Final Newtown Report Unlikely To Answer 'Why?'

Dec 28, 2013
Originally published on December 28, 2013 11:35 am
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This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News, I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Connecticut, state police have released the final report into last year's Newtown School shooting. It doesn't do much to explain what motivated gunman Adam Lanza but as Jeff Cohen, from member station WNPR, explains, parts of the report offer some insight into Lanza's mental health.

JEFF COHEN, BYLINE: The release includes thousands of documents, many of which are heavily redacted. The state prosecutor in charge of the case has said Lanza had significant mental health issues, but he couldn't say how much they contributed to his decision to kill 27 people and himself last December.

Hank Schwartz is a psychiatrist who serves on the governor's Sandy Hook advisory commission. He says the new report likely won't answer the why question, but it may paint a fuller picture of a young man in need of care.

HANK SCHWARTZ: If the commission is going to address the issue of the relationship of mental health issues to what happened in Newtown, I think we have to have as much information as we possibly can have about Adam Lanza's mental state.

COHEN: One police report summarizes a psychological evaluation from 2006. It describes Lanza's symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, but it also reflects the concern of a doctor about the boy's, quote, "increasingly constricted social and educational world." Another account sheds light on the role of Lanza's mother. In it, a registered nurse who also treated Lanza in 2006 said Nancy Lanza refused recommendations for her son's mental health care.

For NPR News, I'm Jeff Cohen in Hartford, Conn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.