Investigators trying to piece together a motive in December’s killings in Newtown, Conn., believe that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza may have been inspired by a similar 2011 massacre in Norway.
The Hartford Courant and CBS News report that authorities searching through Lanza’s belongings after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary discovered several news articles about Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in July 2011.
CBS, citing unnamed investigators, reports that Lanza saw himself in direct competition with Breivik, who set off a bomb in Oslo and also shot dozens of teens at a youth camp. CBS says Lanza was obsessed with topping Breivik’s body count.
According to The Courant, this is just one theory that investigators are pursuing.
CBS also reported that Lanza, who shot his way into Sandy Hook, gunning down 20 students and six staff members before shooting himself, had targeted the school because it was the “easiest target.” Earlier, he had shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza.
In a joint investigation by The Courant and the PBS investigative program Frontline, reporters interviewed friends and family of the Lanzas and sifted through a decade’s worth of Nancy Lanza’s emails.
According to the newspaper:
What emerges in this exploration of a still unfolding story is a portrait of a mother, apparently devoted but perhaps misguided, struggling to find her son a place in society, and a boy, exceptionally smart in some areas, profoundly deficient in others, who never found a place in the world.
The paper also confirmed that during a search of Lanza’s belongings, authorities had found “thousands of dollars worth of graphically violent video games.”
And detectives working the scene of the massacre are exploring whether Adam Lanza might have been emulating the shooting range or a video-game scenario as he moved from room to room at Sandy Hook, spewing bullets, law enforcement sources have told The Courant.