Connecticut school shooting gunman's mother worried for him, friends say
NEWTOWN, Conn. (KABC) -- Family friends say the mother of the man suspected of going on a shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn., went to great lengths to help him with his difficulties.
The parents of Adam Lanza were concerned about his well being. A mediator who worked with the parents says Lanza had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome.
Lanza had lived with his mother in Newtown. His parents divorced in 2009, but those close to the family said there was no indication of bitterness or anger between the couple. But the very same guns Nancy Lanza kept for target shooting and for safety were the ones her son used to murder her.
Nancy Lanza was his first victim. Then he went on a shooting massacre that left 20 children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Friends say Nancy Lanza taught her son how to use the weapons. She took him to the shooting range. They said her interest in guns was just a safe hobby.
"I've seen a lot of things in the media about her being this survivalist wacko and that was not her at all," said Russ Hanoman, a friend of the slain woman. "She told me repeatedly how obsessed Adam was about holding the gun the correct way, so it would be safe if the gun was up. Safety was paramount always."
A young Adam Lanza was so opposed to killing he would not even eat any meat. He was a vegan, says one family friend.
Newly obtained divorce records indicate Nancy Lanza was well provided for. Her alimony this year was scheduled to be $289,000. She was given final authority to make decisions on how her son would be raised. For a while, she taught him at home according to an in-law.
"She eventually would up homeschooling him because she battled with the district," said the woman's sister-in-law, Marsha Lanza. "In what capacity, I'm not 100 percent certain if it was behavior or learning disabilities. He was a very bright boy. He was smart."
Ryan Kraft of Hermosa Beach used to be Adam Lanza's neighbor and babysat him more than a decade ago. He described the boy as an introverted, painfully shy kid who seemed to be in his own world.
"I also remember that his mom, Nancy, had always instructed me to keep an eye on him at all times, never turn my back," Kraft said. "But looking back, I guess there was something else going on."
Officials say there was no connection between Adam Lanza and Sandy Hook Elementary School, where investigators continued their work Monday. The motive behind Friday's shooting remains a mystery.
newtown school shooting, school shooting, president barack obama, national news, leslie miller
- Man found tied up, burned on 605 Freeway
- Boston bombing anniversary disrupted by hoax
- South Korea ferry sinks; 2 dead, 14 injured
- Victim's mother faces murder suspects in court
- State audit: Cudahy must repay $22.7 million
- San Pedro Elks Lodge fire may be suspicious
- Murrieta suspect fixated on girls' socks
- Teen caught egging homeless woman in Lancaster
- LA Register newspaper takes on digital age
- First women move into Army combat jobs
- abcnews: Conjoined twins leave Dallas hospital
- Photos: Boston Marathon bombing - 1 year later
- 'Fast & Furious' enlists Paul Walker's brothers
- OTRC: Ice Cube clarifies Paul Walker comments