Investigators have released a long-awaited report on the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, nearly a year after tragedy. A copy of the report can be viewed here.
The prosecutor who led the investigation into the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School says it did not determine a motive for the attack. Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky says there is also no clear indication why the shooter chose the School as the target for his rampage other than the fact that it was close to his home. Despite the collection of extensive background information on the shooter through a multitude of interviews and other sources, the question of why this happened may never be answered conclusively. Physical evidence consists of more than seven-hundred individual files that include reports, statements, interviews, videos, laboratory tests and results, photographs, diagrams, search warrants and returns, as well as evaluations of those items.
The report says that the order that the shooter went into the two first grade classrooms is unknown. The first 911 call was recorded at 9:35 on the morning of December 14th 2012. The report says it was fewer than 4 minutes from the time the call was recorded to the time police arrived at the school and fewer than 5 minutes from that time that the shooter killed himself. It was less than 6 minutes when the first officer entered the school. The report says it was less than 11 minutes that all 26 children and women were killed. The report detailed the types of guns that were recovered from the school and the shooter's home.
Sedensky wrote that police entered the building believing someone could be there ready to take their lives as well. He also acknowledges and thanks the staff of the Sandy Hook Elementary School who acted heroically. The combination saved many children’s lives.
One staff member who was injured by gun shots crawled back into a conference room and held the door shut, calling 911 and also turned on the school wide intercom system. Sedensky says this appears to have been done inadvertently, but provided notice to other portions of the building. Other staff members in the main office also called 911, but were not spotted by the gunman.
Some people were able to escape out of the building prior to the police arrival and went to Sandy Hook center, nearby residences, or received rides from parents going to the school or from passersbys.
There is no evidence that anyone knew of the shooter's plan before the tragedy or that anyone else was involved. The report acknowledges that there were people found in woods near the school that hand been handcuffed until their identities could be determined. Among the people who were initially detained by police for fear of another shooter, was a parent with a cell phone, a man who came to the school after seeing an alert on his phone and two reporters. Police say there were also two sweatshirts outside of the shooter's car and shell casings outside of the school also led officers to take extra precautions. Area surveillance videos were viewed and witnesses were interviewed to determine there was only one shooter.
There will be no state criminal prosecution as a result of these crimes.
The report says that the shooter had significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and interact with others but did not affect his mental state for the crimes.
The report says that the gunman had an obsession with mass murders but that investigators did not discover any evidence he had indicated to others an intention to carry out such a crime. The summary of the investigation said the shooter was obsessed in particular with the April 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado.
The report also includes an inventory of sorts of the gunman's house. It lists the video games found in the man's room along with the articles related to other school shootings. The report also listed the previously reported spreadsheets about mass murder. A GPS in the car that the shooter used showed a trip in Sandy Hook the afternoon before the shootings. As previously reported, the investigative summary also detailed that the shooter's mother had been out of town in the days leading up to December 14th, having returned home the night before. Neither the shooter's father or brother had contact with him since 2010.
"The shooter disliked birthdays, Christmas and holidays. He would not allow his mother to put up a Christmas tree. The mother explained it by saying that shooter had no emotions or feelings. The mother also got rid of a cat because the shooter did not want it in the house."
The report does not include the full evidence file of Connecticut State Police, which is believed to total thousands of pages.