NEWTOWN, CONN. — When Adam Lanza walked out of his house for the last time, he left behind firearms and knives and more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition, taking only four guns with him. They would suffice.
He loaded the weapons into his car, drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, blasted his way into the building and within five minutes fired off 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle. Having slaughtered 20 first-graders and six educators, he killed himself with a shot from a Glock handgun. He still had more than 100 rifle bullets at hand.
Warrants released Thursday provide the most insight to date into the world of the 20-year-old gunman, a recluse who played violent video games in a house packed with weaponry that was all too real.
The inventory of items found in the spacious, colonial-style home included books on autism, a vast array of weapon paraphernalia and images of what appears to be a dead person covered with plastic and blood.
The weapons used in the shooting apparently had been purchased by Lanza’s mother, Nancy, with whom he lived, said prosecutor Stephen Sedensky III, in a statement accompanying the warrants.
She was found dead in her bed; Adam Lanza had shot her the morning of the massacre, Dec. 14. Authorities also found a gun safe in his bedroom and a holiday card from Nancy Lanza containing a check made out to her son for the purchase of yet another firearm.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy expressed incredulity over the access that the troubled young man had to a cache of weapons.
“There are parts of this story that are unfathomable,” he said. “How anyone would have maintained that household that way is difficult to understand.”
If it’s possible to determine a motive for the massacre, there may be clues in Adam Lanza’s journals, which state police seized from the house and turned over to the FBI for analysis. Authorities said that so far no conclusions have been reached.
Among other items, investigators found three samurai swords, a .323-caliber bolt-action rifle and a .22-caliber Savage Mark II rifle.