Who was Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza?

Posted at 12:04 PM, Dec 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-15 12:35:24-05

In the aftermath of one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history, authorities are trying to understand who shooter Adam Lanza was and what made him snap.

Adam Lanza, 20, lived with his mother Nancy Lanza, 52, in their Newtown, Conn. home. In 2008, his mother and father, Peter Lanza, filed for divorce and the process was finalized in 2009.  He also has a 24-year-old brother, Ryan Lanza, who lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Classmates describe Lanza as a socially awkward young man who kept to himself, and may have had a developmental disorder reported to be Asperger’s Syndrome.

During high school, Lanza was caught between his parents’ divorce and his brother leaving home to attend Quinnipiac University.

SWAT gather near Yogananda Way.

State Police SWAT members gather near Yogananda Way, a second crime scene related to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (Hartford Courant, Ayana Harry / December 14, 2012 )

Peter Lanza is a vice president for GE Capital and was previously a partner at Ernst & Young — the  same company Ryan Lanza has been working at for the past four years.

On Friday morning, Lanza apparently killed his mother by shooting her in the face, according to ABC News.

Dressed in black fatigues and a military vest, he drove to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School, where had apparently “forced his way into the school”, according to Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance, and was not voluntarily allowed to enter the premises.

Once inside, Lanza opened fire on two classrooms full of kindergarteners and first-graders. A total of 20 children were killed — 18 were pronounced dead at the scene and two died at a nearby hospital.  Six school administrators, including principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach.

Three guns were found near Lanza’s body inside the school –  a Glock and Sig Sauer pistols and a .223-caliber rifle.

The guns were purchased legally and registered to the shooter’s mother, reports said.  One of these weapons matches the one Lanza used to kill his mother.

There was initial confusion over the shooter’s identity as Ryan Lanza’s identification was found at the scene of the shooting, according to ABC News.

However, Ryan Lanza sent out Facebook postings denying he was the gunman and video evidence supported his claim he was at work in Manhattan at the time of the shooting.

Ryan Lanza and his father, Peter, are not suspects in the case but are being held for questioning by investigators.

Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said his investigators found “a very good evidence” that would be crucial in painting a complete picture of Adam Lanza and circumstances surrounding the massacre.

It was initially reported that Nancy Lanza was either a current or former school teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but reports now say she was either a substitute teacher or volunteer.

Adam Lanza had managed to keep a very low online profile. He did not have a Facebook page nor a Twitter account. He didn’t even have a high school yearbook photo, according to the New York Times.