An acquaintance who spent time in the Lanza house in earlier years said he had seen no sign of guns or interest in weaponry at that point.
The weapons were for “self-defense,” said Marsha Lanza. “She lived alone. She was a female, lived alone.”
Nancy, who grew up on a farm in New Hampshire in a family that owned guns, believed that teaching Adam how to shoot would give him “a sense of responsibility,” her friend Russell Hanoman said on NBC News. “Guns require a lot of respect, and she really tried to instill that responsibility within him, and he took to it. He loved being careful with them.”
Mother and son went shooting together at local ranges on multiple occasions, law enforcement officials said.
Adriani told the Connecticut Post that in the past couple of years, Adam had been eager to join the Marines or some other branch of the military, but Nancy Lanza, despite initial enthusiasm for the idea, concluded that her son could not thrive in the service. After all, he could not stand to be touched and had trouble speaking to others.
More recently, Nancy had told friends this fall that she was considering moving Adam to Washington state to enroll him in a school that she believed could help him.
Adam was 20 now, and Nancy told friends she was eager to find ways for him to get out of the house. She had taken some trips without him, leaving his meals prepared for him. She was on one of those trips, by herself, for the three days before the shootings, staying at the Mount Washington Resort and Hotel in Bretton Woods, N.H., according to local news reports.
Law enforcement sources said Adam was dressed in black clothes covered with body armor when he burst into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. He had his mother’s Bushmaster rifle and her Glock and Sig Sauer handguns.
In a matter of minutes, he killed 20 children in the school he once attended. He killed six adults who cared for those children in the same rooms where Carole MacInnes and other teachers sought to connect with him. He had already killed the only person who could draw him out of his hard shell. And then he took his mother’s handgun, pointed it at his face and blew himself out of this world.
Fisher and O’Harrow reported from Washington, Finn from Newtown. Tim Craig, Peter Hermann and Michael Rosenwald in Newtown; Brady Dennis, Sari Horwitz, Julie Tate, Alice R. Crites and Jennifer Jenkins in Washington; and Kari Lydersen and Peter Slevin in Crystal Lake, Ill., contributed to this report.