Newtown, CT Hundreds of rounds of ammunition, guns, knives and three samurai swords were among the items seized from the home of shooter Adam Lanza in the days after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, search warrants released Thursday revealed.
The documents, and a statement issued by authorities, provide details surrounding the events of Dec. 14 in this scenic town about 70 miles northeast of Manhattan.
Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky said in a statement that Lanza killed 20 students, six adults and himself at the school in under five minutes. All were killed with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle except for Lanza, 20, who took his own life with a Glock 10mm handgun.
The Bushmaster was loaded with a 30-round magazine, and 14 rounds remained in the magazine when the Bushmaster was recovered by police, Sedensky said. There was one round in the chamber. He said Lanza had another loaded handgun with him inside the school as well as three, 30-round magazines for the Bushmaster.
As police entered the school, "numerous school children and school personnel were located deceased from apparent gunshot wounds in the first three classrooms" off the main hallway, adjacent to the school's front entrance," a search warrant states.
Lanza's body was found dressed in military garb and a bulletproof vest in a classroom.
Shortly before the bloodbath at the school, Lanza had shot his mother, Nancy, with a .22-caliber rifle as she slept in the home they shared. Sedensky said there was "no indication of a struggle" in that shooting.
The guns Lanza used were apparently purchased by Nancy Lanza, he said. Despite press reports that Adam Lanza had tried to buy at least one gun before the rampage, there is no indication that he attempted a purchase and was denied, Sedensky said.
The four warrants released Thursday involve searches at the Lanza home on Yogananda Street and in the black Honda Civic that he drove to the school on Dec. 14. Results of the warrants were sealed for 90 days in late December.
Sedensky asked Judge John Blawie to seal certain information, including the identity of a witness and some undisclosed items obtained during the searches, for another 90 days.
The warrants say that a loaded 12-gauge shotgun was found in Lanza's Honda Civic. Two magazines containing 70 rounds of Winchester 12-gauge shotgun rounds also were found in the car.
At the house, authorities found hundreds of rounds of ammunition and numerous knives, including samurai swords. They found a military-style uniform in Lanza's bedroom and handwritten notes containing the addresses of local gun shops.
Investigators also found books about autism and Asperger's syndrome as well as a National Rifle Association guide to pistol shooting.
In a bedroom closet, police found a Bushmaster XM15 and C15 instruction manual, Glock handgun, shotgun and rifle manuals, more than 200 rounds of ammunition, two 20-round ammunition magazines, spent Glock shell casings, a nylon holster and a metal bayonet.
The documents indicate authorities found a gun safe with shotgun shells and numerous boxes of bullets.
In a top drawer of a filing cabinet, police found paper targets. In a duffel bag, they found ear and eye protection, binoculars, numerous paper targets and an NRA certificate for Adam Lanza.
An NRA certificate in the name of Nancy Lanza also was found, the warrants reveal. The NRA issued a statement Thursday saying: "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."
Among other items found in the Lanza home were a Feb. 18, 2008, New York Times article about a school shooting at Northern Illinois University; a holiday card written by Nancy Lanza, containing a check made out to Adam Lanza for the purchase of a firearm; and a book entitled Train Your Brain to Get Happy -- with pages tabbed off.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, who has been pushing for much stricter gun-control laws, said the facts in the search warrants "only add starker detail to what we already know."
"This is exactly why we need to ban high-capacity magazines and why we need to tighten our assault weapons ban," Malloy said. "I don't know what more we can need to know before we take decisive action to prevent gun violence. The time to act is now."
For all the weaponry and gear found in the home, psychologist Ross Greene, an associate clinical professor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said it might not be fair to put too much blame on Nancy Lanza.
"It's easy to make general statements about a parent's responsibility to know what's going on in their own home," Greene said. "It's hard to imagine that she was anticipating he would use the weapons on her and take her life and the lives of 26 other people, including 20 children."
Greene said he presumes that Nancy Lanza did the best she could to get her son the help he needed.
"I've read in the news media that Adam spent mammoth amounts of time in the basement playing violent video games. It's easy to say his mother should have done something about that," Greene said. "We don't know if she tried to do it. The picture is always far more complicated than simply saying the parents shoulda, coulda, woulda."