Danbury State Attorney releases Sandy Hook information

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DANBURY, Conn.
 After months
of speculation, authorities are finally releasing full details of the shooting
at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Stephen J. Sedensky III, State's Attorney
for the Judicial District of Danbury, released the following statement
concerning the tragedy:

“On the morning of December 14, 2012, Adam
Lanza, the shooter, 20, of 36 Yogananda St., Newtown, shot his mother, Nancy
Lanza, 52, in her bed with a .22 caliber rifle. There was no indication of a
struggle.


Later the shooter went to Sandy Hook
Elementary school where he shot his way into the building and killed 20
children and 6 adults with a Bushmaster .223 caliber model XM15 rifle. The
Bushmaster was loaded with a 30-round capacity magazine. Fourteen rounds were
in the magazine when the Bushmaster was recovered by police. There was one
round in the chamber.


The shooter took his own life with a single
shot from a Glock 10 mm handgun. He also had a loaded 9mm Sig Sauer P226
handgun on his person. Recovered from the person of the shooter, in addition to
more ammunition for the handguns, were three, 30-round magazines for the
Bushmaster, each containing 30 rounds. Located in the area of the shootings
were six additional 30-round magazines containing 0, 0, 0, 10, 11, and 13 live
rounds respectively. One-hundred-and-fifty-four spent .223 casings were
recovered from the scene.


It is currently estimated that the time
from when the shooter shot his way into the school until he took his own life
was less than five minutes.


The police found a loaded 12-gauge shotgun
in the passenger compartment of the car the shooter drove to the school. The
shotgun was moved by police from the passenger compartment of the car to the
trunk for safekeeping.


The guns used in the shootings were
apparently all purchased by the shooter's mother. There is currently no
indication that the shooter attempted to purchase the guns and was denied. The
gun locker at 36 Yogananda St. was open when the police arrived. It was
unlocked and there was no indication that it had been broken into.


Under Connecticut General Statutes Section
51-276 the State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury is in charge
of the investigation. I asked the Connecticut State Police to conduct the
criminal investigation. We are being assisted by numerous other state and
federal agencies.


Five search warrants were obtained on
December 14, 15, and 16, 2012, for the car the shooter drove and his home at 36
Yogananda St. I sought and obtained sealing orders for these five warrants and
the returns. The orders were issued by the Honorable John F. Blawie for 90
days. The orders expired March 27, 2013.


Today those warrants and their returns are
being released subject to redactions that I requested of the court yesterday.
This is an ongoing and active criminal investigation which is most effectively
done confidentially. Indeed the rules of Professional Responsibility as they
apply to prosecutors require that I take steps to not make extra judicial
statements that I know or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means
of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially
prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter. The rule also applies to
investigators working under my authority. As this criminal investigation is
ongoing, active and no definitive conclusions have been reached by myself, the
release of any information could potentially jeopardize a future prosecution if
evidence were developed to support one. It is not unusual to develop a viable
prosecution late in an investigation when one was not contemplated earlier.


The family and friends of the victims, the
community and the general public have a right to expect that any decision to
prosecute or not prosecute will be made only after all of the available
evidence has been examined and considered and all leads suggested by the
evidence have been adequately pursued. The Connecticut State Police, the
Newtown Police Department and other state and federal law enforcement agencies
are not only continuing to investigate, but are still in the process of
compiling reports, statements from witnesses, and documenting, examining and
testing physical and digital evidence that has been obtained. This process is
very arduous and must be done carefully, accurately, and confidentially.


At the same time, the investigators and
myself are aware of the work some members of the public, the Governor and the General
Assembly are trying to do. It is with that work in mind and our obligations to
the investigation that the above statement regarding some facts of the case are
described and only limited redactions to the search warrants and returns were
requested. Additionally, recognizing the importance of the work of the Governor
and the General Assembly, the Division of Criminal Justice through the Office
of the State's Attorney and the Office of the Chief State's Attorney
communicated with representatives of the Governor and the legislature to hear
concerns regarding facts of the incident within the context of the ongoing
criminal investigation.


Recently, information purporting to relate
to this investigation was published in the media attributed to a presentation
at a law enforcement conference. To prevent such disclosure in the future, I
have instructed that any and all such presentations involving evidence in the
criminal investigation be ceased while the investigation is pending and my
report is still outstanding.


In not seeking to continue the complete
sealing of all the search warrants and in providing the information above, this
State's Attorney, as well as the Connecticut State Police investigators, were
mindful of the work our elected leaders are undertaking. After consultation
with the investigators, it was decided that much of the information in the
search warrants would not sought to be sealed and that the release of the above
basic crime scene information would not jeopardize the active and continuing
criminal investigation into this unprecedented tragedy.


The released search warrants were obtained
on December 14, 15, 16, 2012, within a short time of the shootings. Subsequent
investigation revealed that shootings took place in two of the classrooms, not
three, and that the shooter was not wearing a bullet-proof vest, nor was
he a teenager. Paragraph 5 of the December 16, 2012, warrant contains excess
verbiage that was the result of incorporating information from prior search
warrants. Finally, page numbers on returns do not necessarily follow the page
listed before them as the returns are prepared after the warrant has been
executed. The officer filling out the return may have used different equipment
for the form which may result in discrepancies in the page numbering for the
returns.


As mentioned, this is an active, ongoing
investigation. No conclusions have been reached and no final determinations
have been made. The estimation of completion in the summer remains. After the
investigation is complete, I will prepare a report regarding the matter which
will include an evaluation of the crimes committed and whether or not there
will be any prosecutions as a result. Myself and the investigators ask that the
investigative process be respected.


Our sympathy for this tragedy continues to
go out to the victims' families, friends and the Newtown community. We continue
to be grateful to those working with us on the investigation, the Newtown
Police Department, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the United States
Attorney's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States
Marshal's Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and
all of the other local, state and federal agencies that have been working with the
Connecticut State Police and the State's Attorney's Office involved in this
investigation.”


 

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