Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Grandmother of Adam Lanza, a winter resident of Brooksville, preparing to travel north

BROOKSVILLE — The grandmother of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who authorities have identified as the gunman in the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, walked quietly down the steps from her mobile home Friday evening toward the porch door.

Dorothy Hanson's voice quivered slightly as she spoke.

She said she wasn't ready to talk and was "just trying to absorb it." 

"They're my grandchildren," she said in answer to a Tampa Bay Times reporter's question about Adam Lanza and his brother, Ryan, whom officials initially mistakenly identified as the suspect.

Hanson, 78, is the mother of Nancy Lanza, who police say was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School where the massacre occurred.

Hanson is a winter resident of a modest mobile home park on the south side of Brooksville. She said she was getting ready to return up North.

Hanson's Facebook page shows a Nov. 30 post saying she had arrived at her winter home in Florida and was happy to see her friends and neighbors.

A woman standing by Hanson on Friday night, who first answered the door, said Hanson was "beside herself right now."

A neighbor, Bill Bice, said he had never heard Hanson talk much about her family, though she said she had a son who was a police officer.

"She's a very nice lady," Bice said. "She would do anything to help anybody in the park."

Later in the evening, two Hernando deputies were stationed outside Hanson's home. A sheriff's spokeswoman told a reporter that another jurisdiction and Hanson's family had asked them to guard her home.

Times staff writers Tony Marrero and Dan Sullivan and researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Grandmother of Adam Lanza, a winter resident of Brooksville, preparing to travel north 12/14/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 14, 2012 10:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared


    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  2. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  3. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.

  4. NFL rewards Tampa Bay's track record, preparation with another Super Bowl


    Tampa Bay got lucky on Tuesday.

    We are getting a Super Bowl. We are getting a Super Bowl that we weren't supposed to get. We're getting a Super Bowl that we once were told we wouldn't get.

    Then came good luck.

     Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer (left) and son Edward Glazer celebrate the Bucs win and their upcoming trip to San Diego and the Super Bowl.  

[Bill Serne | Times]
  5. Baker fundraiser all about "Seamless City"


    Rick Baker kicked off a fundraiser Tuesday night at the Morean Arts Center making light of his 40-minute announcement speech two weeks ago on the steps of City Hall.

    Rick Baker speaks at a fundraiser at the Morean Arts Center Tuesday