Just over a week after the mass school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut—which left 28 people dead, including 20 children—investigators have uncovered more information about shooter Adam Lanza that give further hints at his mindset leading up to the killings. Friends told AP and the Wall Street Journal that Nancy Lanza was planning to move across the country in order to enroll Adam in a "school or a center" in an attempt to draw him out from his insular world. "He wouldn't be dwelling with her," said Russell Ford, who added that Adam never spoke to him or even made eye contact.
"She knew she needed to be near him," Ford added. "She was trying to do what was positive for him." Mark Tambascio, owner of the bar Nancy frequented, told the Journal that she believed a school in Washington would be the right fit, and she was planning on selling her beloved Red Sox season tickets. "She was ready to move," he said.
The Journal's profile of Adam points to his parents divorce as a major breaking point for him; though they separated in 2001, they didn't divorce until 2009. A year after the divorce, Adam cut off communication with his father, Peter Lanza. They note: "It is unclear why Mr. Lanza refused to speak with his father, who made repeated attempts to contact him, this person said, but the breakdown in their relationship came as Peter Lanza started to get serious with his girlfriend, whom he married last year." By Christmas of 2010, he also had stopped speaking to his brother Ryan.
Even if things had gotten worse recently, Adam's social anxiety seems to have been a factor for years: "As long as I knew him, he never really spoke," said Daniel Frost, who took a computer class with Lanza and remembered his skill with electronics. He noted Adam could take apart and reassemble a computer, and once gave a presentation entirely by computer, never uttering a single word. Lanza destroyed the hard drive of his computer before the attack, and investigators aren't confident they can repair it.
Wendy Wipprecht, a 62-year-old freelance editor whose son, Miles Aldrich, was a classmate of Adam, told the Journal she remembers a "couple of long talks" with Nancy Lanza. "She was concerned about Adam," said Wipprecht, whose son is autistic. "He was clearly a very bright boy, but he wasn't doing all that well in school or somehow not comfortable in school."
Nancy took Adam out of school soon after that ("She said [the school district isn't] meeting her needs," sister-in-law Marsha Lanza said) until middle school; former classmates remember him as a silent boy usually wearing a hoodie, disconnected from socialization. "He wasn't a bully," said Louis Belanger, a 7th grade classmate who worked with him on a few class projects.
Many also said that Adam enjoyed video games; Frost noted that he "seemed pretty interested in" the game "Counter-Strike" in particular. Frost added that he remembers the weapons Lanza chose for the game: an M4 military-style assault rifle and a Glock handgun, similar to the assault rifle and handguns he used in his school shooting.
Eventually, Nancy took Adam out of high school as well; whatever friends he had made in the Tech Club or via videogames dropped off. Gloria Milas asked her son, Josh, why he hadn't returned a videogame console that belonged to Adam: "No one knows where he is," Milas said her son told her.