NEWTOWN, Conn. – The gunman who slaughtered 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to a psychiatric facility, according to a lifelong resident of the area who was familiar with the killer’s family and several of the victims’ families.
Adam Lanza, 20, targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown after killing his mother early Friday because he believed she loved the school “more than she loved him,” said Joshua Flashman, 25, who grew up not far from where the shooting took place. Flashman, a U.S. Marine, is the son of a pastor at an area church where many of the victims' families worship.
“From what I've been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed," Flashman told FoxNews.com. "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.”
A senior law enforcement official involved in the investigation confirmed that Lanza's anger at his mother over plans for “his future mental health treatment” is being looked at as a possible motive for the deadly shooting.
"He thought she just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really, really angry."
- Joshua Flashman, Newtown resident familiar with Lanza family
Flashman was told Nancy Lanza had begun filing paperwork to get conservatorship over her troubled son, but that could not be confirmed because a court official told FoxNews.com such records are sealed. The move would have been necessary for her to gain the legal right to commit an adult to a hospital or psychiatric facility against his will. A competency hearing had not yet been held.
Adam Lanza attended the Sandy Hook School as a boy, according to Flashman, who said Nancy Lanza had volunteered there for several years. Two law enforcement sources said they believed Nancy Lanza had been volunteering with kindergartners at the school. Most of Lanza's victims were first graders sources believe Nancy Lanza may have worked with last year.
Flashman said Nancy Lanza was also good friends with the school’s principal and psychologist—both of whom were killed in the shooting rampage.
"Adam Lanza believed she cared more for the children than she did for him, and the reason he probably thought this [was the fact that] she was petitioning for conservatorship and wanted to have him committed," Flashman said. "I could understand how he might perceive that—that his mom loved him less than she loved the kids, loved the school. But she did love him. But he was a troubled kid and she probably just couldn’t take care of him by herself anymore."
The Washington Post reported that the distraught mother had considered moving with her son to Washington state, where she had found a school she thought could help him. Either way, according to Flashman, Nancy Lanza was at her wit's end.
A separate neighborhood source also told FoxNews.com that Nancy Lanza had come to the realization she could no longer handle her son alone. She was caring for him full-time, but told friends she needed help. She was planning to have him involuntarily hospitalized, according to the source, who did not know if she had taken formal steps.
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Multiple sources told FoxNews.com Adam Lanza suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, and unspecified mental and emotional problems.
Adam Lanza has also been described by those who knew him as highly intelligent, and a spokesman for Western Connecticut State University told The Associated Press he took college classes there when he was 16, earning a 3.26 grade point average and excelling at a computer course.
Alan Diaz, 20, who was friends with Adam Lanza at Newtown High School, said the Lanza he knew was ill-at-ease socially, but not a monster.
"He was a wicked smart kid," Diaz told FoxNews.com by email. "When I first met him, he wouldn't even look at you when you tried to talk to him. Over the year I knew him, he became used to me and my other friends, he eventually could have full conversations with us.
"I've heard him laugh, he has even comforted me once in a hard time I had," Diaz said. “A big part of me wishes I never dropped contact with him after he left high school, felt like I could have done something."
Flashman said nobody will completely understand why Adam did what he did.
“No one can explain Adam Lanza besides God and Adam Lanza, and I don’t even think Adam Lanza could explain Adam Lanza, to be honest with you.”
We need better mental health care. I know many young boys who sound just like this kid. There are few resources for children like these. I know because my son is very much like this. He is never violent or angry, but he does have many social issues. unless you very wealthy there is almost no help for them.
I agree with you on that Nan!! it sure isn't Obamacare though...if they would take part of the money they plan to steal from people to use for that and out it towards the mental health care of individuals in our country we may get something solved!!! I sure do hope that your son can work through all of these problems so there is none of what he feels left inside of him. That sure can not beeasy for you and hubby either!! Does he talk with you guys easy or not? I mean can he have a lengthy conversation? How about the friends that he has...does he have a lot of friends and what kind of friends are they? Have you ever been able to talk to any of his friends like in a conversation where you could find out from them without your son or them knowing you were asking about things in order to find out what he thinks or feels or what is on his mind!? I hope it's something that he will outgrow but yet you are right to be concerned!
I know a couple who have a son who has permanent brain damage due to being beaten up and left for dead-unconscious when they found him, and in a coma. He was on his way, walking to a store at night in WA state. He was beaten and robbed of what little cash he had on him. When he was able to come home, they could not take care of him. He has terrible outbursts sometimes, and it doesn't take anything much. Meds help, but isn't enough. He could be normal acting, then wrong thing said taken the wrong way, or he'd get mad about something, and he could go on a screaming foul mouthed outbreak. His dad has had heart operations, and it got to be too much to try and keep him at home. He does do much better in a home with people more equipped of caring for people with mental problems also, and things they keep them busy with, and seems happy there. But, trying to find a right type of place like that for him, and his special needs, type of others he should be around, compared to others he shouldn't be around, was hard to find. And sometimes the waiting period for those who do need special care, to get into, is long. Meds can be hard to figure out too-what kind does this person need, if they do, and figuring out the balance, and trying to get it right.
No Carol he doesn't have friends. We do have conversations and he is very close to his sister. She is 20yrs older than him so she really is like a mom to him. The kids at school can't relate to him. He is smarter than most of them and their interests are different. He reads all the time, he is obsessed with the Percy Jackson books and most kids his age have to be forced to read.
But he does see a therapist that he can talk to. He is what they call "high functioning" and he doesn't have "melt downs" anymore. He did when he was younger but he really has gotten better. Thank God he is not as bad as some I've seen.
But it has been a struggle. When he was younger I was constantly being called to school for one thing or another. What really made the difference was the kind of teachers he had. He has had some bad ones but he has had some exceptional ones also. When he was in 1st & 2nd grade he was going to occupational therapy and it helped some but it was very expensive and several miles away and of course insurance didn't cover any of it. It was like a catch 22, I had to pay out of pocket and take off work to bring him twice a week but almost lost my job taking too much time off.
He is one of the fortunate ones, the ones I worry about are the ones who get pumped full of meds and are being misdiagnosed. They wanted to put him on anti anxiety meds when he was 8 but I said no way. The Dr talked to him for less than 2 min before he wanted to prescribe Lexapro. We tried it for 3 days and I threw it in the trash. It made him worse, it amplified his symptoms.
Sherry you are right about the meds, it took us a long time to get his right and then every time he has a growth spurt we have to start all over again.
I don't know what the answers are but we need to help these kids.
This post was modified from its original form on 19 Dec, 18:22
Oh My God Nan!!!!!!! This has to be SO hard for you and your hubby and also hard for your son. Has he been checked for lack of vitamins and things like that!? At this point I do not know but something is causing a lack of something I would think....in the brain or the bodily functions that will affect the brain. Hell...what do I know about it!? I just feel so helpless for you to be able to help HIM so you BOTH can find some kind of common ground and advancement to him feeling more confident and better about himself. Is he an outdoorsman of a young adult!? Does he like the outdoor sports!? Does he enjoy fishing!? What is it that he enjoys doing? I know you are such a good Mom to him and only want the best for him!! Sending you MANY and much
No Carol all he wants to do is read and play computer games. He has a bug phobia, going outdoors does not happen much. He does like to fish but he gets bored real quick with that. Thanks for the support but he really is doing much better than when he was younger, and yes he does take fish oils and other supplements that I do feel have helped.
Well that is a good to know he is much better than when he was younger. Bug phobias I can see as when I was young I hated snakes, spiders and other bugs too like the June Bug they call it I thjink..it has a hard crusty wing when it's closed down. He may just be able to grow out of those things too somewhat anyway. The fish oils should help him too! Which reminds me....I ran out of one of my pills on my window cill that I take every night and could not think of which one I was missing and the fish oil pill is the one I ran out of!! So now I can go and get the other bottle! Thanks!! LOL... I just hope he keeps getting better for you!!!
Our society doesn’t want to blame people like Adam Lanza for their actions; they would rather blame the guns he used as if the guns made him do it. However, one expert is pointing the finger at another very probable cause for Lanza’s actions and others like him.
Dr, David Healy, founder of RISK.org, spends much of his time researching and reporting on prescription drugs. In his research, Healy has found that nearly 90% of the school and other mass shootings in the past couple decades, were carried out by someone who was taking some form of psychotic drugs or anti-depressant. These drugs are known to alter a person’s personality and can make them become violent.
It has been reported that Lanza was taking prescription drugs for a personality disorder, but what drugs he was taking has not been released yet. If shown that he was taking drugs that fit into the category Healy is referring to, then it is very possible that they may be partially to blame for his actions. Healy also says that we should not be comfortable with knowing that 90% of school shootings involved these personality altering drugs.
So where is the outcry on Capitol Hill or the media for a ban or study on these drugs that seem to be driving people to such violent behavior? Other than Dr. Healy, I’ve seen no one else point a finger in the direction of the drugs. They would rather keep pointing at guns and use these tragedies to further their agenda to disarm the American people.
Listen to the woman in the video accompanying this. I can't speak for others, but I am against banning the guns Obama and team want to. In responsible citizens hands, noone will be assaulted with them unless they try to harm them or their family. Criminals will always have access to them, and Obama's friends,- the Panthers and drug cartel and terrorists. When an innocent person or people are surrounded by a few or a mob of lunatics, that gun could come in mighty handy. And banning them, is just a first step with communist muslim Obama. I wouldn't give him an inch.
I don't know if they will ever find out what was wrong with that there kid. Crazy beyond belief .....
The whole thing is weird Sherry and Cam! The way this country is going today with all of the crooks and lunatic running it I can believe anything crazy that comes up!!