Medical examiner: All deaths in Connecticut school shooting were homicides by gunshot wounds

Published On: Dec 15 2012 03:57:32 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 15 2012 04:05:46 PM EST
NEWTOWN, Conn. -

A medical examiner says all the victims of the Connecticut school shooting were killed by gunshot wounds.

Dr. H. Wayne Carver said at a news conference Saturday the deaths are classified as homicides.

"This is probably the worst that I have seen or the worst that I know any of my colleagues have seen," Carver said. "This went over the top."

Carver said all off the victims had been hit more than once by gunfire and said their injuries were "all over."

He said he and his staff did not bring childrens' bodies to parents, but instead took pictures of their faces.

Friday’s massacre of 26 children and adults at the elementary school has elicited horror and soul-searching around the world.

Investigators are trying to learn more about 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza. They’ve questioned his older brother, who’s not believed to have been involved in the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary in prosperous Newtown, 60 miles northeast of New York City.

Carver said the autopsies of Lanza and his mother were expected to be done Sunday.

"Our goal was to get the kids out and available to the funeral directors first," Carver said.

Gunman had no previous criminal history

Lanza is believed to have suffered from a personality disorder and lived with his mother, said a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation. Authorities said he had no criminal history.

Asked at a news conference whether Lanza had left any emails or other writings that might explain the rampage, state police Lt. Paul Vance said investigators had found "very good evidence" and hoped it would answer questions about the gunman's motives. Vance would not elaborate.

However, another law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that investigators have found no note or manifesto of the sort they have come to expect after murderous rampages.

Lanza and his mother lived in a well-to-do part of prosperous Newtown, about 60 miles northeast of New York City, where neighbors are doctors or hold white-collar positions at companies such as General Electric, Pepsi and IBM.

His parents filed for divorce in 2008, according to court records. His father, Peter Lanza, lives in Stamford, Conn., and works as a tax director for GE.

The gunman's aunt Marsha Lanza, of Crystal Lake, Ill., said her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it.

"Nancy wasn't one to deny reality," Marsha Lanza said, adding her husband had seen Adam as recently as June and recalled nothing out of the ordinary.

Catherine Urso, of Newtown, said her college-age son knew the killer. "He just said he was very thin, very remote and was one of the goths," she said.

Lanza attended Newtown High School, and several news clippings from recent years mention his name among the honor roll students.

Joshua Milas, who graduated from Newtown High in 2009 and belonged to the school technology club with him, said that Lanza was generally a happy person but that he hadn't seen him in a few years.

"We would hang out, and he was a good kid. He was smart," Joshua Milas said. "He was probably one of the smartest kids I know. He was probably a genius."

Suspect's mother shot first

Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, drove to the school in her car with at least three of her guns, and opened fire in two classrooms around 9:30 a.m. Friday, authorities said.

A custodian ran through the halls, warning of a gunman, and someone switched on the intercom, perhaps saving many lives by letting them hear the chaos in the school office, according to a teacher. Teachers locked their doors and ordered children to huddle in a corner, duck under their desks or hide in closets as shots reverberated through the building.

Among those killed was the school's well-liked principal, Dawn Hochsprung. Town officials said she died while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him. A woman who worked at the school was wounded.

Maryann Jacob, a clerk in the school library, was in there with 18 fourth-graders when they heard a commotion and gunfire outside the room. She had the youngsters crawl into a storage room, and they locked the door and barricaded it with a file cabinet. There happened to be materials for coloring, "so we set them up with paper and crayons."

Raw interview: Sandy Hook library clerk

After what she guessed was about an hour, officers came to the door and knocked, but those inside couldn't be sure it was the police.

"One of them slid his badge under the door, and they called and said, `It's OK, it's the police,'" she said.

The district superintendent said she was told another teacher pushed students in the kiln room until police let them out.