Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

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Updated Feb 27, 2018 at 06:52AM EST by Y F.

Added Dec 14, 2012 at 03:17PM EST by Gabenus Trollucus.

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Charlotte Bacon, 6 Daniel Barden, 7 Olivia Engel, 6 Josephine Gay, 7 Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6 Dylan Hockley, 6 Madeleine F. Hsu, 6 Catherine V. Hubbard, 6 Chase Kowalski, 7 Jesse Lewis, 6 NEWTOWN SHOOTING | THE VICTIMS James Mattioli, 6 Grace McDonnell, 7 Emilie Parker, 6 Jack Pinto, 6 Noah Pozner, 6 Caroline Previdi, 6 Jessica Rekos, 6 Avielle Richman, 6 Benjamin Wheeler, 6 Allison N. Wyatt, 6 Rachel Davino, 29 Teacher Dawn Hochsprung, 47 School principal Nancy Lanza, 52 Mother of gunman Anne Marie Murphy, 52 Teacher Lauren Rousseau, 30 Teacher Mary Sherlach, 56 School psychologist Victoria Soto, 27 Teacher


Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting was a mass shooting carried out by 20-year-old Adam Lanza at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, which resulted in the deaths of 27 people, including 20 children, six adults and the lone gunman who committed suicide as the police began to arrive on the scene.


On December 14th, 2012, Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old resident of Newtown, Connecticut, entered the premise of a local elementary school and fatally shot 20 children and six adult faculty members before killing himself. According to the police investigation, Lanza showed up at the school around 9:35 a.m. (ET) dressed in black fatigues and a military vest with two hand guns, two rifles and a semiautomatic rifle , all of which were purchased legally and registered under his mother’s card.

Notable Developments

News Media Coverage

Shortly after the arrival of the police on the scene, the news of the tragedy quickly took over the media through round-the-clock coverage on TV and radio stations across the country, as well as real-time updates from major news sites, including The New York Times,[10] Washington Post,[11] The Huffington Post,[12] Gawker,[13] CNN[14] and CBS News.[15] The same day, President Obama held a press conference to make a statement about the shooting, calling for "meaningful action" in response to the tragedy and becoming tearful during the address (shown below).

Meanwhile, the authorities initially identified Adam’s brother Ryan Lanza as the suspect (as his ID was retrieved at the location) and his name soon began appearing in the headlines of news articles.

Ryan Lanza's Facebook Status Update

Shortly after the Ryan Lanza's named was leaked to the press as the shooter, his Facebook profile began circulating online. Lanza began posting status updates informing the public that he was innocent and not involved with the massacre (shown below).

Ryan Lanza 2 minutes ago via mobile Everyone shut the f--- up it wasn't me Like Comment B1 nye East likes this. Jessica O'Brien Do you need anything ready for when you get home? Can I set anything out for you to grab and go? Anything else! can do② about a minute ago Like Write a comment... Ryan Lanza 5 minutes ago via mobile I'm on the bus home now it wasn't me Like Comment Ryan Lanza 7 minutes ago via mobile IT WASN'T ME I WAS AT WORK IT WASN'T ME Like Comment

The same day, Gawker[2] published an article about titled “The ‘Ryan Lanza Facebook Profile is the Connecticut Shooter’ Stuff is Fucking Up Everything,” which reported on Lanza’s status updates the online conversations surrounding the shooter’s identity. As the story continued to develop throughout the day, Ryan was eventually cleared of accusations after his alibi was corroborated by the security camera footage at his work place.

White House Gun Control Petitions

Within hours of the breaking news, at least six petitions pressing the Obama administration to address the issue of gun control were submitted to the White House website's "We The People" petition system, including "Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress," which has more than 186,500 signatures, and "Today IS the day: Sponsor strict gun control laws in the wake of the CT school massacre," which has over 34,500 signatures as of December 18th. According to SFGate's coverage, all six of the petitions had gained at least 200 signatures in the span of few hours on the day of the tragedy.

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress. The goal of this petition is to force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns. While a national dialogue is critical, laws are the only means in which we can reduce the number of people murdered in gun related deaths. Powerful lobbying groups allow the ownership of guns to reach beyond the Constitution's intended purpose of the right to bear arms. Therefore, Congress must act on what is stated law, and face the reality that access to firearms reaches beyond what the Second Amendment intends to achieve. The signatures on this petition represent a collective demand for a bipartisan discussion resulting in a set of laws that regulates how a citizen obtains a gun. Created: Dec 14, 2012 Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Firearms Learn about Petition Thresholds SIGNATURES NEEDED BY JANUARY 13, 2013 TO0 REACH GOAL OF 25,000 TOTAL SIGNATURES ON THIS PETITION

Westboro Baptist Church Response

On December 14th, 2012, Westboro Baptist Church leader Margie Phelps tweeted at United States President Barack Obama that gay marriage was to blame for the shooting.

The same day, church representative Shirley Phelps-Roper announced via Twitter that the church planned to picket the Sandy Hook Elementary School to praise God for the shooting. Also on December 14th, a petition was created on the White House "We the People"[13] website calling for the Westboro Baptist Church to be recognized by the government as a hate group, amassing over 155,000 signatures within three days. On December 16th, Phelps-Roper's Twitter was hacked by someone claiming to be Twitter user @CosmoTheGod.

Shirley Phelps-Roper ADearShirley Follow ▼ Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.

The same day, a Pastebin[3] was created containing the personally identifiable information of several church members. On December 17th, Gawker[4] published an article reporting that Anonymous had launched #OpWestboro to attack the Westboro Baptist Church and its members. The article noted that several church members credit card numbers had been leaked and that Cosmo the God had violated his parole in order to take over Phelps-Roper's Twitter account.

Liza Long Article

On December 14th, The Blue Review[5] published an article by Boise, Idaho resident Liza Long titled "I am Adam Lanza's Mother," which recounted her experiences with her violent and mentally ill son to raise awareness about the state of mental health services in the United States. On December 16th, the article was reblogged on The Huffington Post, where it received over 308,000 Facebook shares, 16,700 tweets, 26,900 emails and 13,600 comments. On December 16th, the blog thegirlwhowasthursday[9] published a post titled "You Are Not Adam Lanza's Mother," which chastised Long for perpetuating a stigma against the mentally ill. On December 17th, Time[8] published an article titled "Backlash Against 'I am Adam Lanza's Mother'", reporting that many were blaming Long for her song's mental illness in response to the blog post.

Reactions and Commentaries

Also on December 14th, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee appeared on Fox News, arguing that the shooting may have happened due to religion not being allowed in schools (shown below, left). Also on December 14th, conservative Christian Bryan Fischer spoke about the shooting during his radio program, arguing that God could have protected the victims of the massacre but does not "go where he is not wanted" (shown below, right).

On December 17th, CNN[17] published an article titled "After Newtown, the NRA Goes Silent," reporting that the National Rifle Association (NRA) had yet to post anything on its website since the shooting took place and had taken down the organization's official Facebook page.[18] On the following day, the NRA[19] posted an announcement on their official website saying "were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news" and would be holding a "major news conference" on December 21st.

Conspiracy Theories

On December 15th, liberal politics blog the Daily Kos[20] posted a short piece anticipating conspiracy theories that the shooting was staged by the government due to the way Fox News had been focusing on gun control topics. Surely enough, a handful of hoax rumors had spawned by December 17th, including many[22] tying the Newtown incident to the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012. The next day, the Atlantic[21] reported that they had received an email detailing additional theories including the shooting as a false flag operation intended to get Americans to relinquish their gun rights or that the shooter was a stand-in for a much larger organization like the banking industry or the Illuminati.

THIS JUST IN: Adam Lanza, A clumsy 20 year old autistic kid dressed in camo and full body armor who never shot a gun before drives to another state Gets let into a locked school looking like rambo. Kills 26 people with dead on accuracy at a school his mother [a retired teacher who no one ever heard of before], used to work in years before,after allegedly killing her with the gun that belonged to her in the first place. Then takes his own life....Thats the news. and people blindly believe it.

Additionally, several videos drawing ambiguous connections to the Aurora, Colorado shooting have surfaced on YouTube,[23] including a scene from The Dark Knight Rises in which Sandy Hook is labeled on a map as "Strike Zone 1," the area was the supposed location of Gotham Stadium which the villain, Bane, destroys in the film. Also during the last weeks of December, the rapper Gunplay, who was under house arrest for armed robbery at the time, tweeted[24] that the "government killed dem [sic] kids to take our guns away," though it was quickly deleted.

On December 20th, Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy began analyzing the tragedy on his personal blog Memory Hole.[25] Cross-comparing YouTube video footage with reports from journalists and newspapers, Tracy argued that the shooting was a "meticulously crafted façade." In a follow-up post[26] four days later, he brought up many unanswered questions and missing pieces that the news media had left out of their coverage. Many of his theories and ideas, along with others, appeared on the website[29], which was created on December 21st, 2012. These ideas were also mirrored in a viral video, uploaded to YouTube by ThinkOutsideTheTV on January 7th, 2013. In less than two weeks, this video reached more than 8 million views.

On January 11th, 2013, Anderson Cooper spoke about these theories and Tracy specifically on AC 360[27], calling these ideas "sickening" and "ignorant." Following the broadcast of the CNN segment, Tracy's blog began to gain attention as well. On January 15th, Gene Rosen, the Newtown resident who took in six survivors after they escaped the school, came forward to Salon[28] about the harassing phone calls and emails he had been receiving from conspiracy theories claiming he was an actor or involved in the hoax.

The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary School

On November 16th, 2013, Ryan Jake Lambourn[31], an American expat developer living in Australia, released The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary School, a flash-based simulation game in which the player assumes the role of Adam Lanza, via Newgrounds [33] and SWFchan[30], though the former upload has been since removed by the site moderators. Prior to this release, Lambourn had previously drawn controversy with a similar online game inspired by the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.

click through to play the game (warning: this site contains disturbing imagery)

Lambourn's Sandy Hook project was immediately met with outrage from all corners of the social media, with many commentators on Twitter[32] and in the news denouncing the game as sickening. On Newgrounds, several members sent personal complaints to Lambourn, asking him to take down the game from the site. (shown below) In defending his creation, Lambourn explained that the game was intended to promote stricter gun control measures.

Sandy Hook Sentbox Inbox TomFulp Sent 44 minutes ago Delete Member since Dec. 15, 1999 So beyond the subject matter being upsetting to a lot of people in general, the especially difficult thing about this game is that it calls Sandy Hook by name, less than a year after it happened. I'm wondering if you would consider a more general indictment on gun violence, without having to name it specifically after Sandy Hook... This is a hard decision because NG has already fought so much and lost so much to provide a platform for extremely experimental material, but the realism of movement and terror in the kids in this game just reaches a new level, and to formally attach it to Sandy Hook as well makes it feel like it's hitting people too close in the gut despite the intentions of the message. The Sandy Hook parents are already aware of it and have been relatively polite so far in their efforts to have it removed Add Friend Block Sender I work with Sandy Hook Promise, the organization founded by parents who lost their children to gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary nearly one year ago. One their Facebook page, a parent posted a game from your site called "The Slaying of Sandy Hook" asking if there was anything we could do to remove it. Unfortunately, one of the parents who lost their child, watched it and is now completely horrified I understand from the comments in the game that the intention was to drive greater gun control. But the contents of the game are horrifying and offensive, and we respectfully ask you to remove the game from your site I understand from your wiki page that you're a parent. You must understand how having this content out there in the world would offend and upset parents who are less than one year away from that tragedy. This game does not help advocate for gun control. If anything it provides a "how to" for future shooters. There is nothing ok about depicting the shooting of children. We hope you'll agree and will immediately remove it from the site Thank you, Lara Bergthold What have your feelings been since the release? Sandy Hook Part 2 Sentbox Inbox TomFulp Sent 10 minutes ago Delete Member since Dec. 15, 1999 Maybe this is just the end of an era for NG but I started receiving press inquiries about why"" made this game and decided it was time to pull the plug It's frustrating that people can separate the YouTube platform from all the racist homophobic viewpoints expressed there... Even all the Sandy Hook hoax videos... But when it comes to NG, these interest groups and the press need turn every controversy into an indictment on NG itself Add Friend Block Sender I think it's something that could possibly be revisited later without being directly tied to Sandy Hook, but today just doesnt feel like the time and place for it. Let me know your thoughts on the whole thing

The Shooter

Adam Lanza was born April 22nd, 1992 and was an honors student at Newton High School before being removed to be home-schooled by his mother. After earning his GED, Lanza attended the Western Connecticut State University. According to an article in NY Mag,[6] Lanza's mother was an avid gun collector who stockpiled weapons and food in preparation for a possible economic collapse. Following the shooting, Lanza's brother Ryan told police he believed his brother may have been "somewhat autistic."[7] On December 18th, 2012, Fox News published an article titled "Fear of being committed may have caused Connecticut gunman to snap," reporting that Newton area resident Joshua Flashman claimed Lanza may have discovered that his mother was petitioning a court to have her son committed to a mental institution.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Yahoo News – At least 27 dead in horrific school shooting

[2] Gawker – This Ryan Lanza Facebook Profile is the Connecticut Shooter Stuff is Fucking Up Everything

[3] Pastebin – Westboro Baptist Church Information

[4] Gawker – Westboro Baptist Church Plans to Picket Sandy Hook

[5] Blue Review – I Am Adam Lanza's Mother

[6] NY Mag – Newton Shooter Adam Lanzas Mother Was an Avid Gun Collector

[7] PhillyBurbs – Police Suspected Conn Shooter Adam Lanza May Have Had Personality Disorder

[8] Time – Backlash Against I Am Adam Lanzas Mother

[9] Wordpress – You are NOT Adam Lanza's Mother

[10] The New York Times – Nation Reels After Gunman Massacres 20 Children at School in Connecticut

[11] Washington Post – Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Shocks Nation

[12] Huffington Post – Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

[13] Gawker – Sandy Hook Elemetary Shooting

[14] CNN – 20 Children Among 26 Victims

[15] CBS News – Connecticut School Shooting

[16] ABC – Sandy Hook Shooting – Obama makes address

[17] CNN – After Newtown The NRA Goes Silent

[18] Facebook – NRA

[19] NRAILA – Important Statement from the National Rifle Association

[20] Daily Kos – Cue The “Obama Plotted The Newtown Massacre” Conspiracy Theories

[21] The Atlantic – Newtown Conspiracy Theories, Debunked

[22] Talking Points Memo – Newtown Conspiracy Hoax Spreads Fast Across Fringe

[23] Inquisitr – Newtown Conspiracy Theory: ‘Sandy Hook’ Appears In ‘The Dark Knight Rises'

[24] BET – Gunplay Says Government Behind Sandy Hook Shooting (Autoplay)

[25] Memory Hole – Analyzing the Newtown Narrative: Sandy Hook’s Disappearing Shooter Suspects

[26] Memory Hole – The Sandy Hook Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information

[27] Mediaite – Anderson Cooper Tackles ‘Sickening,’ ‘Ignorant’ Newtown Conspiracy Theories

[28] Salon – This man helped save six children, is now getting harassed for it

[29] – Home

[30] SWFChan – The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary School (warning: contains graphic and disturbing imagery)

[31] Tumblr – The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary School

[32] Twitter – Mentions of @GooGumProduce

[33] Newgrounds – The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary School (defunct)

[34] Daily Dot – This developer turned the Sandy Hook massacre into a video game

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Top Comments


So close to Christmas too. Those parents probably have presents waiting in the attic or in the closet and those kids were probably counting down the days. So sick and so sad.

And of course the media is going to handle this in the worst way possible. They're going start out sirens blaring and they're going to make the shooter a celebrity just like they did with James Holmes and it's not going to help at all.


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