Report: Newtown Shooter Could Have Been Helped

Instead, parents, school sheltered and 'appeased' Adam Lanza
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2014 1:51 PM CST
Report: Newtown Shooter Could Have Been Helped
This undated file photo provided by Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., shows former student Adam Lanza, who carried out the massacre in Newtown in December 2012.   (AP Photo/Western Connecticut State University, File)

Parental denial and stunning breakdowns in his educational and medical treatment led to plenty of missed opportunities to get Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza the help he needed and perhaps avoid the 2012 tragedy, a report released today by the Office of the Child Advocate reveals. Lanza had "'crippling' social and emotional disabilities," reports the Hartford Courant, and the report—which pored over thousands of records over 22 months—indicates his parents and school personnel would simply "appease" him to "get through the day" rather than deal with the severe underlying causes. Also:

  • Yale clinicians and other medical professionals repeatedly informed Lanza's parents that he had "profound" mental health issues that could be helped with medical treatment, but these offerings were rebuffed or cut short, especially by Lanza's mother, Nancy.
  • When Lanza was a preschooler, he already had been pinpointed as significantly lacking in "social-personal development."

  • After his parents' separation when he was 9, his relationship with his mother became increasingly co-dependent. Nancy Lanza went to "excessive lengths to protect him from stress," the Courant reports.
  • Many of Lanza's prescribed treatments were designed to placate him and "manage" his symptoms instead of exploring the rage and depression he apparently felt. For instance, when he scrubbed his hands raw by obsessively washing his hands, he was merely given a medicated skin lotion.
  • He visited the Sandy Hook website multiple times in the days before the shootings and analyzed its security protocol, indicating he didn't "snap" the day of the shooting. In an email to a cyberpal three days before the murders, he wrote, "The mystery to me isn't how there are massacres, but, rather, how there aren't 100,000 of them every year."
Read more details of the report here in the Courant. (More Adam Lanza stories.)

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