Report: Newtown Gunman Adam Lanza Spent Days In Basement Playing Call Of Duty
NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) -- A neighborhood plumber said in a published report this week that Newtown, Conn., elementary school gunman Adam Lanza spent his days in the basement of the house he shared with his mother, playing violent video games amid posters showcasing military equipment.
Peter Wlasuk told The Sun newspaper of Britain for a Monday report that he found it "strange" that Lanza lived holed up in the basement of the home, with computers, a TV, a bed, a desk and his own private bathroom, but no windows.
Wlasuk told The Sun that Adam Lanza and his older brother, Ryan, were "fans of the military" and had mounted posters everywhere in the basement showing assorted military equipment. They were experts on guns that dated back as far as the 1940s through playing "Call of Duty," he said in the report.
Lanza used a semi-automatic Bushmaster AR-15 to kill the victims in the school. He also brought a Sig Sauer handgun, one of which he used to shoot himself dead.
All the guns were owned by his mother, Nancy, who was described as an avid shooter.
Meanwhile, the New York Post reported Lanza was "sullen and silent" when he did come out of the basement, going for a haircut every six weeks or so but remaining completely silent and avoiding eye contact.
Lanza killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, Friday morning before going to Sandy Hook Elementary School. There, he killed 20 children – all age 6 or 7 – and six adults before taking his own life.
Former neighbor Ryan Craft, who occasionally babysat Adam a decade ago, said his mother worried about Adam constantly. "His mom Nancy had always instructed me to keep my eye on him at all times and never turn my back on him," Craft said.
More recently, Nancy Lanza stayed at home and devoted her time to her son, family friend Louise Tambascio said told CBS News' Scott Pelley on "60 Minutes."
"I know he was on medication and everything, but she homeschooled him at home 'cause he couldn't deal with the school classes sometimes, so she just homeschooled Adam at home. And that that was her life," Louise Tambascio told Pelley.
Lanza has been described as having Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism characterized by an awkward manner of speaking, an intense preoccupation with a complex subject, and an inability to read social cues.
But multiple advocates have emphasized that Asperger's cannot be blamed for the massacre, and is not linked to violence.
"I don't think that whatever caused him to do this had anything at all to do with Asperger's," Lori Shery, the president of the Asperger Syndrome Education Network, told 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg.'
The group Autism Rights Watch said shortly after the shooting that none of the attributes associated with Asperger's syndrome have anything to do with violence.
"The search for answers should not be a search for a scapegoat. Autism is no excuse or explanation to evil. Being 'autistic,' 'odd,' 'awkward,' 'camera shy,' a 'nerd' and 'uncomfortable with others' does not cause a person to become a mass murderer," the organization said in the release. "Autistic persons are more likely to be victims, rather than perpetrators of violence. Autism Rights Watch urges the public and the media outlets not to stigmatize the autistic persons and their families. They already are facing segregation and prejudices on a daily basis."
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