtown house of a family whose children survived the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, rendering them homeless. Friends organize to help the family of Hans and Audra Barth. Two of the three Barth children attended the school, the 7-year-old being in first-grade teacher Kaitlin Roig’s classroom. Roig allegedly saved her 15 students by locking the classroom door and barricading them in a bathroom. “They lost everything,” a friend helping to collect donations for the family says. “The house is going to have to come down, the fire department told them.” The Barths’ daughter is a third-grader Sandy Hook third-grader. Their youngest is 2. Fire Chief Bill Halstead said no one was home when firefighters responded to the blaze shortly after 3:20 p.m. The fire originated in the basement near a washing machine, yet a precise cause is not known, officials say. John Pirro, “Fire Destroys Home of Sandy Hook Survivors,” Stamford Advocate, March 28, 2013.
Superior Court Judge John Blawie approves Danbury State Attorney Stephen Sedensky’s request to redact for an additional 90 days details from search warrant applications related to the investigation of the December 14 massacre. With several motions Blawie removes the name of a “citizen witness” referenced in various parts of the search warrant applications for Nancy Lanza’s house and car. A press report cites a lack of clarity on whether Sedensky is referring to more than one witness. The State Attorney also asked for omission of serial numbers of several items retrieved by investigators from Lanza’s 36 Yogananda Street home in Newtown, in addition to phone numbers and credit card numbers related to the case. John Pirro and Libor Jany, “Judge Approves Redaction of Details in Lanza Search Warrants,” Newtimes.com, March 27. 2013.
The National Day to Demand Action on Gun Control is to be marked by President Barack Obama holding an event in the White House East Room with mothers, victims of violence and law enforcement officials who support gun control. Over 140 events are scheduled in 29 states and are intended to target lawmakers on spring break.Vice President Joe Biden says on March 27 how an anticipated Senate April vote on background checks and more draconian penalties for gun trafficking are only the start of the White House’s campaign. Limits on “military-style-assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines will not be a part of the Senate bill. “That doesn’t mean this is the end of the process. This is the beginning of the process,” Biden remarks during a conference call organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns with thousands of gun control advocates listening in. “The American people are way ahead of their political leaders,” Biden contends. “And we, the president and I and the mayors, intend to stay current with the American people.” Nedra Pickler, “Joe Biden: Gun Control Votes ‘Only the Beginning,’” Huffington Post, March 27, 2013.
- March 28
In a speech at the White House President Barack Obama tells parents of gun victims that the US needs to be ashamed if the Newtown massacre had been forgotten. The speech is part of National Day to Demand Action, organized by the New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign. Gun control activists complain that Obama failed to take advantage of the Newtown victims’ deaths as an opportunity to speed such legislation through Congress. Obama dismisses the criticism. “Less than 100 days ago that happened. And the entire country was shocked, and the entire country pledged we would do something and this time would be different. Shame on us if we have forgotten. I have not forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we have forgotten,” the President says. Obama wants the Senate to vote on gun control measures upon its return from its Easter break on April 8. Ewen MacAskill, “Gun Control: Obama Invokes Memory of Newtown in Emotional Plea,” UK Guardian, March 29, 2013.
Search warrants held under wraps for 114 days reveal that authorities found a large cache of guns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, Samurai swords and knives in Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza’s home. The extensive list of weapons and related artifacts were recovered in a search of the residence on December 14. Still, areas of the warrants were blacked out, including the name of a witness who told police that Sandy Hook Elementary was Adam’s “life.” The following is a list of the astounding array of weapons and ephemera law enforcement authorities claim they recovered from the Lanza residence:
- A copy of Adam Lanza’s Sandy Hook report card
- Two rifles, including the .22 rifle allegedly used to kill Nancy Lanza
- One BB gun
- Several thousand dollars worth of computer equipment and video gaming consoles
- A receipt to a gun range in Weatherford, Oklahoma
- One gun safe in Adam Lanza’s bedroom
- Ammunition inventory that fills nearly two pages, including full boxes of shotgun shells with buckshot, hundreds of rounds .22 rifle ammo, and numerous boxes of handgun ammunition
- One instruction manual for the Bushmaster used in the shooting
- 12 knives
- Three Samurai swords
- One bayonet
- Eye protection, ear muffs for a gun range (unspecified number)
- One pair Simmons binoculars
- Paper targets (unspecified number)
- Adam Lanza’s National Rifle Association membership certificate
- Unidentified medical records
- Printed email conversations (unspecified number)
- Books about living with Asperger syndrome (unspecified number)
- Three photographs of a dead person covered in plastic and blood
- One bank check to Adam Lanza from his mother for “the purchase of a C183 (firearm)” [A C183 is in fact a digital camera.-JT]
- One military-style uniform in Adam Lanza’s bedroom
Families of the victims briefed March 27th about details of the search warrants expressed their hope for more stringent gun control measures “It was obvious his intention was to do a lot of damage and he was certainly capable of doing that…considering the amount of ammunition he had,” says Mark Barden, father of slain first-grader Daniel Barden. “As a parent, I would think that [Nancy Lanza] probably could have made different choices with how she came to spend her time with her son. Fishing comes to mind,” Bardan remarks. Barden says he hopes the release reminds the public of the grotesque and horrific nature of the tragedy. “When people forget about it they do nothing,” Barden observes. Commenting on the snapshot they’ve gotten into Lanza’s life, Barden remembered his own son’s kindness and said Daniel used to sit with the lonely kids in class. “I think if there were a Daniel Barden in Adam Lanza’s class this may not have happened,” he says. Nicole Hockley, the mother of slain first-grader Dylan Hockley, was among family members who were briefed. “I haven’t spent a great deal of time pouring through them,” she notes. “Everything I learn about the investigation is painful because it reminds me of the pain of that day and that Dylan and the others aren’t ever going to come back. I’m much more focused on the need for change,” says Hockley. “The search warrants contents aren’t as important.” Dave Altimari, “Lanza Had Arsenal of Guns, Ammunition, Swords, Knives,” Hartford Courant, March 28, 2013. See Reuters original story, Mary Ellen Clark, “Connecticut Gunman Had Large Weapons Cache,” New Hampshire Union Leader, published at 10:33AM, March 28, 2013.
The National Rifle Association contests any association with Adam and Nancy Lanza. Itemized findings from search warrants posted online from search of Lanza home references a “Adam Lanza National Rifle Association Certificate” discovered in a blue and white duffel bag that also contained a “‘Blazer’ .22 cal long rifle (50 rounds),” as well as eye and ear protection, cartridges and “numerous paper targets.” “There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association,” the NRA responded “Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory.” A review by Politico of the NRA’s website indicates the organization offers many “education and training programs,” in addition to “online templates for certificates. Organizations around the country also offer what they bill as NRA certificates upon completion of certain classes,” Politico reports. “A spokeswoman for the NRA confirmed to POLITICO that it is possible to possess a certificate from the NRA without being a full-fledged member of the organization.” Katie Glueck, “AdamLanza, Mom Had NRA Certificates,” Politico.com, March 28, 2013.
Iran, Syria and North Korea prevent adoption of the first international small arms treaty to regulate the $70 billion global market, arguing that it the agreement is flawed and fails to ban weapons sales to rebel groups. British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant immediately sought to bypass the move by sending the draft treaty to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to put it to a hasty vote in the General Assembly. UN diplomats say the 193-nation General Assembly can put the draft treaty to a vote as early as Tuesday. “A good, strong treaty has been blocked,” Britain’s chief delegate Joanne Adamson observes. “Most people in the world want regulation and those are the voices that need to be heard. This is success deferred,” she says. US delegation head Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman tells reporters, “We look forward to this treaty being adopted very soon by the United Nations General Assembly,” believing there will be a “substantial majority” in favor. Louis Charbonneau, “Iran, North Korea, Syria Block UN Arms Trade Treaty,” Reuters, March 29, 2013.
- March 30
Msgr. Robert Weiss of St. Rose’s Catholic Church in Newtown has served eight funeral Masses for Sandy Hook Elementary victims. “This tragedy has brought more people to our church,” Weiss says. “And where once a mom would bring her daughter to Sunday Mass while dad took his son to a ballgame, whole families come together now. There’s an amazing unity. The mantra in town, with green and white signs — the school’s colors — in store windows and bumper stickers is now, ‘Newtown Chooses Love.’ The common decency is overwhelming.” Weiss looks at a poster of the children and educators slain on Dec. 14 behind him and brushes away a tear, the Daily News reports. “Even a priest who dispatches eight children to their eternal reward sometimes needs a priest himself.” Denis Hamil, “Newtown Reborn: A Season of Renewal for a Town in Pain,” New York Daily News, March 30, 2013.
- April 1
CBS News claims to have obtained college transcripts from Western Connecticut State University and a photo of Adam Lanza taken for his college identification card. “CBS News Obtains Adam Lanza’s College Records,” CBS News, April 1, 2013.
- April 2
Mark Mattioli, whose six-year-old son was killed in the December shooting, lauds the National Rifle Association for a “comprehensive program” the organization proposed to confront gun violence in schools. “I wanted to take a minute and applaud … the NRA for coming up and spending the time and resources on putting a program like this together,” Mattioli says. “If you look what took place in Sandy Hook, mental health is a huge component of that. We need to focus research attention, research. We need the kids to be safe.” Molly Reilly, “Mark Mattioli, Father of Sandy Hook Victim, Praises NRA School Safety Plan,” Huffington Post, April 2, 2013.
Through a large majority the UN General Assembly adopts an agreement to control the conventional weapons trade. Member states vote 154 to three (Syria, Iran and North Korea), with 23 abstentions, to control the $64bn annual market. The US forced a vote on the proposal after the three upstart nations stood in the way. Russia and China abstain from the vote at UN headquarters in New York. Loud cheers are heard in the chamber as votes are counted. The treaty is the first legally binding international agreement regulating the conventional weapons trade. Yet it allegedly provides for states to recognise “the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial interests … in the international trade in conventional arms” Amnesty International and the International Red Cross laud the agreement for its contribution to “humanitarian concerns.” Ian Black, “UN General Assembly Passes First Global Arms Treaty,” UK Guardian, April 2, 2013.
- April 3
President Barack Obama travels to Connecticut Monday to intensify pressure on Congress for passage of a wide-ranging package of gun control laws. Obama speaks at the University of Hartford with Sandy Hook Elementary victims’ invited to attend. This is the president’s second trip in one week to Connecticut before traveling to Colorado shortly thereafter. Nendra Peckler, “Obama Plans to Promote Gun Control in Connecticut,” Associated Press/Yahoo News, April 2, 2013.
- April 4
Governor Dannel P. Malloy signs into law far-reaching 139-page bill restricting firearms and ammunition magazines similar to the ones allegedly used by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary. The law adds over 100 firearms to the state’s assault weapons ban and establishes what lawmakers call “the nation’s first dangerous weapon offender registry,” in addition to eligibility rules for buying ammunition. Accompanied by family members of Sandy Hook victims, Malloy signs the bill shortly after the General Assembly spent 13 hours deliberating legislation that will give the state some of the most stringent gun laws in the country next to California, Colorado and New York. “This is a profoundly emotional day for everyone in this room,” Malloy announces. “We have come together in a way that few places in the nation have demonstrated the ability to do.” House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz: “I pray today’s bill — the most far-reaching gun safety legislation in the country — will prevent other families from ever experiencing the dreadful loss that the 26 Sandy Hook families have felt.” Susan Haigh, “Connecticut Governor Signs Sweeping Gun Limits Into Law,” Associated Press/Yahoo News, April 4, 2013.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revokes the federal firearms license of East Windsor, Connecticut gun store owner David LaGuercia. Mr. LaGuercia’s shop allegedly sold guns used in the Newtown school massacre and another mass shooting in Connecticut. ATF spokeswoman Deb Seifert says she cannot be more specific on why LaGuercia’s license, originally suspended December 20 and 60-days with opportunity to appeal, was permanently revoked. “It’s been revoked,” Seifert said. “It’s final at this point.” The ATF will not say whether there is any criminal investigation into Riverview Gun Sales. ATF agents raided the outlet in December, just days after the Dec. 14 massacre. Lee Higgins, “Newtown Massacre: Gun Dealer’s License Yanked,” April 4, 2013.
- April 7
Members from seven families of Sandy Hook Elementary victims representing “Sandy Hook Promise” appear on national television to offer remembrances of their loved ones and discuss avenging their deaths through the pursuit of more rigorous gun control legislation. Connecticut legislators “have passed almost everything we were hoping they would,” David Wheeler, father of 6-year-old Ben Wheeler says. “And they have done it in a bipartisan way which is a great message to send out to the other states and to the federal government as they begin this process.” Scott Pelley, “Newtown Families on Gun Control,” CBS News, April 7, 2013.
- April 8
President Obama appears before supportive audience of 3,100 at University of Hartford in Connecticut to invoke memory of Sandy Hook School massacre victims and promote gun-control. “If you’re an American who wants to do something to prevent more families from knowing the immeasurable anguish that these families here have known, then we have to act,” Obama intones. “Now’s the time to get engaged. Now’s the time to get involved. Now’s the time to push back on fear and frustration and misinformation. Now’s the time for everybody to make their voices heard, from every statehouse to the corridors of Congress.” Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says that he will unite with at least 13 other Republicans opposed to the gun control legislation recently passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Peter Applebome and Jonathan Weisman, “Invoking Newtown Dead, Obama Presses Gun Laws,” New York Times, April 9, 2013.
A literary agent for New York Daily News reporter Matt Lysiak proffers a book proposal by the reporter on the Sandy Hook School massacre. Lysiak aided in breaking a story that collected alleged emails written by Adam Lanza’s mother prior to Lanza’s shooting spree. “Far from being the random act of insanity most have portrayed,” the book’s synopsis reads, “the shooting that shocked our nation was a meticulously well-thought out premeditated attack years in the making by a violent video-gamer so obsessed with ‘kills’ that he was willing to go to any length to achieve the top score … Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, psychologists, and going over a decade’s worth of emails from his mother to close friends that chronicled Lanza’s slow slide into mental illness, this book will be the first comprehensive account of the tragedy.” Jason Boog, “Daily News Reporter Shopping Book About Newtown Tragedy,” New York Daily News, April 8, 2013.
- April 11
The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms releases records indicating that Nancy Lanza purchased the Bushmaster XM15 rifle on March 29, 2010, and SIG Sauer 9 mm pistol on March 16, 2011, indicating on the federally-mandated ATF paperwork that she was buying the guns for herself. Lee Higgins, “ATF Records Show Nancy Lanza Gun Purchases,” April 11, 2013.
- April 12
The New York Times reports broad bipartisan Congressional support for legislation linking increased funding of mental health care measures with emerging gun control legislation. The US Senate proposes financing the establishment of more community mental health centers, grants that will go to training teachers to detect early signals of mental illness and direct more Medicaid dollars for mental health care. In addition, resources will go toward suicide prevention initiatives and mental health counseling for children who have experienced trauma. The proponents of one bill say an additional 1.5 million people with mental illness would be brought into the system each year. Supporters of such measures argue increased mental health care will preclude more killers like Adam Lanza from going undetected. “This is a place where people can come together,” Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow says. “As we’ve listened to people on all sides of the gun debate, they’ve all talked about the fact that we need to address mental health treatment. And that’s what this does.” Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas agrees. “This is actually something we can and should do something about. We need to make sure that the mentally ill are getting the help they need.” “This is our moment,” says Linda Rosenberg, president of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. “I hate the connection between gun violence and the need for better mental health care, but sometimes you have to take what you can get.” Jeremy W. Peters, “In Gun Debate, No Rift on Better Care for Mentally Ill,” New York Times, April 13, 2013.
- April 15
2:50PMTwo makeshift explosive devices detonate at the finish line of the famed Boston Marathon. The 2013 run is designed in honor of the 26 Sandy Hook Elementary School victims with its 26 mile course. It is also attended by several parents from Newtown participating in the event. Yet the six Sandy Hook families present are caught in a milieu of emergency vehicles and carnage. “It was all those same things, the police and fire and all of that. It’s severely traumatic,” says Lauren Nowacki, one of the Newtown parents in town for the April 15 marathon. “We thought things were finally getting to a good place from the first go-around, and now this.” Nowacki’s daughter was at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14 but was not injured. Nowacki says all of the Newtown marathoners completed the run before the bombs detonated that purportedly injure 170 people and kill three. “Boston really reached out to us,” Nowacki notes. “Even after the bombing, the communications director from the race called to make sure all the kids were all right.” The Newtown group will now attempt to reciprocate by honoring the victims of the Boston bombings with their own annual race, the Sandy Hook 5k Run. Colleen Curry, “Sandy Hook Families at Boston Marathon Traumatized Again,” ABC News, April 16, 2013.
- April 16
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein release information they have collected on dozens of charities established to collect funds as a result of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The 43 charities reporting have collected close to $20.4 million and distributed nearly $2.9 million. Charitable purposes include: providing direct financial support or other assistance to the 26 families; creating scholarships and one endowment for Newtown children and youth; memorial trees; a physical memorial; and “to recognize, support and inspire acts of kindness.” The information was collected following issuance of a voluntary request for information by the Attorney General and Commissioner sent March 28 to 69 charities either registered with the state Department of Consumer Protection, or publically identified as receiving donations related to Sandy Hook Elementary. An April 12 response was suggested. “This request was an initial step to provide information to the public, Newtown community and other charitable organizations trying to meet the needs of those affected by this tragedy,” Attorney General George Jepsen says. “My office will be following up with the charities that did not respond.” State of Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection and Office of the Attorney General, “Attorney General, Consumer Protection Post Information Received From Sandy Hook-Related Charities,” State of Connecticut, April 16, 2013.
- April 17
In a major defeat for the Obama administration the US Senate votes against several proposed laws that would have greatly expanded government control over private firearms ownership. The bipartisan compromise to expand background checks, ban assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines did not receive the 60 votes necessary and agreed to by both parties. Senators also refuse Republican proposals to increase access to concealed-carry permits. Family members who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre sit in the Senate gallery alongside survivors of the Virginia Tech and Tuscon shootings, and yell at Senators, “Shame on you,” after the votes. In a dour tone President Obama reinforces this sentiment at the White House. Surrounded by Sandy Hook parents, he says it was “a pretty shameful day for Washington.” Republican and Democratic Second Amendment advocates assert that their votes are based on logic rather than passion. “Criminals do not submit to background checks now,” Republican Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa. “They will not submit to expanded background checks.” Incensed at the Senate’s action, Obama claims the gun rights lobby “willfully lied” about the proposed laws, and both parties had “caved to the pressure. But this effort is not over.” Jonathan Weisman, “Senate Blocks Drive for Gun Control,” New York Times, April 17, 2013.
- April 24
Newtown Action Alliance puts together Sandy Hook Team 26 to walk in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 5K fundraiser, scheduled for Saturday, May 18, in Hartford Connecticut. The Sandy Hook Ride on Washington cyclists, who rode on bicycles from Newtown to Washington DC, share their logo and name with the walkers. “We were very inspired by the cyclists taking physical action to make a change,” Sandy Hook Team 26 Captain Erin Nikitchyuk says. Each walker has a minimum personal goal of $100, “but our overall team goal is to be among the leading teams,” Ms Nikitchyuk remarks. “We feel like it would be very powerful to have a Newtown team showing the world with our team efforts that we support finding solutions to the many complex contributing factors that resulted in our tragedy [at Sandy Hook School],” she says. The team is raising the money it will then give to NAMI in assisting families touched by mental illness, and to educate and advocate on mental health issues. “We saw the worst case scenario [at Sandy Hook Elementary] of what happens when we don’t support people who need it,” Ms Nikitchyuk notes. “[Adam Lanza] obviously needed more support than society gave him.” Nancy Crevier, “Sandy Hook Team 26 Will Walk for Mental Health,” Newtown Bee, April 24, 2013.
- April 27
Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra and Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson are selected to deliver the keynote address at Western Connecticut State University’s undergraduate commencement ceremonies on May 12. Llodra and Robinson have been celebrated for their leadership following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. Llodra is said to have been “a steadfast force for the community as it has wrestled with everything from the international outpouring of donations to advocacy for new gun laws and decisions on the fate of the existing Sandy Hook Elementary School building. Llodra has been to Washington on several occasions to address issues that have emerged from the tragedy, while she continued to direct the town in its everyday business and preparation of a budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Robinson was recently recognized by the University of Connecticut as Outstanding Superintendent of the Year. She is also a veteran educator and school psychologist who has received national acclaim for her management of the Newtown school system following December 14, 2012. Alongside Llodra, Robinson has been a national advocate for addressing gun violence, mental health issues, and school safety concerns. Nanci G. Hutson, “Llodra and Robinson to Address WCSU Graduates,” newstimes.com, April 27, 2013.
- May 7
Parents of several children slain in the Sandy Hook School massacre travel to Delaware to tout stricter gun control measures. Delaware Governor Jack Markell exhibits photos of Daniel Barden. Anna Marquez-Greene and Dylan Hockley–three of those killed in the shooting.Parents coax Markell and Delaware legislators to pass laws banning high capacity magazines. “There were 11 other children in that classroom that escaped and are at school today because that shooter had an issue with reloading and gave them enough time to run for their lives,” Dylan Hockley’s mother, Nicole tells the press. Markell intends to sign legislation expanding background checks to almost all private sales in Delaware. “Parents of Newtown Victims Come to Delaware,” ABC 6 Philadelphia Action News, May 7, 2013.
- May 10
A task for of 28 Newtown elected officials voted unanimously to tear down Sandy Hook Elementary School and rebuild another structure on the site. The proposal will go to the local school board, then face a voter referendum. A study concludes that erecting a new school will cost $57 million. A total 430 Sandy Hook students now attend a revamped school renamed Sandy Hook Elementary School in the nearby town of Monroe. Officials say groundbreaking can begin in spring and a new building might reopen in January 2016. Dave Collins, “Newtown Panel: Tear Down Sandy Hook Elementary School, Rebuild,” Huffington Post, May 10, 2013.
- May 11
CBS anchor Scott Pelley says in a speech at Quinnipiac University that journalists “are getting big stories wrong, over and over again.” The CBS presenter did not hesitate in absorbing part of the blame. “Let me take the first arrow: During our coverage of Newtown, I sat on my set and I reported that Nancy Lanza was a teacher at the school. And that her son had attacked her classroom. It’s a hell of a story, but it was dead wrong. Now, I was the managing editor, I made the decision to go ahead with that and I did, and that’s what I said, and I was absolutely wrong. So let me just take the first arrow here.” Daniel Halper, “Our House is on Fire,” The Weekly Standard, May 11, 2013.
- May 12
Huffington Post publishes Mothers Day-themed piece by Sandy Hook Elementary shooting mothers Jackie Barden, Nicole Hockley, Nelba Marquez-Greene, and Francine Wheeler. When Dylan, Daniel, Ana and Ben came into this world,” the women write,
each of us, in our own way, promised to prepare them for life as best we could. Every day, approximately 11,000 new American moms will make that same loving promise as they meet their babies for the first time. Within a blink of an eye, these women will become intimately familiar with things like bath time, sunscreen, chocolate chip pancakes, and the healing power of multi-colored band-aids. And with each new moment shared, something magical will happen. These new moms will get to experience life when it is lived for others. They will learn more about themselves than they ever imagined. The sacrifices are immeasurable. But so is the joy. Hearts melt with every “Mommy, will you please read me another story?” “Mommy, will you give me another kiss good-night?” “Mommy, I love you.”
Jackie Barden, Nicole Hockley, Nelba Marquez-Greene, and Francine Wheeler, “A Mother’s Promise,” Huffington Post, May 12, 2013.
- May 13
Toxicology tests conducted as part of the autopsy on Adam Lanza by Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver II show Lanza had no alcohol or drugs in his body when he allegedly shot and killed 20 children and six women at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. Such an exam looks for traces of most every legal and illegal drug. Lanza had no traces of alcohol or any illegal drugs such as cocaine or marijuana in his body. Nor were there indications of antidepressants or anti-psychotic medications.The tests were conducted as part of the autopsy by state Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver II. Sources said his final report has been turned over to state prosecutors and investigators. David Altimari, “Sandy Hook Shooter Adam Lanza Had No Drugs, Alcohol in System,” Hartford Courant, December 14, 2013.
- May 14
Newtown Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia is refusing to release death certificates for the 26 victims of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, stating that such information on death certificates might be used by identity thieves. Passage of two bills on the topic are before the Connecticut Legislature pursued ostensibly by the Aurelia are uncertain because the legislative session runs out on June 5 and thus the proposed legislation may not get a vote. This is the view of Rep. Ed Jutila, D-East Lyme, co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections Committee. “We’re down to three-and-a-half weeks, and there are lots of bills trying to make it through that funnel,” he said. “This may or may not be one of those.” Jutila has not recently heard from the legislation’s proponents and notes there is vigorous opposition to the idea of limits on information available to the public for centuries. One bill would impose a six-month waiting period and the second creates new “short” death certificates with limited information, including the person’s name, gender, cause of death, and date and place of death, for issuance to to the public. There are exemptions for next of kin, funeral directors and others. Susan Haigh, “Fate of Newtown Death Certificate Bills in Doubt,” Newsday/Associated Press, May 14, 2013.
- May 21
Connecticut’s chief prosecutor and the state’s governor’s working behind closed doors with legislative leaders on a law to withhold records on the police investigation of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Such records would include victims’ photos, tapes of 911 calls, and more. The secret move was discovered when The Hartford Courant received a copy of an email by assistant state’s attorney Timothy J. Sugrue, a top assistant to Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane. In the communication Sugrue discussed options assessed thus far, which involve possibly blocking release of statements “made by a minor.” Jon Lender, Edmund H. Mahoney, and Dave Altimari, “Bill Drafted in Secret Would Block Release of Some Newtown Massacre Records,” Hartford Courant, May 21, 2013.
- June 1
A change.org petition addressed to Connecticut state legislators requests the swift passage of HB 6424 that will seal from public view police investigation records pertaining to the Sandy Hook massacre under seal. As of June 3 the petition reaches 40,000 signatures. The petition is ostensibly established by shooting victim parents Nicole and Ian Hockley, Mark and Jackie Barden, and Jimmy Greene and Nelba Marquez-Greene. “We are parents and family members who lost children in the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school in December 2012,” the petition’s prefatory message reads. “We’re coming together to urge the Connecticut legislature to pass a law that would keep sensitive information, including photos and audio, about this tragic day private and out of the hands of people who’d like to misuse it for political gain.” Keep Sandy Hook crime scene information private: Urge the CT Legislature to Pass HB 6424,” change.org, June 1, 2013.
- June 5
The Connecticut Senate and House vote overwhelmingly to approve legislation preventing public disclosure of photos and videos of homicide victims and other records in reaction to the Newtown school massacre. The law had been vigorously advocated by parents of Sandy Hook massacre victims. The Senate passes the bill 33-2 after seventeen minutes of debate. At 2:00AM the House approves the bill with a vote of 130-2. The legislation proceeds to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is expected to sign it, and will take effect immediately. The law applies to all homicide cases — not just to the Newtown investigation. A previous version of the proposal applied specifically to Newtown. The new measure will prevent release of photos, videos, or digital video images “depicting the victim of a homicide, to the extent that such record could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy” of the victim or surviving family members. Audio records of 911 emergency calls would still be released as public records under the state Freedom of Information Law according to the new version of the law achieving passage. Jon Lender, “Senate, House Overwhelmingly Approve Bill to Withhold Homicide Photos, Other Records, After Newtown,” Hartford Courant, June 5, 2013.
- June 12
Parents of the children allegedly killed at Sandy Hook Elementary travel to Washington DC to lobby Congress for tightening laws on gun ownership, including expansion of background checks. In particular, the families meet with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a co-creator of the unsuccessful background check bill, House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The Newtown families were in Washington one month earlier when the gun bill failed to pass the Senate. Shortly after the Senate voted against the plan, several parents whose children were killed at Sandy Hook appeared alongside President Obama at the White House as he vowed to continue the fight to enact stricter gun laws. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden vow to intensify their campaign for stricter gun control measures. Arlette Saenz, “Newtown Families Return to Capitol Hill as Six Month Anniversary Approaches,” ABC News, June 12, 2013.
- June 14
Newtown residents and others congregate at Edmond Town Hall to commemorate the six month anniversary of the Sandy Hook School massacre. Later that day Cristina Hassinger, daughter of Sandy Hook principal Dawn Hochsprung, is escorted by Newtown police on a tour of the school’s interior. wanted to see the school where her mother was murdered. Hassinger says she wants to put the pieces together of what happened on December 14th. “We went inside,” Hassinger recalls.
We went through the doors into the lobby … The police officer (who was also with us) turned the lights on as we went through. He was ahead of us, like he’d done this before … It did smell weird, not strong but it smelled. It was closed off. It smelled really musty. There was no fresh air. It smelled stale. That definitely made it more difficult … We went down the hall and she (the detective) showed me the conference room where the meeting was that Mom, Natalie (Hammond) and Mary (Sherlach) were in. We didn’t go inside. It was empty. Not even the furniture was in it … We went into the classrooms. There is nothing in the classrooms. They are all completely stripped. No desks. They had ripped out the floors. A lot of the ceiling tiles were missing and the windows were all boarded up … They still don’t know which classroom was attacked first. They aren’t sure which. If they do (know), they didn’t tell us. She (the detective) was telling us what they think happened. The only witnesses are little kids, and what’s trauma and what’s real, it’s all very muddy.
Dirk Perrefort, “A Daughter’s Pilgrimage to Where Mother Was Slain,” Newstimes.com, June 15, 2013.10:00AM [Estimate]
“No More Names: The National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence,” a nationwide bus tour promoting stricter gun control and observing victims of gun violence, touches off in Newtown Connecticut, the site of the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary massacre. The tour is scheduled for 100 days, will traverse 25 states, and is being sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a non-profit founded in 2006 by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Before Newtown’s Town Hall a ticker counts the number of people killed by gun violence since the Sandy Hook shootings. “Over 6,000 have been killed by guns in six months alone,” declares Steve Barton, a survivor of the July 2012 shootings in Aurora, Colo., and a speaker at Friday’s ceremony. “More than 3,000 will be killed while this bus is on the road if we don’t do anything.” William Holt, “Bus Tour Commemorating Sandy Hook Takes Gun Control on the Road,” Yahoo! News, June 14, 2013.
Hartford Courant publishes an article promoting “a special report” that is to appear in the paper’s June 16 Sunday edition. The piece is accompanied by a video, “‘The Ducks of Sandy Hook Elementary‘ Help Newtown Children Cope,” featuring Monroe Connecticut police officer Todd Keeping being interviewed on the significance of toy rubber ducks to recovery from trauma. The teaser calls attention to six month anniversary of shooting and the Newtown community’s attempt to deal with the tragedy. “Healing is a slow process with erratic progress,” the article observes.
For some, the memories remain jarringly fresh — the acrid smell of gun smoke, the sharp echo of gunshots over the public-address system, the crunch of broken glass underfoot as crying children fled — and far worse for others, particularly students and staff at the school office and near the first-grade classrooms where 26 classmates and educators died. For some students, little sounds can be terrifying — the slam of a dropped book, a car door closing or a raised angry voice. Little things can be reassuring, too. Decorated plastic ducks were among the boxes of teddy bears, toys and school supplies that flooded Newtown in the weeks after the Dec. 14 shooting, filling public spaces and garages and, eventually, warehouses. Sent by Kiwanis members in Colorado, the ducks were plucked from the other donations by Monroe police Officers Todd Keeping and Michael Panza, who provided security at the new school. They put the ducks on windowsills and desks, and in classroom nooks, hoping to ease tension and brighten dark days. “Adults like them. Kids like them,” Keeping said. “It just got to the point where I’d hear, ‘My kid is riding the bus and looking forward to coming to school again.’”
Matthew Sturdevant, “Inside Sandy Hook School: Six Months Later,” Hartford Courant, June 14, 2013.
- June 18
Death certificates for the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims are released as a result of mounting pressure from news media and a FOIA request after the Newtown Town Clerk’s office refused to turn them over to the press. The one page documents indicate that 24 of the 26 victims died from “multiple gunshot wounds,” but little more. Bill Hutchinson, “Sandy Hook Elementary School Death Certificates Released,” New York Daily News, June 18, 2013.
- June 30
The Hartford Courant reports that an internet user believed by law enforcement authorities to be Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza frequently posted anonymously on internet message boards and gaming chat rooms. The messages exhibit what Courant reporters describe as “atechnical prowess about weapons and computers, a ‘fetish’ for a certain bullet and a near-fixation with correcting Wikipedia articles about mass killers.” The suspected poster further questioned “Connecticut’s assault-gun ban, offers a blueprint for his laptop computer and provides YouTube links to a commercial for a laughing doll from the 1970s and for The Rock-afire Explosion, an animatronics band that played in ShowBiz Pizza locations in the 1980s.” The Courant further reports that the posts in question “reveal an intense and well-developed interest in high-capacity weaponry and an almost obsessive attention to details both in the user’s own writing and his editing of articles about mass murder.” Alaine Griffin and Josh Kovner, “Mass Murders Captivated Online User Believed to be Adam Lanza,” Hartford Courant, June 30, 2013.
- July 7
An unnamed source close to the State Police investigation of the Sandy Hook School massacre says video and audio from cruiser cameras of Newtown police who responded to the Dec. 14 incident show officers failed to enter the building as about 10 shots were fired by gunman Adam Lanza. “There is no doubt there was some delay,” the source says. “The question is whether it was significant or justified.” Some Newtown officers have been repeatedly interviewed by investigators seeking to establish a firm timeline for the events. The source claims such interviews have touched a nerve among Newtown officers dealing with what witnessed at the school. John Pirro, “Newtown Police Response to Shooting Under Review,” Stamford Advocate, July 7, 2013.
- July 19
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, cosponsors a public vigil featuring mass shooting survivors and relatives of victims from Aurora Colorado and Newtown Connecticut who gather with dozens of supporters in suburban Denver almost a year after the Aurora attack. Vigil participants advocate for strict federal gun control laws. “Why wait any longer?” asks Carlee Soto, sister of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Victoria Soto. “The time for change is now.”Dan Elliott, “Aurora, Newtown Survivors Honor Theater Victims,” Huffington Post, July 19, 2013.
- July 24
Newtown Chief of Police addresses government officials and law enforcement agencies personnel on the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and its aftermath at the Police Executives Conference. Before the presentation Kehoe tells a reporter, “The shooting itself lasted an hour and half to two hours. The officers did very well during the event– but the aftermath is what we weren’t prepared for.” The police chief adds that a community such as Newtown has to be “cohesive before a crisis event happens” so that such an event can be navigated through. Lindsay Curtin, “Newtown Police Chief in Wilmington to Talk Crisis Management,” WECT 6, July 24, 2013.
- July 27
The Hartford Courant reports on the contrast between the limited number of details released by law enforcement on the investigation into the Sandy Hook School massacre versus the extent of speaking engagements by Connecticut State Police and Newtown police officers across the country, that can involve sharing graphic details of what they saw inside the school. In March, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other political leaders critiqued state police for releasing details of the investigation at out-of-state conferences. A police report has been delayed for months, and state law enforcement officials have attempted to push through legislation intended to keep secret some details of the shooting. Dave Altimari, “While Connecticut Waits, Police Talk Newtown Shooting Across US,” Hartford Courant, July 27, 2013.
- July 29
Newtown resident Lori Hoagland returns to JFK Airport from a 17-day trip to Turkey expecting to be greeted in the terminal by her husband, Robert, only to later find that he has disappeared without a trace. Robert Hoagland worked for a Bridgeport law firm involved in real estate-related law. “He was a man doing ordinary life things on a Sunday, preparing for his wife to come home,” Lori Hoagland says, noting she spoke to him two days before her return. “And he disappeared. … It’s a total, total mystery.” Nanci G. Hutson, “Missing Man Remains a Mystery,” Connecticut Post, August 21, 2013.
- August 1
The New York Times editorializes on the slow pace of the investigation of the Sandy Hook School massacre. “Connecticut officials continue to keep the public in the dark about the state’s official investigation into the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December,” the Times editorial staff remarks, “even as state and local police have been discussing it at forums across the nation, sometimes in graphic detail. Though the fullest possible report was promised after the tragedy, its release has been repeatedly postponed, with authorities advising patience while the public grows increasingly puzzled.” “The Slow Motion Inquiry Into Sandy Hook,” New York Times, August 1, 2013.
- August 4
Peter Lanza, the father of Newtown shooter Adam Lanza’s, puts his Stamford Connecticut house up for sale with an asking price of $710,000. The home is described by realtor Halstead Property as a 2,375-square-foot “ranch cape” on 1.04 acres, with three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms and a pool in the backyard. It’s located on Bartina Lane in the Westover section of town, one of the city’s more affluent neighborhoods. Maggie Gordon, “Lanza’s Father Moving Out of Stamford Home,” Stamford Advocate, August 6, 2013.
- August 13
Over 150 take part in an “Active Shooter/Mass Casualty Drill” at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB). “The blood was just make-up, the screams for help only feigned, and the gunman at the center of it all nonexistent,” the online Signal Tribune newspaper reports, “but the more than 150 participants involved in the [event] were taking their assigned duties very seriously.” The exercise can be described as “a multi-agency mock response with participants including the CSULB University Police Department, the Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach Fire Department, St. Mary Medical Center, Lifeline EMS, Pacific College and numerous CSULB departments collaborating to apprehend a non-existent shooter and treat “victims” played by actors. The emphasis of the drill centered on the CSULB Student Health Center and its staff’s ability to perform triage in the field, in addition to university personnel’s capacity to communicate with outside agencies, the media and the public. Cory Bilicko, “In Wake of School Shootings at Santa Monica and Sandy Hook, CSULB Conducts Multi-Agency “Mass Casualty Drill,” Signal Tribune, August 16, 2013.
- August 14
Newtown First Selectwoman Pat Llodra writes a letter to the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation’s handling $11.5 million collected after the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook School shooting, suggesting that it to give more money to the shooting victims, especially the families of the 12 children who survived. “Let me state unequivocally that the amount of money provided to the families of the survivors by the distribution committee is inadequate,” Llodra writes. “Twenty thousand dollars will be insufficient to address the wide range of mental health needs for these youngsters and their siblings and parents for years into the future.” Llodra’s letter is one of many questioning the decision to distribute $7.7 million of the $11.5 million under the organization’s control. Dave Altimari, “Newtown Leader Wants More Money Earmarked For Shooting Victims,” Hartford Courant, August 14, 2013.
State police assigned to investigate the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre abruptly cancel speaking engagements in California and Texas scheduled for this week and are ordered to focus on finishing the much-anticipated report on the shooting that left 20 first-graders and six women dead. Two weeks ago, the Hartford Courant reported that state police and Newtown police were traveling throughout the US to discuss the shooting response at conferences yet releasing little information publicly in Connecticut. At that time, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky defended the travel, saying that police were not discussing details of the investigation and traveling was not slowing down the probe. Since that story appeared, Malloy’s chief of staff met with state police officials and told them “to be more deliberative” in choosing whether to attend any of the conferences to discuss the Sandy Hook investigation. After that meeting, state police officials have stepped up the investigation. Dave Altimari, “Connecticut State Police Cautioned About Discussing Newtown,” Hartford Courant, August 14, 2013.
- August 15
Robbie Parker, the 31-year-old father of Emilie Parker who was slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School, donates books to the Hillsboro Public Library after addressing his alma mater, Pacific University in Oregon a week earlier. “When a married couple brings their first child into the world, it’s an amazing change,” Parker says. “She was that person for us. She made us the best possible version of ourselves as individuals and as a couple.” Parker notes that Emlie liked to draw and read. “I can’t tell you how many times she got in trouble,” Parker says laughing, on the nights he’d see her light was still on as she read past her bedtime. Andrew Theen, “Father of Sandy Hook Victims Makes Special Emotional Donation to the Hillsboro Public Library,” The Oregonian/AM 1360 KUIK, August 15, 2013.
- August 16
The Sandy Hook Commission established by Gov. Daniel Malloy to make recommendations on gun violence, mental health, and school safety, hears from some of Israel’s homeland security officials on the school safety model used in Israel.
During a meeting the task force held a Skype conference with officials from a group called The Israel Experience in Homeland Security, suggesting how the Israelis have a very different approach to school security and homeland security in general. Hugh McQuaid, “Sandy Hook Commission Hears From Israeli Security Experts,” New Haven Register, August 16, 2013.
Eight detectives for the Connecticut State Police have received $139,000 in overtime pay to investigate the Sandy Hook School massacre since January 1, 2013. Almost half has gone to two investigators operating out of Southbury barracks, who claim to have put in over 500 hours of work above and beyond the call of duty in 2013. “There has been absolutely no authorization for overtime for attending any conferences,” State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance says. “They only get paid overtime when they are called out to investigate any criminal cases and/or they work past their normal work day. They respond to call outs and must be available 24/7.” Dave Altimari, “Overtime for Sandy Hook Investigators Nears $140,000 Since Jan. 1,” Hartford Courant, August 16, 2013.
- August 21
James H. Smith, a task force member and the president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information questions the makeup of a task force charged with recommending to state lawmakers how to balance victim privacy with the public’s right to know. Smith is concerned the overall membership of the 17-person group appears slanted in favor of keeping certain information from public release. “Sandy Hook Task Force Member Questions Secrecy,” Associated Press/CTPost.com, August 21. 2013.
- August 25
A task force meets that formed after Orange (Florida) County Mayor Teresa Jacobs approached community leaders to establish a body focusing on the mental-health needs of children and young adults to avoid tragedies such as Sandy Hook. “When the Sandy Hook shootings happened, I wanted to respond immediately by getting deputies into the schools,” Jacobs says. “But that’s treating the symptoms and not the cause. Hopefully, we’re coming of age as a society so that we recognize mental illness is not some kind of character weakness, but a legitimate physical illness that has to be addressed and treated.” Kate Santich, “Children’s Mental Health Commission Debuts Today,” Orlando Sentinel, August 25, 2013.
- August 29
Attorney General Eric Holder announces the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance will provide $2.5 million in funds to the Connecticut State Police, the Newtown Police Department and other agencies that assisted following the December 14 shooting that killed 20 children and six educators. The funding provides agencies and jurisdictions for costs of overtime, forensics and security during and in the aftermath of the crime, the Justice Department says. “Providing support to the law enforcement agencies that responded to the horrific scene that awaited them at Sandy Hook Elementary School is one small action we can take to bring healing to a community that’s been devastated,” Holder states in the news release. “Just over eight months after this senseless tragedy, those who lost their lives, and those who continue to grieve, remain in our thoughts and prayers.” DOJ press release (PDF).Cassandra Day, “Newtown Police to Share in $300K for Sandy Hook Shooting Compensation,” Middletown Patch, August 31, 2013.
- September 4
An attorney with Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission recommends release of 911 recordings from Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, coming down on the side of The Associated Press in AP’s dispute over records withheld by investigators. The full, nine-member commission will hold a Sept. 25 hearing before issuing a final decision on whether the recordings should be provided to the AP. A spokesman for the state’s Division of Criminal Justice, says its attorneys will argue against the release. “Conn. FOI Officer Urges Relase of 911 Recordings from Sandy Hook School Shooting,” Washington Post / Associated Press, September 4, 2013.
- September 7
Teachers at school districts in southern Orange County California are instructed that if they can’t hide or get away from a campus gunman, they should aggressively use chairs, tables, fire extinguishers and even books as weapons to disable a shooter. The revamped policy comes in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. “Schools in Orange County Teach Ways to Combat Gunman,” KSBY News 6 / Associated Press, September 7, 2013.
- September 11
Newtown Police Lieutenant George Sinko, a 24-year veteran, receives a written reprimand from the chief. Sinko’s colleagues are upset because they say the lieutenant proceeded to direct traffic at a construction site instead of immediately rushing to the Sandy Hook School massacre event with other officers on the morning of December 14. Some Newtown police officers are displeased with what they see as lenient treatment of the lieutenant and are discussing a vote of no confidence in Chief Michael Kehoe. John Pirro, “Newtown Lieutenant Reprimanded for Slow Sandy Hook Response,” Connecticut Post, September 11, 2013.
- September 13
Ground is broken on a playground in Fairfield CT to honor Jessica Rekos, one of the young children slain in the Sandy Hook tragedy. The playground is being developed by firefighters and community members who wish to volunteer. “Building a Playground for Newtown Victim,” WTNH News 8, September 13, 2013.
- September 14
Gun rights activists in assert they will vigorously pursue state lawmakers advocating strong gun control measures. Connecticut does not have a provision to recall elected officials, unlike Colorado, where two prominent gun control proponents were just booted from the legislature. “Our recall capabilities are at the ballot box next year,” says Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League. “We hope to get some of them out of office. … The key thing is going to be education [of] the gun-owning community.” Connecticut’s 200,000 gun-permit holders can be a powerful political force, according to former Connecticut Republican party Chairman Chris Healy. Daniela Altimari, “Colorado Recall Energizes Connecticut Gun Control Foes,” Hartford Courant, September 14, 2013.
- September 24
The State of Connecticut refuses a FOIA request to release Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza’s medical records because of fears that divulging the specific types of antidepressants he was taking would, “cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications,” Assistant Attorney General Patrick B. Kwanashie says. The parents organization AbleChild.org is seeking to secure the release of the information after Connecticut Medical Examiner H. Wayne Carver, M.D. denied the request. “What plagues this investigation is that some are simply fixated on having it remain secret in spite of the urgency of transparency that is clearly needed to protect the public,” said Patricia Weathers, co-founder of AbleChild. Paul Joseph Watson, “State of Connecticut Refuses to Release Adam Lanza’s Medical Records,” Infowars.com, September 24, 2013.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy announces September 24 that the State of Connecticut is pledging support to Newtown to build a replacement of Sandy Hook Elementary School and is poised to approve the first round of funding toward its construction at the September 27 meeting of the State Bond Commission. “The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is never far from our minds. Over the last several months, we’ve done our best to move forward in a way that honors the memory of those we lost and meets the needs of residents and the surrounding community,” Gov Malloy remarks. “Healing from an enormous tragedy like this is never easy. There are no simple answers, and the challenges are many. With strong resolve and a determination to move forward, we can do our best to support the people of Newtown.” John Voket, “Saturday Referendum Calls Voters to Appropriate $50 Million for Sandy Hook School,” Newtown Bee, October 4, 2013.
First Selectman Pat Llodra and Interim School Superintendent John Reed partake in a video interview September 24 organized by the Newtown Bee to help residents understand the implications of an forthcoming October 5 referendum. “As far as the $50 million [is concerned], it comes without strings, it does not have to be repaid, it has no impact on the tax rate,” Dr Reed says. “It is an attempt on the part of the state to make Newtown whole. That means we had seven schools when we started the school year last year, and I think it’s the state’s judgment that we have seven schools now.” Dr Reed says the offer as a “win-win situation for Newtown.” John Voket, “Saturday Referendum Calls Voters to Appropriate $50 Million for Sandy Hook School,” Newtown Bee, October 4, 2013.
- September 27
At a meeting of the State Bond Commission, the body approves a $50 million appropriation to the Town of Newtown to demolish and rebuild Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut. Newtown voters are to vote on the proposal October 5. John Voket, “Saturday Referendum Calls Voters to Appropriate $50 Million for Sandy Hook School,” Newtown Bee, October 4, 2013.
- September 29
Many of children that survived the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary suffer from witnessing the horrors of that day. “Nightmares are persistent,” the Associated Press reports, “and any reminder of the attack — a fire alarm, a clap of thunder, even the sound of an intercom — can stir feelings of panic. At the building in a neighboring town where the survivors recently began a new school year, signs ask people to close doors softly and not to drag objects across the floor. “The worst part is the helplessness,” says Hugo Rojas, whose son witnessed the shooting. “You want to take that pain away. You want to be able to take those nightmares away, but you can’t.” John Christoffersen, “Fear Permeates Young Lives of Newtown Witnesses,” Associated Press / ABC News, September 29, 2013.
- October 4
The North Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health holds its 29th annual conference where Nelba Marquez Greene, a mother of one of the slain Sandy Hook students, gives an address to recommend what can be done to prevent such tragedies from happening again. “NC’s Mental Health Advocates Focus on Lessons from Sandy Hook,” The Progressive Pulse, October 4, 2013.
- October 5
Referendum polls open for all registered and qualified voters open at Newtown Middle School to appropriate $50 million in state funding to rebuild Sandy Hook School. Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia-Halstead says mailed in absentee ballots for the referendum will be counted if received by Saturday, October 5. John Voket, “Saturday Referendum Calls Voters to Appropriate $50 Million for Sandy Hook School,” Newtown Bee, October 4, 2013.
- October 7
Crews from the Bestech construction contractor begin work at the Sandy Hook Elementary School site, just two days after residents voted to accept a state grant of almost $50 million to demolish the 57-year-old structure and rebuild a new school. The Bestech construction company has not been formally approved by Newtown officials or the State of Connecticut for such duties. John Voket, “State Action Gets Sandy Hook School Project Off to a Fast Start,” Newtown Bee, October 14, 2013.
- October 11
Newtown receives notice from the State of Connecticut that the town can use remediation vendor Bestech for both remediation and demolition under a “professional services” designation. This means town officials will not have to go out to bid for a separate demolition contractor. According to First Selectman Pat Llodra, the town will now be able to obtain a two-to-three-week jump on work at the site. She says this wholly ensures that both the structure and post demolition debris will be removed by December 14, the first anniversary of the shooting. Mrs Llodra remarks the use of Bestech will minimize the number of workers on the site. Further, a single vendor allows for easier security credentialing, and with fewer workers all under the same vendor, controls to assure no debris or images from the demolition process leave the site will be able to be enforced more effectively. John Voket, “State Action Gets Sandy Hook School Project Off to a Fast Start,” Newtown Bee, October 14, 2013.
- October 12
Nouel Alba, a New York City woman who posed as the aunt of a child killed in the Sandy Hook massacre, faces sentencing on October 15 in federal court in Hartford. She pleaded guilty in June to wire fraud and making false statements. Alba is seeking probation, stating that she’s already been punished by the media. Prosecutors are pursuing at least a year in prison sentence. Authorities claim she made up details about the aftermath of the shooting to solicit donations for a ‘‘funeral fund’’ on behalf of the child’s family and the families of other victims of the shooting. “Sandy Hook Shooting Fraudster Seeks Probation,” Associated Press / Boston Globe, October 12, 2013.
- October 14
Newtown officials are requiring contractors who will carry out demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary School to sign detailed confidentiality agreements that prevent them from publicly discussing the site, taking photographs or otherwise revealing information about the school. “It’s a very sensitive topic,” Selectman Will Rodgers says. “We want it (the site) to be handled in a respectful way.”Demolition of the existing Sandy Hook Elementary School is slated to begin the week of October 21, and be finished before the Dec. 14 anniversary of the incident. Nanci G. Hutson, “Non-Disclosure Required for Sandy Hook School Crew,” Newstimes.com, October 14, 2013.
- October 18
Officials and family members of persons killed during the Sandy Hook School massacre question the slow drip of information versus a full police investigation report as sources now claim that six-year-old Jesse Lewis in fact acted heroically on December 14. When Jesse, a student in Victoria Soto’s classroom, noticed that Adam Lanza ran out of ammunition, he yelled for his terrified classmates to escape. “Jesse did yell `Run!” and four did run, and two others ran into the bathroom,” according to Neil Heslin, explaining what investigators who accompanied him on a tour through the murder scene described to him. “I knew that Soto was the first one shot, and then a little girl, and Jesse was the last one shot. He was clearly looking at Adam Lanza directly in the face. He was only shot once, the only one of the victims who wasn’t shot multiple times. His wound, as I’ve stated before in testimony, was in the forehead above the nose, right at the hairline,” Heslin asserts. Ken Dixon, Nanci Hutson, and Eileen FitzGerald, “New Details in Sandy Hook Shooting,” Newstimes.com, October 18, 2013.
- October 25
Demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary school is scheduled begins today. As asbestos is removed, each wing of the nearly 60 year old building will come down. Bestech, a company specializing in removing asbestos, will continue in its demolition of the school through the weekend. The entire process is expected to take five to six weeks. Fulltime security at the gated entrance insures that no curiosity seekers or media can get to the site. Mark Davis, “Sandy Hook Demolition to Begin Friday,” WTNH News 8, October 21, 2013.
- October 25
NewsCopter 7 over Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut as the school was demolished following last year’s deadly shooting in which 26 students and teachers were murdered. (WABC Photo/ NewsCopter 7) More photos at WABC News 7
Workers begin demolishing the Sandy Hook Elementary School building. Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra says the small-scale demolition is underway and the project will take several weeks. “The process of demolition is incremental, staged precisely and executed carefully,” she notes. “There is no wrecking ball action; it is rather a piece-by-piece, section-by-section removal.” “Demolition Begins on Sandy Hook Elementary School Building,” Associated Press / WABC News 7, October 25, 2013.
- October 29
The State of Connecticut releases the full toxicology report on Sandy Hook school shooter Adam Lanza, confirming that no drugs or alcohol were in his system on December 14, 2012. The report notes that Lanza tested negative for marijuana and had part of his brain taken for genetic testing. “There is no chemical reason or apparent medical reason to explain [Lanza's] actions,” former chief state’s medical examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver II says. Carver previously sent a piece of Lanza’s brain to geneticists at the University of Connecticut Health Center to study for genetic markers. Carver said he hasn’t received a final report, but he doesn’t anticipate having to alter Adam Lanza’s death certificate. “If I thought there was something through the DNA testing that could have been listed as a contributing factor, I would have added it to his death certificate,” Carver remarks. Adam Lanza’s death was ruled a suicide. Dave Altimari, “Full Report Confirms No Drugs, Alcohol in Lanza’s System,” Hartford Courant, October 29, 2013.
- November 6
Representatives of Svigals + Partners, Consigli Construction, and Diversified Project Management report to Newtown Board of Education on progress at the new Sandy Hook School. “So far it is going very well,” says Aaron Krueger, project manager for Consigli Construction, says the project is proceeding according to schedule. Julie McFadden, project manager for Svigals + Partners for its architect and engineering team, gives an update on everything that has been happening with the project since September. “Our first order of business was to assemble the abatement documentation and the demolition documentation and get that up to the office of school facilities up at the state for their review and approval so that work could get under way,” Ms McFadden remarks. Eliza Hallaback, “Project on Schedule–School Board Gets SHS Update,” Newtown Bee, November 7, 2013.
- November 8
Aerial photographs indicate that workers have demolished the wing of Sandy Hook Elementary School where Adam Lanza allegedly killed 20 first graders and six staffers with an assault rifle, new aerial photographs show. The concrete foundation is all that remains, and that will soon be destroyed. The demolition proceeds behind high fences with security guards posted to keep onlookers away. Corky Seimaszko, “Newtown Massacre Scene Demolished as Prosecutor Tries to Block Release of 911 Calls,” New York Daily News, November 8, 2013.
State Attorney Stephen Sedensky pleas to a judge to block the release of the desperate 911 calls from Sandy Hook Elementary made on the morning of December 14, 2012. The state’s Freedom of Information Commission ruled in September that the tapes should be released following a request by the Associated Press. Sedensky argues that a stay of the FOI decision would protect both the families of the victims and the surviving witnesses from unwanted press attention. Corky Seimaszko, “Newtown Massacre Scene Demolished as Prosecutor Tries to Block Release of 911 Calls,” New York Daily News, November 8, 2013.
- November 11
A Newtown, Conn., police officer Thomas Bean and Sandy Hook Elementary massacre first responder says he is unable to return to work because of post-traumatic stress disorder and is in danger of being fired. Bean says he has been suffering PTSD since the Dec. 14 shooting. Bean appears on the NBC TODAY show November 11 with the Newtown Police Union President Scott Ruszczyk and union attorney Eric Brown of Waterbury, Conn. “I can’t describe the overwhelming senses of emotions that I had,” Bean claims, describing the massacre’s aftermath. “That night I drank a lot. The next day I wanted to cut myself. I just felt so numb.” Laurie Petersen, “Newtown Officer With Sandy Hook-Related PTSD Claim Faces Dismissal,” AOL Jobs, November 11, 2013.
- November 16
Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky says a summary of the long anticipated state police report on the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is scheduled for release on Nov. 25. Sources say the original report will be thousands of pages and the date for that document’s release is yet to be determined. Sedensky and state police detectives met with some of the victims’ families on November 14. Another group had a conference call with him on November 15 so he could go over the report. Sources say that report probably will be heavily redacted. David Altimari, “Summary of Sandy Hook Report to Be Released November 25, Families Told,” Hartford Courant, November 16, 2013.
- November 25
A 48-page report is released on Monday by Connecticut state attorney, Stephen J. Sedensky III that provides a graphic profile of Adam Lanza but no reason for his crime. “The long-awaited report does not suggest a motive for Mr. Lanza’s actions,” the New York Times reports, “even as it offers a glimpse into his strange, troubled life. It comes nearly a year after the shooting set off a national discussion about gun control, mental health and violence in American popular culture.” Although Lanza was treated by mental health professionals, according to the report, none recognized anything suggestive of his future behavior.“Tutoring, desensitization and medication were recommended,” the report says. Joseph Berger and Mark Santora, “Chilling Look at Newtown Killer, But No ‘Why,’” New York Times, November 25, 2013.
- November 26
New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott denies a motion by State Attorney Stephen Sedensky III for a stay of release on the 911 tapes of the Sandy Hook massacre. Yet the tapes are to remain sealed until Dec. 4 to give the Sedensky a chance to appeal. The AP has sought the recordings in part to examine the police response to the shooting. “Newtown 911 Calls Ordered to be Released by Judge,” Associated Press / WABC New York, November 26, 2013.
- December 1
Politico reports that at least 37 states have increased spending on mental health since the Sandy Hook Massacre. In addition, such states are experimenting with controversial new ways of raising awareness on mental health issues. These include training public school personnel and students to spot and report on those allegedly exhibiting mental health symptoms. Stephanie Simon, “Sandy Hook Spurs States’ Mental Health Push,” Politico.com, December 1, 2013.
- December 3
Gov. Dannel Malloy’s office announces that state employees serving as first responders to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are to receive 40 hours of compensatory time as the result of an agreement struck between the state and six state labor unions. David Dunavin, “12/14 Responders Will Receive Compensatory Time From State,” Newtown Patch, December 4, 2013.
- December 4
Recordings of 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are released. They indicate anguish and tension inside the building, also suggesting how town dispatchers responded to the calls. The recordings are released under a court order after a lengthy effort by The Associated Press to have them released for review. Prosecutors had argued that making the recordings public would only cause more anguish for the victims’ families. “Newtown 911 Calls Released,” Associated Press / Newsday, December 4, 2013.
- December 10
State records indicate that Sandy Hook School massacre-related charities raise close to $28 million since the Dec. 14, 2012 and possess over $11 million that is yet to be distributed. Sixty-three charities responded to the latest survey from the state attorney general’s office seeking updates on money raised since the shooting. The surveys are voluntary and 14 groups had not responded. Dave Altimari, “$28 Million Raised by Sandy Hook Charities,” Hartford Courant, December 10, 2013.
- December 14
President Obama leads a national day of remembrance for the victims of the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings while renewing calls for tighter gun control and heightened mental-health care measures. “We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily. We have to do more to heal troubled minds,” the president remarks during his weekly radio address. “Obama Remembers Sandy Hook Victims, Calls For Tougher Gun Laws,” Associated Press / FoxNews.com, December 14, 2013.
- December 22
Al Jazeera America editorializes on the failure of pro-gun control legislators in the US to succeed in the passage of sweeping laws. “Little has been done to close loopholes that might have prevented that gun purchase or lay down rules for the possible next frontier of weapons,” Al Jazeera opines. “While Congress has renewed the ban on plastic guns — the only gun-control legislation it moved this year — it fell short of requiring that guns have unremovable pieces of metal to make them more easily detectable.” “The Year in Guns: In Wake of Tragedy, More Government Inaction,” Al Jazeera America, December 22, 2013.
- December 23
The New York Times publishes an editorial that scolds the US Congress for failing to pass substantive gun control legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook School massacre. “Despite lawmakers’ copious sympathy for the 26 victims of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre,” the Times‘ editorial board writes, “all members of Congress were able to manage in the way of gun safety as they left town was renewal of the ban on the manufacture of plastic firearms. This is a type of arcane weapon that figured not at all in the Sandy Hook Elementary School rampage in 2012, nor in the mass shootings featuring adapted weapons of war that have occurred on average every two weeks somewhere in America.” “Congress’s Temerity on Gun Safety,” New York Times, December 23, 2013.
- December 27
The Connecticut State Police release their final report on the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre. The report is “only made available at this website: http://www.ct.gov/statepolicenewtownreportThe report runs several thousand pages and is heavily redacted “according to law.” The report also contains some text, photos and 911 calls received by the State Police on the day of the shootings. The State Police further announce that release “of this document is indicative that this State Police criminal investigation is concluded.” “Sandy Hook School Shooting Investigation Completed; Report to Be Released,” State of Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, December 26, 2013.
The Obama administration’s Justice and Health and Human Services departments propose allowing the federal gun background check database access to some mental health records by giving it an exemption from existing privacy law and “clarify” that people involuntarily committed to both inpatient and outpatient institutions could be prohibited from purchasing guns. The proposed rules are the most recent executive actions following the December 2012 Sandy Hook School massacre. Reid J. Epstein, “White House: New Gun Rules for Mentally Ill,” Politico.com, January 3, 2014.
- January 6
The U.S. Department of Education announces an award of $1.9 million to Newtown Public School District “to help with ongoing recovery efforts following the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.” This is the second of two grants totaling $3.2 million, the first being made in May 2013. The grant is through the Department’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program. According to the DOE, Project SERVE “awards Immediate Services and Extended Services grants to school districts, colleges and universities that have experienced a significant traumatic event and need resources to respond, recover, and re-establish safe environments for students.” “US Department of Education Awards $1.9 Million Grants to Newtown, Connecticut, to Further Support Recovery Efforts,” US Department of Education, January 6. 2014.
- January 7
Brookfield Board of Education member Gregory Beck steps down following a public outcry after a Facebook post Beck made in November. In the remark Beck said his “26 Acts of Kindness” for the Sandy Hook victims would be to deliver boxes of ammunition to his gun-enthusiast friends. Many people considered the post to be inappropriate and offensive, since the “26 Acts” movement had been dedicated to the victims of the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Nanci G. Hutson, “Embattled Brookfield BOE Member Resigns,” Newstimes.com, January 7, 2014.
- January 17
Peter Lanza assures the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission that he will disclose at least some of Newtown shooter Adam Lanza’s mental health treatment records, and heard from two of the foremost autism experts that the disorder doesn’t lead to violent behavior. Peter Lanza “called me during the last presentation,” Sandy Hook panel Chairman Scott Jackson said before the commission broke for lunch Friday afternoon. “I’m going to sit down with him in short order” to work out the parameters of a records release. Kathleen Megan, “Adam Lanza’s Father Willing to Release Medical Records to Sandy Hook Commission,” Hartford Courant, January 18, 2014.
- January 21
Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley two family members of children lost during the Sandy Hook school shooting and representatives of Sandy Hook Promise appear in Concord New Hampshire to testify before a committee promoting criminal background checks in New Hampshire. HB 1559 requires every gun sale go through a licensed dealer and then, a background check process through the National Crime Information Center, closing a loophole that proponents say put illegal guns onto the streets. Tony Schinella, “Parents of Sandy Hook Victims Promote Background Checks Bill,” Salem NH Patch, January 21, 2014.
- January 25
An email by former law enforcement officer and school safety expert Wolfgang Halbig addressed to Connecticut State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance and Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe is published on memoryholeblog.com. The post initiates an important series of appearances throughout major alternative media outlets where Halbig explains his misgivings on the official version of the Sandy Hook School massacre. Wolfgang Halbig, “Retired Cop and Educator Threatened for Questioning Sandy Hook Investigation,” memoryholeblog.com, January 25, 2014.
The Berkeley Unified School District in Northern California is spending $2 million on an elaborate school safety plan. The school district hired two security consultants, Edu-Safe Associates and Dimensions Unlimited, at the cost of $70,000 to audit the district’s 20 schools. The school board voted two to one to spend money on armed-intruder training, increased video surveillance, campus address systems and the installation of new door locks engineered to prevent people from being locked inside classrooms. “I substitute in the school district as well, so I’m happy to see that they’re phasing in new locks on the classroom doors,” said Tracy Hollander, president of the Berkeley Parent Teacher Association. Jane Nho, “Berkeley Unified School Spends $2 Million on Safety Plan,” Daily Californian, January 25, 2014.
- January 29
The Town of New Canaan waives reimbursement of $7,623 in costs in responding to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The funds are designated from the $2.5 million Obama Department of Justice payoff to Connecticut and Newtown-area law enforcement agencies that took part in the event response and are intended for training personnel in emergency response to violent offenders. Police Chief Leon Krolikowski says New Canaan sent officers to Newtown every day from Dec. 14 through Dec. 25.The nearby Town of Darien was eligible for about $17,000 and chose to be reimbursed. Nelson Oliveira, “Town Waives Reimbursement for Sandy Hook Response,” New Canaan News, February 6, 2014.
- February 6
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee announces a new safety and security plan for the state’s schools, a 320-page document assembled by educators, emergency management officials and law enforcement. The redesign was prompted by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. The guide is intended to serve as a tool for local schools when creating their own security plans. “RI Releases New Security Plan,” Associated Press / San Francisco Chronicle, February 6, 2014.
- February 11
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords announces that she is writing a book about gun control based on an essay she wrote that appeared in The New York Times in April 2013. The article was her response to the fatal shootings of 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012. In the piece Giffords chided senators who blocked gun legislation that included expanded background checks and a ban on assault weapons. “As Second Amendment supporters and gun owners ourselves,” Giffords husband Mark Kelly told the Associated Press, “we hope our book rouses the long-overdue conversation our country needs to make responsible changes to our gun laws so that no more precious lives are lost.” “Gabrielle Giffords Plans Book on Gun Control,” Associated Press / Boston Herald, February 11, 2014.
Florida State Rep. Lori Berman proposes a bill that will provide for mental health first aid training for school teachers and staff from Florida Department of Children and Families. Berman hopes the legislation will make spotting problem signs routine.“The genesis of this bill was actually the Sandy Hook massacre,” said Rep. Lori Berman. “I think it’s important for us to invest the dollars and try to address mental health and substance abuse problems when they’re in their incipient stages,” Berman remarks. The bill has already made it through committees in both chambers. The Florida Education Association says that they’d be open to the training. Matt Galka, “Stopping the Shooter,” Capitol News Service, February 11, 2014.
- February 12
A new study conducted by Moms Demand Action, a citizens group formed after Newtown, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, cites at least 44 school and college shootings since Newtown in December 2012. The total death toll from the events over the 14 months since then is 28, surpassing that of Newtown itself. The joint report was released in Washington on Wednesday in an attempt to restart the debate on gun control. “We are a developed country, and we have to ask ourselves what is wrong with our culture and laws that’s creating an environment where not only do we have 44 school shootings in the past 14 months – but we are doing nothing about it,” says twenty-year public relations veteran and present Huffington Post columnist Shannon Watts, also the founder of Moms Demand Action. Ed Pilkington, “Twenty-Eight Killed in 44 US School Shootings Since Newtown, Study Finds,” UK Guardian, February 12, 2014.
- February 14
NBC News carries a graphic report on the 13th staged mass shooter drill taking place at Missouri’s Lincoln County school district over the past year. The Missouri state legislature voted to make live shooter drills mandatory following the Sandy Hook massacre. “All but 69 students have gone home for the day on early dismissal,” NBC reports. “These volunteer victims, mostly culled from the school’s drama class, are outfitted in fake-bloody bullet wounds, still wet and dripping down their foreheads, necks and chests.” A campus police officer tells participants what to expect: “They’ll see ‘bad guys with AR-15s’ shooting blanks during a simulated ‘passing period’—the moments when one class ends and the other begins.” In addition, “PVC pipes will be dropped on the floor to approximate [Improvised Explosive Devices].” Freshman Crystal Lanham is delighted to be chosen as one of the gunmen’s hostages. “’I just really wanna get shot,’ she jokes. ‘Is that weird?’” Nona Willis Aronowitz, “Fake Blood and Blanks: School Stage Active Shooter Drills,” NBC News, February 14, 2014.
Connecticut State Police announce they will hold a ceremony the week of February 17 to honor more than 200 officers who responded to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. State police officials also intend to honor several trauma psychologists who worked with officers following the shooting at the school. No members of the public will be allowed at the ceremony. Dave Altimari, “More Than 200 To Get State Police Awards For Sandy Hook Shooting Response,” Hartford Courant, February 14, 2014.
- March 4
The Second Annual Sandy Hook Ride on Washington (SHROW) is announced. On March 8that 8:00 am ET, Team 26, a group of cyclists, will embark on a 400 mile journey from Newtown, CT to Washington DC to call for “sensible gun violence prevention.” The four-day “rolling rally” includes events in Ridgefield, Ct, Greenwich, Ct., Harlem, NY, Doylestown, Pa., Baltimore, Md., College Park, Md., the Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC and end at the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building. “From Suburbs to Inner Cities,” PR Newswire / Digital Journal, March 4, 2014.
- March 10
The New Yorker magazine publishes a 7,600 essay by New York-based writer Andrew Solomon based on an alleged series of interviews with Peter Lanza. “Since the shootings, Peter has avoided the press,” Solomon writes, “but in September, as the first anniversary of his son’s rampage approached, he contacted me to say that he was ready to tell his story. We met six times, for interviews lasting as long as seven hours. Shelley, a librarian at the University of Connecticut, usually joined us and made soup or chili or salads for lunch. Sometimes we played with their German shepherd.” Andrew Solomon, “The Reckoning: The Father of the Sandy Hook Killer Searches for Answers,” New Yorker, March 17, 2014.
- March 26
Missouri Senator Roy Blunt applauds the House of Representatives for passing a demonstration project of the “Excellence in Mental Health Act,” bipartisan legislation introduced in 2013 following the Sandy Hook massacre by Blunt and Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow in the Senate. The amendment expands access to community mental health services and strengthens the quality of care provided for those living with mental illness. “Blunt Praises Action on Mental Health Bill,” KSPR 33 ABC, March 27, 2014.
- April 2
The Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation received more than 1,600 responses to a survey of Newtown residents released on March 31. Most respondents called for mental health counseling and assistance services; a small portion suggested that the house where Adam Lanza resided be torn down. The foundation has been deciding how to distribute more than $11 million in donations made in response to the shootings. “Newtown Residents Want Gunman’s House Torn Down,” Associated Press / WPVI, April 2, 2014. See also, “Newtown Group Sees Long Term Mental Health Needs,” CBS New York, April 2, 2014.
- April 5
CNN reports that Spc. Ivan Lopez ranted on Facebook on a variety of topics prior to his shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas. Remarks included his outrage at Adam Lanza’s mass school shooting in Connecticut. He also expressed tremendous fear after experiencing an insurgent attack in Iraq. Ray Sanchez, “Fort Hood Gunman Vented on Facebook About Sandy Hook Shooter, Iraq,” CNN, April 5. 2014.
Enrollment in the Newtown Public School District dropped by almost 250 students in 2013. At Sandy Hook elementary alone, 55 fewer students enrolled that year. School officials commission an enrollment study to find if decreased enrollment is aligned with a larger demographic shift experienced in many suburban school districts or if it is yet another lingering effect of the school shooting. Nanci G. Hutson, “Newtown School Enrollment Declines Post Sandy Hook,” Newstimes.com, April 5, 2014.
- April 10
A half-dozen parents of the 20 first-graders killed in the Sandy Hook massacre attend the meeting of the Permanent Memorial Commission. The 12-member group has been meeting for the past six months to come up with a fitting tribute to the victims and others impacted by the tragedy. “You are the first group we are reaching out to,” Chairman Kyle Lyddy says. “We want to find out what you want and what you don’t want.” John Pirro, “Memorial Commission Meets with Families,” Newstimes.com, April 10, 2014.
- April 15
Former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announces he will spend $50 million in 2014 building a nationwide grass-roots network to influence voting outcomes where gun control is an issue. The multi-billionaire wants to develop an organization he hopes can eventually surpass the National Rifle Association in political influence. Bloomberg thinks gun control advocates need to learn from the N.R.A. and punish politicians who fail to challenge the constitutionally-protected right to bear arms. Jeremy W. Peters, “Bloomberg Plans a $50 Million Challenge to the N.R.A.,” New York Times, April 15, 2014.
the North Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness hopes to elevate the discussion this week at its annual conference.
NAMI-NC executive director Deby Dihoff says the time is right to discuss mental health, school safety, gun violence, and community solutions post-Sandy Hook.
The 29th annual conference brings together school system leaders, social workers, mental health professionals, judicial and court system representatives, law enforcement, as well as individuals living with mental illness and family members.
Nelba Márquez-Greene, the mother of one of the children killed in the Newtown school shooting, will also discuss what can be done to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.
the North Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness hopes to elevate the discussion this week at its annual conference.
NAMI-NC executive director Deby Dihoff says the time is right to discuss mental health, school safety, gun violence, and community solutions post-Sandy Hook.
The 29th annual conference brings together school system leaders, social workers, mental health professionals, judicial and court system representatives, law enforcement, as well as individuals living with mental illness and family members.
Nelba Márquez-Greene, the mother of one of the children killed in the Newtown school shooting, will also discuss what can be done to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.
the North Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness hopes to elevate the discussion this week at its annual conference.
NAMI-NC executive director Deby Dihoff says the time is right to discuss mental health, school safety, gun violence, and community solutions post-Sandy Hook.
The 29th annual conference brings together school system leaders, social workers, mental health professionals, judicial and court system representatives, law enforcement, as well as individuals living with mental illness and family members.
Nelba Márquez-Greene, the mother of one of the children killed in the Newtown school shooting, will also discuss what can be done to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.
To be continued.
Submit story/event suggestions for possible inclusion in Sandy Hook Massacre Timeline here .
Republished at Global Research on January 7, 2013.
Updated Timeline republished at Global Research on March 1, 2013.