Newtown Report Leaves More Questions Than Answers

Almost a full year after the Sandy Hook shooting, which killed twenty children and seven adults in Newtown, Conn., state authorities released a full report to the public Monday, outlining the events of Dec. 14, 2012. The community jostled at the report's public release, which some felt was timed badly — it came out shortly before the one-year anniversary; shortly before Thanksgiving — and was unable to answer the questions posed by much of the community. Others felt that it wasn't appropriate for public release. The Connecticut report was 48 pages long, and drawn heavily from the 2,000-page file of the investigation itself. Ultimately, it revealed little new or substantial information, offering no insight into the motive of Adam Lanza and concluding that there were no criminal charges to be filed. Following the report, the case is to be closed.

Monday marks an unsettling end to the case that has become the second-deadliest mass shooting in American history. Authorities have long forged for a motive for Adam Lanza, who shot and killed his mother, Nancy, before going to the elementary school, shooting 20 children and 6 adults, and then committing suicide before authorities could arrest him. Though the report makes clear that it won't offer up every piece of information found by investigators, it does note that a singular reason for Adam Lanza's murder spree still isn't known. "The evidence clearly shows that the shooter planned his actions, including the taking of his own life," writes the state, "but there is no clear indication why he did so, or why he targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School."

Here's what the report does tell us about Adam Lanza: he had severe mental-health issues, but those who treated him had no idea what he was preparing to do. Lanza was obsessed with mass murder, most notably the Columbine shooting of 1999. His mother owned numerous firearms, which he used to commit the murders. There's no indication that Lanza ever mentioned to anybody what he was planning on doing. "The obvious question that remains is: 'Why did the shooter murder twenty-seven people, including twenty children?' the Connecticut report recognizes. "Unfortunately, that question may never be answered conclusively."

The father of Victoria Soto, a teacher killed by Adam Lanza on Dec. 14 last year, noted on her Facebook page that the report "is yet another blow that our family has been dealt." Last week, Soto's family spoke out against a video game that allowed the player to re-enact the Sandy Hook shooting within 11 minutes. Named "The Slaying Of Sandy Hook," the player shoots their mother at home, before going to Sandy Hook Elementary and shooting characters that imitate the real-life victims of the tragedy. "My daughter’s birthday just passed," Soto's mother told a local newspaper. "It just adds insult to the suffering that we’re dealing with."

The original Sandy Hook Elementary has been destroyed, with a new one set to be built in its place. The community is also debating setting up a memorial for the victims in the city, but out of respect for the victims' families won't be holding any services to mark the one-year anniversary.