Details about the Sandy Hook Elementary School killer Adam Lanza continue to emerge as people struggle to make sense of this horrible tragedy. And the same question seems to be on everyone’s mind.
What led this young man to commit such a heinous crime?
In an effort to understand Lanza’s motive for killing his mother, school administrators, young children and eventually himself, investigators and reporters are interviewing everyone who knew the disturbed youth and his mother, Nancy Lanza.
Bob Skupa is a barber in Newtown who cut Adam Lanza’s hair for five years. He remembers Adam as being a shy, quiet and strange boy who rarely spoke. In fact, when Skupa would ask questions to try to spark a conversation with him, it was Adam’s mother who would respond.
When each haircut was complete, Nancy would grab Adam by the arm and yank him up. “It’s time to go, Adam.” And he always obeyed.
Incidentally, Skupa wishes that he had done something while he had Adam in his barber chair. “I wish I would have killed him then,” he recently told reporters. “It would’ve saved all those kids and parents the trouble.”
People who knew Nancy Lanza well have also been speaking to the media. Most describe her as an outgoing, likeable and generous woman who also collected guns and liked taking her sons shooting. However, they all make a point to mention that Nancy was very responsible with regard to gun safety.
If this is true, then shouldn’t her weapons and ammunition have been locked up and out of reach of her troubled son? I’m not accusing her of being irresponsible, especially since the poor woman was murdered, but it does seem odd.
The latest insight into Adam Lanza’s possible motive came from a lifelong family acquaintance, 25-year-old Joshua Flashman. He grew up near Sandy Hook Elementary School and knew the Lanza family well.
According to Flashman, Nancy Lanza was in the process of having Adam committed to a psychiatric facility. And he was not happy about it.
“Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed,” said Flashman. “Adam was apparently very upset about this. He thought she just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really, really angry. I think this could have been it, what set him off.”
Flashman also mentioned how Nancy frequently volunteered with kindergarteners at Sandy Hook and how Adam “believed she cared more for the children than she did for him.”
Since Adam killed his mother first and in such a violent fashion, shooting her four times in the head while she slept, I am inclined to believe this motive. Shooting those young children was likely another way for Adam to lash out at his mother, destroying those she cared for the most.
Toss in the fact that Adam was the product of divorce and cut off communication with his father several years ago and the picture becomes even clearer: disturbed young man, mental problems, broken home, gun enthusiast… the pieces of the puzzle keep falling into place.
Of course, none of this evidence means anything since the only person who truly knew Adam’s motive was Adam, and he’s no longer with us. All we can do is speculate and try to prevent these same sorts of issues from affecting other young people. I’m certain that we will never be 100% successful, but even saving one life is worth the effort.
Last Friday, Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and murdered 27 people in cold blood before taking his own life. As we all know by now, most of Lanza’s victims were children between the ages of 6 and 7.
What people may not know is that another horrible attack took place the same day in the village of Chenpeng in central China. That’s when 36-year-old Min Yongjun, a clearly disturbed man who also suffers from epilepsy, entered an elementary school wielding a kitchen knife and proceeded to stab, cut and slash 23 students, including 7 first-graders.
The night before, Yongjun beat his parents and children, wandered the streets, broke into an elderly woman’s home and stabbed her several times. Around 7 a.m. the following morning, he headed for the school.
According to local police, Yongjun was some kind of doomsday fanatic who wanted to “do things to impress the world of his existence” before the world came to an end on December 21st. This is the day the Mayan calendar supposedly identified as the end of the world, although experts around the globe have discounted it.
Friday was a terrible day for children both here in the U.S. and abroad. Let’s hope that this Friday passes by uneventfully.
School violence seems to be on the increase in every corner of our nation. From shooting to bullying, there appears to be no end to the damage our young people can inflict upon themselves and their victims.
One such victim is John Webster, a 27-year-old gym teacher at PS 330 in Queens, New York. I should also mention that Webster is a former college football player who stands at 5’10″ and weighs in at 220 pounds.
According to Webster, the trouble started as he was escorting several students to the cafeteria, including 6-year-old Rodrigo Carpio. Webster attempted to hold Carpio by the wrist when the child started to bite him. He took Carpio to the principal’s office to be disciplined and the mean-spirited youngster kicked Webster in the ankle and the knee, which made a distinct popping sound.
Webster is now wearing a brace on his right leg and has been seeing a therapist to deal with what he calls an “embarrassing and humiliating nightmare.”
Carpio, referred to as a “tiny terror” by Webster’s lawyer, is no stranger to violence and aggression. In addition to attacking his gym teacher, Carpio has also kicked his principal and pinched a number of others, including a security officer.
Carpio may only weigh in at 50 pounds, but I strongly suggest someone turn this kid on to boxing. We just might have the next heavyweight champ on our hands!