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Warrants show Newtown gunman had access to huge weapons arsenal

NEWTOWN, Conn. — When Adam Lanza walked out of his house for the last time, he left behind firearms and knives and more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition, taking only four guns. They would suffice.

He loaded the weapons into his car, drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, blasted his way into the building and within five minutes fired off 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle. Having murdered 20 first-graders and six educators, he killed himself with a final, single shot from a Glock handgun. He still had more than 100 rifle bullets.

Warrants released Thursday provide the most insight to date into the world of the 20-year-old gunman, a recluse who played violent video games in a house packed with weaponry that was all too real. The inventory of items taken from the spacious, colonial-style home included books on autism and Asperger's syndrome, which Lanza was said to have been diagnosed with, a vast array of weapon paraphernalia, and images of what appears to be a dead person covered with plastic and blood.

The weapons used in the shooting had all apparently been purchased by Lanza's mother, Nancy, with whom he lived, prosecutor Stephen J. Sedensky III said in a statement accompanying the warrants.

She was found dead in her bed; Adam Lanza had shot her the morning of the massacre, Dec. 14. Authorities also found a holiday card from Nancy Lanza containing a check made out to her son for the purchase of yet another firearm.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy expressed incredulity over the access that the troubled young man had to a cache of weapons.

"There are parts of this story that are unfathomable," he said. "How anyone would have maintained that household that way is difficult to understand."

If it's possible to determine a motive for the massacre, there may be clues in Adam Lanza's journals, which state police seized from the house and turned over to the FBI for analysis. But authorities say that so far no conclusions have been reached. Sedensky estimated the investigation will be finished this summer.

Malloy, a Democrat in his first term as governor, said the fact that Lanza left smaller magazines at the house should boost support for a state ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

"That somebody could get 154 shots off in less than five minutes, kill 20 children and six adults, is disturbing," Malloy said.

Connecticut House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr., a Republican, said he expects the General Assembly will be ready to vote next week, possibly Wednesday, on a package addressing gun control and other issues raised by the shooting.

Warrants show Newtown gunman had access to huge weapons arsenal 03/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:50pm]
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