What "sophisticated" weapons stash says about Adam Lanza

Documents released Thursday revealeda stockpile of guns, swords and ammunition was found in Adam Lanza's home after he opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14. CBS "Evening News" senior correspondent John Miller - a veteran of the LAPD, NYPD and FBI - has been following the Sandy Hook case from day one. Below is his analysis of what all that sophisticated weaponry says about Lanza and his intentions.

(Elaine Quijano reports on the evidence released Thursday on Newtown, Conn., massacre)

What struck me was the number of rounds fired and the number of rounds not fired. You had six magazines -- 30-round magazines -- a possibility of 180 rounds. You've got 154 shell casings recovered, indicating those got fired. But three of the magazines aren't empty. One of them has 10 rounds. Another has 12. Another has 13. And that really suggests that what Adam Lanza was doing was pretty sophisticated tactical stuff, what we call the tactical reload.

I was trained in this in the LAPD police academy. When you're transitioning from one target to another, or coming from cover, you don't know how many bullets you've shot or how many bullets are left. You drop the magazine and put in a fresh one so you have the maximum amount.

What the FBI experts would tell you, that suggests not just the tactic, but intention - which is as he went from target to target or classroom to classroom, he was going for maximum lethality without having to change midstream.

You have to look at where he got his tactical training. And one thing his friends say he was obsessed with was the video game "Call of Duty." This is a pretty high-end, fairly realistic and extraordinarily popular video and computer game. The latest release has 40 million active monthly users. If you go into their chats and their blogs, you see they're talking about tactical reloads and when to drop a magazine and re-engage a target. So it is very possible it came from there.

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  • John Miller

    John Miller is a senior correspondent for CBS News, with extensive experience in intelligence, law enforcement and journalism, including stints in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the FBI.