Town Heals and Remembers

Official Says Newtown Police Had Virtually No Prior Contact with Lanza Family as Medical Examiner Probes Whether Genetics Played Role in Motive

Adam Lanza, 20, has been described as extremely intelligent but remote

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012  |  Updated 10:47 AM PDT
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    Connecticut's chief medical examiner says he's seeking genetic clues to help explain why a shooter who an official says had virtually no prior contact with Newtown police killed 20 children and six adults in one of the town's elementary schools.

    Dr. H. Wayne Carver tells The Hartford Courant that he wants to know if there is any identifiable disease associated with the behavior of the shooter, Adam Lanza. He is working with the University of Connecticut department of genetics.

    Paula Levy, a mediator who worked with the couple, says Lanza had been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, an autism-like disorder.

    Carver says Asperger's is not associated with violent behavior. He says he's not considering it as a reason for Lanza's rampage on Friday.

    Carver is awaiting toxicology testing results for Lanza and other information.

    Lanza fatally shot himself as first responders approached the school. 

    A police official from Connecticut told NBC 4 New York Newtown police had virtually no contact or incidents with the Lanza family prior to Friday's shooting rampage.

    Nancy Lanza made two police reports in the last several years, one over a stolen credit card and another to report someone rang her doorbell and ran off.

    A search of the database has found no other reports involving the family.

     

    Investigators have found no letters or diaries that could explain the attack, even as more fragments of Lanza's life emerged.

    As a teenager, Lanza was so painfully shy that he would not speak or look at anyone when he came in for a haircut about every six weeks, always accompanied by his mother, said stylists in the Newtown hair salon Lanza frequented.

    Cutting Adam Lanza's hair "was a very long half an hour. It was a very uncomfortable situation," stylist Diane Harty said, adding that she never heard his voice.

    Another stylist, Jessica Phillips, said Nancy Lanza would give her son directions about what to do and where to go. He would move only "when his mother told him to," said a third stylist, Bob Skuba.

    State Police Lt. Paul Vance has said the investigation is a process that could take months as authorities work to peel back each layer in the case.

     

     

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