Sandy Hook Shooting Documents to Be Released By Connecticut Police Friday
Two weeks after the release of the Sandy Hook Elementary school 911 tapes, Connecticut state police will release official documents relating to the Newtown shooting at 3 p.m. EST Friday online — an indication that the investigation is closed for good. The several-thousand page "trove" contains text, photos, and transcripts of the 911 phone calls made when Adam Lanza entered the elementary school on Dec. 14, 2012 and killed 20 children and six adults before committing suicide.
It's not entirely clear what the specific contents of the folio will contain, because the police stated that some of the material has been "redacted according to law." Just how much and what will be redacted, however, is something no one will know until its release. Still, the superintendent of Newtown schools, John Reed, warned parents the documents could be an "emotional trigger," as he did prior to the release of the 911 tapes.
After all, the tapes brought up a contentious debate — local officials questioning the necessity of the tapes' release attempted to block their circulation in a court case that ultimately failed. (Despite the fact that it's horrifying to listen to the voices of both survivors and soon-to-be-victims as gunshots peppered the background, the tapes are still considered public record.) That said, no such case has been made against the document file, however — reading the transcripts and the police reports, written in a detached, official staccato, is ultimately less intimate than audio of the shootings. And, indeed, previous reports released failed to incite anger or controversy. (One month ago, the Division of Criminal Justice released a report on the shooting that showed Lanza as obsessed with mass shootings, particularly that of Columbine, but could discern no motive for the killings.) The photos, though, could be a different story.
But the news isn't all heart-wrenching form Newtown. In more heartwarming news, while the state police release some Sandy Hook materials, the town is working to archive others. Every card, letter, drawing, and stuffed animal sent to Newtown in the wake of the shooting is being saved. Some items are left in their original form, but due to the quantity, other materials are being photographed for posterity, or even turned, via recycling, into "sacred soil" to be used for the foundation of the new elementary built now that Sandy Hook has been torn down.