Sandy Hook School Shooting Report Details Chaos, Loss Caused By Attack
NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) – The full report of the investigation regarding last year’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has been released.
The complete report, released just after 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon, is over 7,000 pages long and consists of numerous incident reports, videos, audio recordings, images and other pieces of evidence.
When combined, they tell a detailed story of the horror that took place Dec. 14 of last year.
“The front glass is all shot out,” acting head custodian Rick Thorne can be heard observing on one of many audio files of 911 calls. “It’s still happening.”
He added, when asked to continue describing the scene, “I keep hearing shooting. I keep hearing popping.”
Teachers later told investigators they heard Thorne confront gunman Adam Lanza and attempt to get him to leave the school. One teacher, who was hiding in a closet in the math lab, heard Thorne yell, “Put the gun down!”
Thorne was not killed.
A different caller indicated that she was hiding with five other adults in another part of the school – one of whom had sustained two gunshot wounds – as Lanza made his way through the building.
“She’s breathing, but barely,” the caller said when asked about the injured party’s condition, before indicating in a frantic whisper that Lanza was outside conference room in which they were hiding at the time of her call. “He’s outside the door. I don’t want to move.”
Five teachers were also meeting in Classroom 20 between 9 and 9:30 a.m. when they heard banging. Someone entered the room and told them to leave because he thought he smelled gunpowder. They began to hide, and then broke a window to climb out.
Four of the five crawled out, but one couldn’t get through the window and stayed behind. The ones who escaped ran to a Subway restaurant across the street from the school.
One of multiple investigation reports included in the information released further describes the chaos experienced by those inside the school at the time of the shooting.
“[Name redacted] explained that she was in [a] classroom … at approximately 9:30 a.m. when she heard what she described as ‘someone hitting on a tin door’ and loud screaming,” one report indicated. “She stated that the noise was loud and intermittant [sic]. She also hear whimpering coming over the loudspeaker.”
It continues, “[Name redacted] said she went to the door to see what the noise was and [name redacted], who was across the hall … yelled ‘someone is shooting.’”
Another report stated that one teacher hid students behind bookshelves in the classroom, and attempted to keep them calm by reading them Christmas stories.
In a letter released along with the report, Commissioner Reuben F. Bradford said that “[t]he investigation of this incident is unparalleled in the one hundred and ten year history of the Connecticut State Police.”
“Balancing the often-competing interests of government transparency and individual privacy has been difficult,” Bradford also noted. “I believe that the redacted report that is being released included as much detail as possible while protecting confidential information and without unduly infringing on the privacy rights of those whose lives have been so profoundly impacted through no fault of their own.”
He added, “I hope that the release of this report, though painful, will allow those who have been affected by it to continue in their personal process of healing, and will provide helpful information that can be put to use to prevent such tragedies in the future.”
Prosecutors had previously issued a summary of the investigation last month that discussed Lanza as a man obsessed with mass murders, but the report concluded that Lanza’s motives for the massacre might never be known.
The summary report referred to items found on a computer at Lanza’s house that included writings detailing relationships, personal beliefs, a daily schedule, desires, goals and other topics.
The information released Friday indicates that a male friend of Lanza’s mother, Nancy, told investigators she had planned to sell their home in Newtown and move to Washington state or North Carolina, where she hoped Adam could get a job. She planned to buy an RV for Adam Lanza to sleep in.
If they went to Washington, Nancy said, there was a special school where she planned to enroll him. In North Carolina, she said, a friend owned a computer firm and had agreed to give Adam a job and teach him the business.
Images taken at the Lanza home that were released Friday show an open case of earplugs used to protect the hearing of someone firing a gun, curved ammunition magazines and gun cases. One room’s windows are covered with dark plastic bags.
In Nancy Lanza’s room, where she was killed in bed, the rifle used by her son lay on the floor nearby.
Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School, after killing his mother inside their home. He committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school.
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