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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Estate of Sandy Hook Gunman’s Mother Sued

DANBURY, Conn. (CN) - Connecticut families still grieving over the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School filed new complaints against school officials and the estate for the gunman's mother.

It has been just over two years since Adam Lanza's Dec. 14, 2012, massacre in Newtown.

The 20-year-old gunman began the day by shooting his mother, Nancy Lanza, to death in her bed. At Sandy Hook that morning, Lanza took the lives of 20 first graders and six educators with his mother's Bushmaster AR-15 style rifle, before shooting himself in the head with a Glock 20SF.

Scarlett Lewis now leads the estates of slain children in two civil lawsuits filed Wednesday in Danbury Superior Court.

The action against the Lanza estate, managed by Samuel Starks, alleges that Nancy Lanza was aware of her son's diminished mental state and should have done something to prevent it.

Peter Lanza, the gunman's father and ex-husband to Nancy, is not named as a defendant.

Though he did not live with Adam and Nancy in Newtown, Peter "was consistently trying to reach out to his son to schedule some father-son time together," according to the complaint.

In the months leading up to the shooting, the gunman "developed an obsession with mass murder and school shootings to the point where he had newspaper articles of previous school shootings, most notably the Columbine incident in Colorado, taped all over his bedroom walls; but also including schools shootings dating back to circa 1800, regarding a school shooting at an Amish schoolhouse," the lawsuit states.

By the time of the massacre, Adam Lanza had "ceased leaving the home he shared with the Defendant's decedent almost entirely," the complaint continues.

With black garbage bags covering the windows, Lanza "would rarely exit his bedroom for anywhere from hours to days at a time, and would not communicate with anyone via his cellular telephone, or in-person communication," the complaint states.

The estates of Lanza's victims say the young man spent most of his time on the Internet, "most frequently in 'chat rooms' concerning mass murder and school shootings."

Despite this overtly concerning behavior, the lawsuit alleges that Mrs. Lanza "made her weapons readily available to Adama Lanza, and had even provided funds to purchase a handgun for the upcoming Christmas Holiday, despite knowing Adam Lanza did not have a concealed carry permit issued through the state of Connecticut."

Mrs. Lanza also took her son "to the nearby shooting range to fire her weapons on a regular basis in the months leading up to December 14, 2012," the complaint states.

Adam Lanza had unrestricted access to the dangerous weapons that his mother owned, which she "failed to properly store or secure such weapons or ammunition," the lawsuit states.

"Adam Lanza's access to the Bushmaster, other weapons, and ammunition was a substantial factor leading to the plaintiff's' decedent's injuries and losses," the complaint continues.

The deaths of Jesse Lewis, Noah Pozner and Avielle Richman caused losses in earning capacity, pain and suffering, and made them unable to take joy in life's activities.

Norwalk-based attorney Donald Papcsy filed the complaint for these children's estates, as well as the separate action on behalf of two of the same families against the town of Newtown, the Sandy Hook Board of Education, and Sandy Hook Elementary School.

This complaint, filed by the parents of Jesse Lewis and Noah Pozner, detail numerous problems with the school security plan.

Key on the list are classroom doors that locked only from the outside and the lack of bulletproof glass near the main entrance of the school, which the gunman shot through without issue.

After getting into the school Lanza "shot down the hallway at the principal and other staff at this time and killed the principal and the school psychologist who had exited conference room 9 at the end of the hallway to see what the loud banging (gunfire) noises were," the complaint states.

When Lanza entered the two first grade classrooms "no doors had been locked, none of the children had been moved to a safe location, like the bathroom located inside both of these classrooms; bathrooms which could be locked from the inside," the lawsuit against Newtown continues.

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