Adam Lanza’s mother took him to shooting ranges and let him use her guns in order to bond and “teach him responsibility,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Nancy Lanza worried about her withdrawn son, pulling him in and out of public school to try to address his needs. According to the Journal, Adam Lanza “shut himself off” from the outside world in his last few years, culminating when he used some of his mother’s guns first to kill her, then to massacre 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14.
The Journal reported Adam cut off contact with his divorced father Peter Lanza in the summer of 2010, around the time Peter’s relationship with his girlfriend, now wife, became serious. Adam stopped speaking to his older brother Ryan Lanza after Christmas 2010.
Adam Lanza’s problems reportedly began after he started first grade at Sandy Hook Elementary. Nancy Lanza was concerned about him, said Wendy Wipprecht, the parent of one of Adam’s classmates.
“He was clearly a very bright boy, but he wasn’t doing all that well in school or somehow not comfortable in school,” Wipprecht told the Journal.
Nancy Lanza pulled Adam out of public school in fourth or fifth grade. Even though the parents had separated, Peter Lanza visited Adam every weekend until Adam cut ties in 2010.
Adam Lanza went back into public school for middle school, disconnected from his classmates but showing no signs of violence, according to the Journal:
As a freshman at Newtown High School, Mr. Lanza’s socially maladroit behavior attracted attention from school officials but he managed to make friends in the Tech Club and through videogames. Mr. Lanza didn’t keep those connections. Later, Gloria Milas asked her son, Josh, why he hadn’t returned a videogame console that belonged to Mr. Lanza. “No one knows where he is,” Ms. Milas said her son told her.
Mr. Lanza’s mother had again taken him out of public schools. He enrolled in classes at Western Connecticut State University. She “wanted him to have college classes,” Marsha Lanza said. In Nancy’s view, “he was brilliant.”
But as one of the youngest people there, he was an outsider. “We tried to say hi to him every so often, and he just seemed nervous,” said Dot Stasny, a classmate in an introductory German course in spring 2009.
With a “deteriorating” relationship with her son, Nancy Lanza “was clearly worried about him” and tried to bond with Adam at the shooting range. She had told friends she was preparing to move to Washington state so Adam could attend a school that would be a better fit.
“She was ready to move,” friend Mark Tambascio told the Journal.