August 26, 2013
An investigative panel has requested the school records of Sandy Hook school shooter Adam Lanza after revealing that he was a deeply isolated individual who bounced between several schools.
A panel convened by Connecticut’s child advocate office is seeking new information on Lanza, it was revealed today including the release of his school records.
Lanza was the gunman responsible for the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, killing 26 people, 20 of them children.
Lanza’s records are being requested as part of an investigation in conjunction with Connecticut’s Child Fatality Review Panel. The panel reviews unexpected child fatalities.
It has obtained some of Lanza’s school and hospital records, but the state attorney general asked on the panel’s behalf for the release of his educational records.
'I think from our perspective right now from what we've gathered, we're concerned about the level of isolation,' said Faith Vos Winkel, assistant child advocate.
'It's never one thing. I think a theme that is beginning to emerge for us - how it plays out, what it ultimately looks like, I'm not sure - is that this was a very isolated kid.'
Teenagers and young adults typically are involved in sports, clubs, jobs, community activities and have friends, Vos Winkel said. Lanza, apparently, was the opposite of this.
'I think at least from what we're gleaning at this point there was very little of that,' she said.
Vos Winkel even compared the case to a 5,000-piece puzzle and said officials had only a limited number of pieces.
'Piecing this enormous complex puzzle together, we're beginning to see some education disruption certainly in middle school and, we believe, in high school,' Vos Winkel said. 'I think education disruption is a feature. Those will be some of the issues we're going to explore more fully.'
Lanza attended various middle schools, was homeschooled and appears to have spent a limited amount of time enrolled in high school.
Lanza was responsible for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting after he killed his mother at their home. He killed himself as police arrived at the school.
Others have also requested the release of Lanza’s school records, including Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen.
The child advocate’s office first sought Lanza’s school records in March, but Newtown school officials have not released the information.
District officials did not immediately return a phone message left Monday. The child advocate’s office has subpoenaed many records, not just school documents, Vos Winkel said.
'Our desire here is to understand the constellation of issues in this young man's life and make, hopefully, an informed and thoughtful analysis of this,' Vos Winkel told The Courant.
'So if we talk about prevention … what are the signs and indicators we need to know when kids are suicidal or homicidal?' she said.
A report on the investigation into the shooting will not be available until the fall, a prosecutor said. Authorities have not disclosed a possible motive for the massacre.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting sparked new legislation in Connecticut and beyond on issues including gun control and school safety.
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