Nancy Lanza Reportedly Took Her Children Target Shooting

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 15 2012 1:45 PM

Nancy Lanza Reportedly Took Her Children Target Shooting

Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Paul Vance addresses a press conference on Saturday

Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

UPDATE: Adam Lanza had an “altercation” with four staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School the day before he killed 20 children and six adults there, NBC News reports. It’s unclear what the altercation was about but three of the four staff members were among those killed Friday. The fourth wasn’t at the school that day and is being questioned by investigators. Earlier in the week, Lanza tried to buy a rifle but was rejected because the state has a waiting period. NBC News hears word that Lanza actually had four handguns on him—not two as was initially reported. A rifle was found in the car he used to drive to the school.

Saturday, Dec. 15 at 11:44 a.m.: Initial reports said that Nancy Lanza was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary, where Adam Lanza went on a shooting rampage and killed 20 children and six adults Friday. Now it isn’t clear whether that’s the case and so far officials have failed to clarify the situation. A former Newtown school board official told the Wall Street Journal that “no one has heard of her,” adding that “teachers don’t know her.” The Associated Press reports that at least one parent identified Nancy Lanza as a substitute teacher at the school but her name isn’t on a staff list and an official said they have so far been unable to establish a connection between her and the school.


The two semiautomatic pisols and .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle Lanza used in the shooting were registered to his mother, whom several witnesses identified as an avid gun collector. She apparently taught her kids how to shoot the guns. The owner of a landscaping business who recently decorated her yard for Christmas tells Reuters she once showed him a “really nice, high-end rifle” that she purchased. “She said she would often go target shooting with her kids.”

Meanwhile, authorities failed to release a list of victims Saturday morning as had been widely expected, although they promised one would be forthcoming.  So far, officials have found “very good evidence in this investigation that our investigators will be able to use in, hopefully, painting the complete picture as to howand more importantly whythis occurred,” said state police Lt. Paul Vance. He also added that investigators have determined Lanza forced his way into the school and was not let inside by anyone.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.


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