What Police Found in Adam Lanza’s Home


March 28, 2013
Who was the Newtown shooter? Watch Raising Adam Lanza, a joint investigation by FRONTLINE and The Hartford Courant into who he was and his relationship with his mother, Nancy. Read the Courant‘s full coverage here.

Newtown shooter Adam Lanza had access to multiple guns his mother had purchased and taught him to shoot, according to new information released today by a Connecticut state prosecutor.

The report said that Adam Lanza was found in the school with three firearms  — a XM15 rifle, a Glock 10mm handgun and a 9mm Sig Sauer P226 handgun. Lanza also brought a shotgun to the school but left it in the car. All of the guns were registered to his mother, Nancy Lanza.

Officials also released copies of the warrant issued to search the black Honda Civic that Lanza apparently drove to Sandy Hook Elementary the day of the shooting, as well as four warrants to search the yellow two-story home in Sandy Hook where Nancy Lanza lived with her son. (Read the documents here.)

The warrants revealed that that FBI had learned from an interview that Adam was considered by one person they interviewed to be a “shut-in” who played Call of Duty and other video games.

Here’s some of what the police found in the home:

  • A brown gun safe, unlocked, with no indication that it had been broken into.
  • A holiday card with a check made out to Adam from Nancy Lanza to buy a C183 (which police initially incorrectly identified as a firearm)
  • One digital image print of a child and various firearms
  • At least nine knives, three Samurai swords, and a spear
  • Certificates for Adam Lanza and Nancy Lanza from the National Rifle Association
  • Sheets and a towel stained with what police called a “blood-like substance”
  • A damaged hard drive and a custom-built desktop computer
  • Handwritten notes with the addresses of local gun shops
  • A blue folder labeled “Guns” with receipts and paperwork
  • Three books: Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s; Born On a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant; and  NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting
  • An email re: Gunbroker.com, a website for buying guns, dated 10-12-11
  • Three photographs of what appeared to be a dead body, covered with plastic and what appeared to be blood
  • A receipt for Tin Star Shooting Range in Weatherford, Okla.

The releases come after officials were criticized for leaking information at a conference before notifying families or the public. Officials met on Wednesday to update the victims’ families on what they’ve found. The full report should be released in June.

Sarah Childress

Sarah Childress, Series Senior Editor & Director of Local Projects, FRONTLINE



In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Stories

U.S. Strikes Iran-Backed Militias in Syria, Responding to Rocket Attacks
The U.S. strikes destroyed facilities used by a number of Iranian-backed militias, including Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada and Kata’ib Hezbollah. The latter figured heavily in our recent documentary "Iraq's Assassins."
February 26, 2021
Saudi Crown Prince Approved Plan to "Capture or Kill" Columnist Jamal Khashoggi, According to Declassified U.S. Report
The newly declassified U.S. intelligence report names Mohammed bin Salman, subject of the 2019 documentary "The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia."
February 26, 2021
As the U.S. Crosses 500,000 Deaths from COVID-19, These 9 Documentaries Offer Context
These nine FRONTLINE films help explain how we reached this point.
February 22, 2021
As the U.S. Rejoins the Paris Climate Agreement, Revisit FRONTLINE’s Recent Climate Reporting
These five projects illuminate the science, politics and impacts of climate change.
February 19, 2021