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Warrants Released in Newtown Shooting Investigation


A long-awaited set of court documents has just been released revealing what authorities found when they searched the home and car of Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed 20 children and six adults in a December rampage in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

The documents reveal:

  • Adam Lanza was found dead wearing a bulletproof vest
  • Investigators found a smashed hard drive on top of a desk in what was believed to be Adam Lanza's room. There was also a gaming console and gun safe. A witness, whose name was redacted, told authorities that the gun safe usually contained at least four guns.
  • Investigators found at Adam and Nancy Lanza's home: the paperback "Train Your Brain to Get Happy" with pages tabbed off; 3 photos with images of what appears to be a deceased human covered with plastic and what appears to be blood; seven journals and miscellaneous drawings authored by Adam Lanza; One New York Times article from Feb. 18, 2008 of a school shooting at Northern Illinois University
  • Electronic items seized from Adam Lanza's house included: Three hard drives: A damaged 500GB hard drive, an 80GB internal hard drive and a 160GB external hard drive
    Two computers: A custom-build desktop computer with no hard drive, and a Dell laptop, Inspiron 6000
    Three gaming systems: A Sony Playstation 2, an Xbox and an Xbox 360
    Two cell phones: an iPhone and a Verizon phone
    A shoe box containing video game parts and memory cards
    A white plastic bag containing CD-Rs, handwritten notes regarding the addresses of local gun shops, and a GPS system
  • Seized from a Honda Civic at Newtown Elementary School: A Saiga 12 Shotgun, serial H08402282, with two magazines containing 70 rounds of Winchester 12 gauge shotgun rounds

The applications, affidavits and returns related to the search warrants had been sealed under court order since the investigation began. Their contents could help lift some of the mystery surrounding Lanza and what drove him to carry out the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

Prosecutors were expected to supplement the release with a statement that could offer more context.

Refresh for updates on what the documents reveal.

State police and local officials privately briefed victims' families at the Newtown Municipal Center Wednesday night on how to handle the release of the documents.

"I think it reopens...it causes them to revisit the pain they felt three months ago," said Newtown Schools Superintendent Janet Robinson. "It's really too bad when we go on this path of healing to have these things that come back to us and remind us and take us back to the events again. It's hard."

Before leaving for Sandy Hook Elementary School on the morning of Dec. 14, Lanza, 20, killed his mother at the Yoganada Street home they shared. Later, as cops closed in on him at Sandy Hook, Lanza killed himself. Investigators have offered no insight into his motivation. A comprehensive State Police investigative report isn’t expected to be completed until June.

Authorities have said that Lanza opened fire on his schoolhouse victims with a .223 caliber Bushmaster rifle outfitted with a 30-round clip. He was also armed with two pistols, a 10mm Glock and a 9mm Sig Sauer, one of which he used on himself.

After the shooting, investigators found Lanza’s car, a black 2010 four-door Honda Civic sedan, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School parking lot. Inside, they found a 12-gauge Izhmash Canta shotgun.

All four guns were legally owned by Lanza’s 52-year-old mother, Nancy, authorities have said.

A law enforcement official told NBC News last month that Lanza had collected materials on previous  shootings.

Last week, the New York Daily News, citing an unnamed source, reported that Connecticut State Police Col. Daniel Stebbins revealed at a law enforcement conference in New Orleans that Lanza had gone to great lengths in planning the attack, including research on past massacres.

Among the evidence, the report said, was a giant spreadsheet listing the body counts of past mass murders.

Connecticut Police Lt. Paul Vance had in the past dismissed reports that Lanza had felt himself in competition with other mass murderers as "mere speculation."

The leaks upset victims’ families, as well as state lawmakers, who’ve been waiting for details so they can complete negotiations on a wide-ranging gun-control bill.

The judge overseeing the case granted a prosecutor’s request to redact certain details in the documents, including a witness’ name, a telephone number and a credit card number.

Photo Credit: AP/AP

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