What Police Found in Adam Lanza's Home

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 28 2013 10:21 AM

What Police Found in Adam Lanza's Home

Police tape stretches across the front yard of the Lanza residence on December 19, 2012 in Newtown

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Connecticut police have released the latest batch of documents relating to the Newtown school shooting—search warrants that provide the latest glimpse into the home life of Adam Lanza but paint an unclear picture of what drove him to kill 20 first graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary before taking his own life.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Reporters are still digging through the documents (you can check out four of the search warrants here), but among the early takeaways:


A Gun Safe: Hartford Courant: "Investigators found a gun safe belonging to Nancy Lanza, the shooter's mother, open and with no evidence that it had been broken into. Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother at their home before going on his rampage at the school, police have said. Police found three photographs of a dead person covered in plastic and blood. The warrants do not indicate whether authorities know the identity of the person. They confiscated a military-style uniform from Adam Lanza's bedroom, the warrants indicate."

1,600 Rounds: CNN: "Investigators found more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition in the house."

Guns as Gifts: Associated Press: "Investigators found a holiday card containing a check made out to Lanza for the purchase of a firearm, authored by his mother, Nancy Lanza. Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother in their Newtown home before driving to the school to carry out the massacre."

Samurai Swords: Yahoo! News: "In addition to several guns inside the home, police also recovered three Samurai swords and long pole with a blade on one side and a spear on the other. Inside the car the shooter drove to the school, officers recovered a 12-gauge shotgun and two magazines containing 70 rounds of ammunition, the documents show."

Reading Material: NBC News: "Also recovered were a National Rifle Association certificate, seven of Lanza’s journals, drawings that he made and books, including an NRA guide to the basics of pistol shooting, authorities said. Other books included Look at Me: My Life with Asperger’s and Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Mind of an Autistic Savant. Among the other items seized were a holiday card containing a check from his mother to buy a firearm, an article from The New York Times about a school shooting at Northern Illinois University and three photographs of what appeared to be a dead person covered with plastic and blood."

Personal Notes: ABC News: "In addition, police discovered personal notes, memoirs and thoughts collected by Lanza. There were also newspaper clippings, drawings and medical bills police have been scrutinizing to develop a psychological profile of the gunman."

A Shut-In: New York Times: "The day of the Newtown shooting, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed a person who said Mr. Lanza rarely left his home. The person, whose name is redacted, considered Mr. Lanza to be a 'shut-in and an avid gamer who plays Call of Duty, amongst other games,' a law enforcement affidavit accompanying the warrants stated."

It Was Over in Less than 5 Minutes : NBC News: "Adam Lanza fired 155 bullets in less than five minutes on the day he killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the chief prosecutor investigating the massacre said Thursday. The total included 154 fired from a Bushmaster .223-model rifle and a final bullet, fired from a Glock 10mm handgun, that Lanza used to take his own life, said Stephen Sedensky, the chief prosecutor investigating the shooting."

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

This post has been updated with additional information.


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