Home / National News / Connecticut Shooting: Town Mourns as Police Seek Clues to Gunman’s Rampage


UPDATE: ABC News has confirmed that Adam Lanza shot his mother in the head multiple times and later committed suicide with one gunshot wound to his head.

A threat at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Sunday forced police to evacuate attendees. More than a dozen state troopers were seen entering the church’s education center armed with assualt rifles. Almost 1,000 parishioners had been gathered inside the church to observe one of four memorial services being held. The threat was over before 2 p.m.

(NEWTOWN, Conn.) — As the shattered community of Newtown, Conn., struggles to come to grips with the loss of 20 children and six adults massacred by Adam Lanza, police are working to understand what set the 20-year-old off on his rampage.

ABC News has learned that investigators have seized computers belonging to Lanza from the home he shared with his mother Nancy, the same place he killed her before going to the Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he slaughtered students in two first-grade classes and teachers and staff.

Authorities are forensically investigating those computers and are also examining devices owned by Ryan Lanza, the gunman’s older brother, to see if they can learn anything more about Adam and what caused him to snap.

Members of the community gathered Sunday at churches across the small town, seeking comfort, clarity or just a cry.

With intermittent freezing rain falling, the bells tolled at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church as parishioners came for the morning service.

Little more than a week before Christmas when congregants celebrate the birth of their savior, they instead were mourning the deaths of people they knew.

Many of the victims attended the church and the clergy is preparing for the funerals of eight of the children.

As parishioners arrived at the church, many stopped at a makeshift memorial with flowers, teddy bears and candles. On large white boards, people wrote notes that express condolences, hope, and even forgiveness.

One says “Rest in Peace Sweet Angels.”

After a man and woman knelt down at the memorial — the woman overcome by grief crying into her husband’s arms — two police officers opened their cars with a delivery: bouquets of flowers and teddy bears stacked in the back of their vehicles. They delicately placed each one down and then both knelt down at the vigil.

The female officer began crying and her male partner put his arm around her to comfort her. She quickly got up, walking to her car while wiping away tears, and then they pulled away.

A mother and two young daughters came next. She gripped one while she also wiped away tears. A father and his young daughter also came up, the father kneeling and talking to the girl before they slowly walked into the church.

A state police trooper was also among those dropping flowers at the memorial comprised of candles, stuffed toys and a sign that says “Sleep in heavenly peace.”

Police Tracing Guns Used in Shooting

Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said there are many pieces missing in the investigation and investigators continue to work inside Sandy Hook Elementary School to collect evidence.

Key to the investigation will also be the four firearms found at or near the crime scene, he said.

“We are tracing them historically, all the way back to when they were on the workbench being assembled,” Vance said.

Authorities are wrapping up their processing of the exterior crime scene, which included vehicles parked in the school’s lot at the time of the shooting, Vance said, and have begun to release the cars back to their owners.

Vance declined to say what evidence has or has not been collected.

“We can’t take segments of an investigation and discuss that publicly because something taken out of context could be misinterpreted,” he said, adding that in the end, the “goal is to answer every single question.

With the world watching Newtown, and many searching for answers, Vance warned of misinformation being spread on social media by people posing as law enforcement or the shooter.

“It is important to know, we have discussed with federal authorities these issues are crimes. They will be investigated. … Prosecution will take place,” Vance said at a press conference, adding that all information has been and will continue to come through him.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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