The Lookout

Gunman’s computers may be key in Connecticut school shooting investigation

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Alleged school shooter Adam Lanza reportedly occupied two bedrooms in his family's sprawling suburban home, one where he slept and another to stash his computer equipment.

For a young man who has been described as withdrawn from the outside world, Lanza's computer room is likely a gold mine for detectives, a veteran law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told Yahoo News.

"If he visited certain websites, they are going to glean whatever information they can from that and see what it means," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly. "Does he have friends he communicates with online? Was there a fight with somebody?"

Police have already hinted that evidence inside the 4,000-square-foot home has been helpful in determining a possible motive for the rampage that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adult staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their home before driving to the school and commencing his deadly rampage, police say. Adam Lanza's body was later found inside the building, where police believe he took his own life. Results from the autopsies on the alleged gunman and his mother are still pending.

Lt. J. Paul Vance with the Connecticut State Police told reporters Sunday morning that investigators are scrutinizing the guns Lanza took to the school, including the semiautomatic military-style rifle the state's medical examiner said was used in the school killings.

"The weaponry involved, we are tracing historically all the way back to when they were on the workbench being assembled," Lt. Vance said.

However, he declined to discuss what else has been recovered from the Lanza home.

"Simply stated, we have a great deal of evidence that we're analyzing," Lt. Vance said. "The forensic part is an important part. That's not done yet."

While the gunman is thought to have acted alone, the law enforcement source said a deep dive into Lanza's computers could provide more clues.

"You don't know if this kid was put up to this by somebody else," the source said. "You don't know if there was a conspiracy of sorts. You don't know if there wasn't somebody who wasn't goading this kid on."

Family and friends say Lanza suffered from a personality disorder and that his mother, whom he killed just prior to the school shootings, struggled with her troubled son.

"Has he been seeing a child psychologist throughout his lifetime? Was he on medication?" the law enforcement source said. "These are a zillion logical who, what, whey, why, where questions that need to be answered. They need to be asked without any fear of any stigmatism … and you can't be politically correct in asking those questions."

Nor should the public be shy about discussing whatever is learned about Lanza's life and what prompted him to act, forensic psychologist Kris Mohandie told CNN.

"The opportunity is nearly always there to discover and disrupt," he said.

Dr. Mohandie said warning signs can include self destructiveness, hopelessness, desperation, interest in other mass shooters and a dysfunctional interest in weaponry.

Police say the guns used in the rampage were apparently owned and registered to Lanza's mother.

Without knowing specifics about the Lanza household, Dr. Mohandie pleaded for greater care with firearms.

"If you've got individuals who are unstable and you know it, it's probably a good idea restrict their access to firearms within their own home," he said.