Sandy Hook School to remain closed as a protected crime scene, police say

Jason Sickles
The Lookout

NEWTOWN, Conn. - Sandy Hook Elementary School will remain closed and a protected crime scene for months to come, police said Monday.

Investigators have launched a painstaking examination of the school because of the number of shots gunman Adam Lanza fired in his rampage that left 26 people, 20 of them first-graders, dead inside the school, state police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said.

"Every single round of ammunition will be examined," Vance told reporters at a morning news conference here.

All schools were closed in Newtown Monday but were set to reopen on Tuesday. The Sandy Hook children will remain home but will resume classes at a vacant middle school in nearby Monroe once the classrooms can be modified for them. A date for that to happen has not been decided.

The community was set to begin the grim task of burying its dead. Funerals for Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner, both 6, were scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Investigators are working around the clock at the gunman's home, where police have recovered evidence they believe will eventually provide a motive for the massacre, Vance said.

Inside the well-to-do home which Lanza shared with his mother, Nancy Lanza, computers belonging to 20-year-old Lanza were reportedly found smashed. Vance declined to discuss any destroyed evidence, but said forensic specialists are playing a major role in the case.

"All that electronic evidence will be analyzed and dissected," he said. "We don't know that one single item is the motive."

Lanza fatally shot his mother multiple times in the head before driving to the school and blasting his way through the building's locked doors.

Vance said it may take weeks before investigators have an official sequence of events for the killing spree.

"We want to have an exact, accurate timeline," he said.

Dozens of detectives assigned to the case plan to interview all possible witnesses, including the scores of children who were in the proximity or even saw the gunman.

"It's a very tender issue," Lt. Vance said of interviewing the surviving children.

Police said Lanza was carrying a massive amount of ammunition with him inside the school. He still had hundreds of rounds of unused bullets when he shot himself at the end of the shooting spree.

On Monday, Lt. Vance again praised the school faculty and first responders who helped protect those who survived.

"It breaks our hearts that we couldn't save them all," he said.