Saturday, December 15, 2012

Evidence at suspected shooter?s home may point to motive, police say

Conn. State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance at Saturday morning's news conference. (Jason Sickles/Yahoo News)

NEWTOWN, CT - Evidence recovered at gunman Adam Lanza's home may provide a motive for the massacre that left 26 dead at an elementary school, police said on Saturday.

State police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance declined to provide specifics about the evidence but said, "we're hopeful it will paint a complete picture."

Authorities say Lanza, 20, killed his mother Nancy Lanza, at their home?Friday morning before driving to Sandy Hook Elementary where he forced his way in to commit one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

[Related: Follow the latest updates from our reporters in Newtown]

Armed with two semi-automatic pistols, Lanza rapidly sprayed bullets in hallways and classrooms. Twenty children, many of them kindergarteners, and six faculty members lost their lives. Lanza killed himself before police officers could reach him.

Lt. Vance said all the bodies were removed from the school overnight. A medical examiner is expected to release the names of the victims later today.

Police have assigned a trooper to support each victim's family in the days ahead. Vance asked reporters to respect the families' grief and privacy.

"This is an extremely heartbreaking thing for them to endure," Lt. Vance said.

Principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47, and first-grade teacher Vicki Soto, 27, have already been identified by family and friends as two of the slain staffers. Both are being heralded as heroes for putting themselves in harms way to protect children and colleagues.

It will likely take investigators two more days to process the school crime scene where it is believed Lanza fired as many as 100 rounds from his guns.

"It's going to be a slow, painstaking process," Lt. Vance said.


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