Conn. Shooter Feared Being 'Committed' By Mother

Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 09:09 PM

By Todd Beamon

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The fear of being committed to a psychiatric institution by his mother may have led a Connecticut man to snap and go on a shooting rampage in an elementary school that killed 26 people — including 20 children — a lifelong area resident familiar with the family and many of the victims’ families told Fox News.

“From what I've been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed," Joshua Flashman, who grew up not far from where the shooting took place, told Fox.

He was referring to the gunman, Adam Lanza, 20.

Flashman, 25, a U.S. Marine, is the son of a pastor at an area church where many of the victims' families worship, Fox reports.

"Adam was apparently very upset about this,” he told Fox. “He thought she just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really, really angry. I think this could have been it, what set him off.”

Lanza went to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown after killing his mother at their home early Friday because he believed she loved the school “more than she loved him,” authorities said.

A senior law-enforcement official involved in the investigation confirmed to Fox on Tuesday that Lanza's anger at his mother over plans for “his future mental health treatment” was being examined as a possible motive for the shooting.

According to Fox, Flashman had been told that Nancy Lanza had begun filing paperwork to get conservatorship over her son, but that could not be confirmed because court officials told Fox that such records are sealed.

The move would have been necessary for her to gain the legal right to commit an adult to a hospital or psychiatric facility against his will, Fox reports. A competency hearing had not been held.

Adam Lanza attended the Sandy Hook School as a boy, Flashman told Fox. Nancy Lanza had volunteered there for several years, he said.

Two law-enforcement sources said they believed Nancy Lanza had been volunteering with kindergartners at the school, Fox reports. Most of Lanza's victims were first-graders sources believe Nancy Lanza may have worked with last year.

Flashman said Nancy Lanza also was good friends with the school’s principal and psychologist—both of whom were killed in the shooting rampage, Fox reports.

"Adam Lanza believed she cared more for the children than she did for him, and the reason he probably thought this [was the fact that] she was petitioning for conservatorship and wanted to have him committed," Flashman told Fox. "I could understand how he might perceive that—that his mom loved him less than she loved the kids, loved the school. But she did love him.

“But he was a troubled kid, and she probably just couldn’t take care of him by herself anymore."

In another piece of the puzzle, a repairman who did work for the family said that Adam Lanza lived in the home's windowless basement where he spent hours playing violent video games. The plumber said Lanza would play a violent military game called "Call of Duty" for hours and had decorated the basement with posters of military hardware, the New York Post reports.

Adam and his brother also were familiar with military weapons from the 1940s, 50s and 60s often "using" the weapons in the video game "Call of Duty."



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