The Straits Times
Published on Dec 17, 2012

Police identify US shooter, confirm his suicide


NEWTOWN, Connecticut (AFP) - Police in Connecticut formally identified on Sunday the shooter who gunned down 20 young children and six adults at a primary school as Adam Lanza, 20, and ruled his death a suicide.

Lieutenant Paul Vance also confirmed that Lanza first shot his mother Nancy dead at their home before setting out on his rampage. She died of "multiple gunshot wounds," according to Lt Vance.

He said Lanza shot himself with a handgun and that his primary weapon in the "horrific crime" gripping the picturesque town of Newtown was a Bushmaster AR-15 .223 caliber assault rifle with multiple high-capacity magazines. But he could not confirm what weapon Lanza used to kill his mother.

Two handguns used in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School - a Glock 10 mm and a Sig Sauer 9 mm - were also loaded with high-capacity magazines, according to Lt Vance. He said a fourth weapon, a shotgun, was recovered from Lanza's vehicle parked outside the school.

Police declined to hint at any possible motive they may have uncovered so far in their investigation.

"We don't have a specific reason we can stand here and say this occurred," Lt Vance told reporters.

Police found "hundreds" of bullets at the school, Lt Vance said, noting that "numerous" 30-round magazines were emptied. Police have yet to determine exactly how many shots were fired.

Connecticut's Chief Medical Examiner Wayne Carver has said that the bodies of the child victims - all aged just six or seven - were riddled with as many as 11 bullets.

President Barack Obama was set to visit Newtown to meet with families of the victims and the community at large, as well as to attend an interfaith vigil on Sunday evening.