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Police file on Newtown yields chilling portrait

  • This Dec. 14, 2012 photo released by the Connecticut State Police shows what the evidence report describes as a view of a second floor bathroom and its contents including a photo identification of Adam Lanza and a cellular phone with battery removed, in the house where Adam Lanza lived with his mother in Newtown, Conn. The photo was released as part of the evidence gathered by police during their investigation after Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

    This Dec. 14, 2012 photo released by the Connecticut State Police shows what the evidence report describes as a view of a second floor bathroom and its contents including a photo identification of Adam Lanza and a cellular phone with battery removed, in the house where Adam Lanza lived with his mother in Newtown, Conn. The photo was released as part of the evidence gathered by police during their investigation after Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

  • This photo released by the Connecticut State Police on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, from a document titled "Sec 8 - Autopsy," shows evidence pertaining to the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at the school after killing his mother inside their home. Lanza committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

    This photo released by the Connecticut State Police on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, from a document titled "Sec 8 - Autopsy," shows evidence pertaining to the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at the school after killing his mother inside their home. Lanza committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

  • This evidence photo contained in a document titled "Sec 15 - Firearm Survey - Enfield," in a report of an investigation released by the Connecticut State Police, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, shows a weapon. Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn., after killing his mother inside their home. Lanza committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

    This evidence photo contained in a document titled "Sec 15 - Firearm Survey - Enfield," in a report of an investigation released by the Connecticut State Police, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, shows a weapon. Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn., after killing his mother inside their home. Lanza committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

  • This photo released by Connecticut State Police on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 shows an aerial view of the home where Adam Lanza lived with his mother in Newtown, Conn. Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, after killing his mother inside their home. Lanza committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

    This photo released by Connecticut State Police on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 shows an aerial view of the home where Adam Lanza lived with his mother in Newtown, Conn. Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, after killing his mother inside their home. Lanza committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

  • This Dec. 16, 2012 photo released by the Connecticut State Police shows what the evidence report describes as a "Volunteer Thank You Card" for Mrs. Lanza with a pamphlet for a 5th grade "Stepping Up Ceremony" dated June 10, 1999 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, found in the house where Adam Lanza lived with his mother in Newtown, Conn. The photo was released as part of the evidence gathered by police during their investigation after Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

    This Dec. 16, 2012 photo released by the Connecticut State Police shows what the evidence report describes as a "Volunteer Thank You Card" for Mrs. Lanza with a pamphlet for a 5th grade "Stepping Up Ceremony" dated June 10, 1999 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, found in the house where Adam Lanza lived with his mother in Newtown, Conn. The photo was released as part of the evidence gathered by police during their investigation after Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

  • FILE - This April 5, 2011 file photo shows Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, during a session of the Senate at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis. Fitzgerald says it will be difficult getting enough votes to make any changes to the Common Core academic standards that many conservatives are calling to be repealed. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

    FILE - This April 5, 2011 file photo shows Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, during a session of the Senate at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis. Fitzgerald says it will be difficult getting enough votes to make any changes to the Common Core academic standards that many conservatives are calling to be repealed. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

  • FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, file photo, a makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Conn., the one-year anniversary of the shootings.  Connecticut authorities said they planned Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, to release state police documents from the investigation into last year's Newtown school massacre. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, file photo, a makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Conn., the one-year anniversary of the shootings. Connecticut authorities said they planned Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, to release state police documents from the investigation into last year's Newtown school massacre. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

  • FILE - This undated identification file photo provided Wednesday, April 3, 2013, by Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., shows former student Adam Lanza, who authorities said opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, killing 26 students and educators. State police said their report from the investigation into last year's Newtown school massacre will be released at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Western Connecticut State University, File)

    FILE - This undated identification file photo provided Wednesday, April 3, 2013, by Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., shows former student Adam Lanza, who authorities said opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, killing 26 students and educators. State police said their report from the investigation into last year's Newtown school massacre will be released at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Western Connecticut State University, File)

  • This Dec. 14, 2012 photo released by the Connecticut State Police shows what the evidence report describes as a view of a second floor bathroom and its contents including a photo identification of Adam Lanza and a cellular phone with battery removed, in the house where Adam Lanza lived with his mother in Newtown, Conn. The photo was released as part of the evidence gathered by police during their investigation after Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)
  • This photo released by the Connecticut State Police on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, from a document titled "Sec 8 - Autopsy," shows evidence pertaining to the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at the school after killing his mother inside their home. Lanza committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)
  • This evidence photo contained in a document titled "Sec 15 - Firearm Survey - Enfield," in a report of an investigation released by the Connecticut State Police, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, shows a weapon. Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn., after killing his mother inside their home. Lanza committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)
  • This photo released by Connecticut State Police on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 shows an aerial view of the home where Adam Lanza lived with his mother in Newtown, Conn. Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, after killing his mother inside their home. Lanza committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)
  • This Dec. 16, 2012 photo released by the Connecticut State Police shows what the evidence report describes as a "Volunteer Thank You Card" for Mrs. Lanza with a pamphlet for a 5th grade "Stepping Up Ceremony" dated June 10, 1999 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, found in the house where Adam Lanza lived with his mother in Newtown, Conn. The photo was released as part of the evidence gathered by police during their investigation after Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six educators with a semi-automatic rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown. (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)
  • FILE - This April 5, 2011 file photo shows Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, during a session of the Senate at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis. Fitzgerald says it will be difficult getting enough votes to make any changes to the Common Core academic standards that many conservatives are calling to be repealed. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
  • FILE - In this Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, file photo, a makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Conn., the one-year anniversary of the shootings.  Connecticut authorities said they planned Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, to release state police documents from the investigation into last year's Newtown school massacre. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
  • FILE - This undated identification file photo provided Wednesday, April 3, 2013, by Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Conn., shows former student Adam Lanza, who authorities said opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, killing 26 students and educators. State police said their report from the investigation into last year's Newtown school massacre will be released at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Western Connecticut State University, File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Connecticut police released thousands of pages Friday from their investigation into the Newtown massacre, providing the most detailed and disturbing picture yet of the rampage and Adam Lanza’s fascination with murder, while also depicting school employees’ brave and clear-headed attempts to protect the children.

Among the details: More than a dozen bodies, mostly children, were seen packed “like sardines” in a bathroom. And the horrors inside school were so terrible that when police sent in paramedics, they tried to select ones capable of handling what they were about to witness.

“This will be the worst day of your life,” police Sgt. William Cario warned one.

The documents’ release marks the end of the investigation into the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

Lanza, 20, went to the school after killing his mother, Nancy, inside their home. He committed suicide with a handgun as police arrived at the school.

The paperwork, photos and videos were heavily blacked out to protect the names of children and to withhold some of the more grisly details. But the horror comes through at nearly every turn.

Included in the file were photographs of the home Lanza shared with his mother. They show numerous rounds of ammunition, gun magazines, shot-up paper targets, gun cases, shooting earplugs and a gun safe with a rifle in it.

A former teacher of Lanza’s was quoted as telling investigators that Lanza exhibited anti-social behavior, rarely interacted with other students and obsessed in writings “about battles, destruction and war.”

“In all my years of experience, I have known (redacted) grade boys to talk about things like this, but Adam’s level of violence was disturbing,” the teacher told investigators. The teacher added: “Adam’s creative writing was so graphic that it could not be shared.”

The documents also fill in more details about how the shooting unfolded and how staff members looked out for the youngsters.

Teachers heard janitor Rick Thorne try to get Lanza to leave the school. One teacher, who was hiding in a closet in the math lab, heard Thorne yell, “Put the gun down!” An aide said she heard gunfire and Thorne told her to close her door. Thorne survived.

Others weren’t so lucky.

Police Lt. Christopher Vanghele said he and another officer found what appeared to be about 15 bodies, mostly children, packed in another bathroom. So many people had tried to cram inside the bathroom that the door couldn’t be closed, and the shooter gunned them all down, Vanghele surmised.

In a letter accompanying the files, Reuben F. Bradford, commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, wrote that much of the report was disturbing but that it also showed teachers trying to protect their children, law enforcement officials putting themselves in harm’s way, and dispatchers working calmly and efficiently.

Peter Lanza, who was estranged from his son, told police that Adam had Asperger’s syndrome — a type of autism that is not associated with violence — and exhibited symptoms of being “slightly OCD,” meaning obsessive compulsive disorder.

A former Newtown High student who was in Tech Club with Adam Lanza recalled him pulling his sleeves over his hands any time he was handed an object from someone.

A nurse at the Yale Child Studies Center who met with Adam Lanza said he had several ritualistic behaviors, including frequently washing hands and changing his socks 20 times a day, to the point his mother did three loads of laundry a day.

The nurse said that Lanza’s mother declined to give him prescribed antidepressant and antianxiety medication and that she failed to schedule a follow-up visit after he missed an appointment.

In the documents, a friend told police that Nancy Lanza reported that her son had hit his head several days before the shootings. And an ex-boyfriend told police that she canceled a trip to London on the week of the shooting because of “a couple last-minute problems on the home front.”

Prosecutors previously issued a summary of the investigation last month that portrayed Lanza as obsessed with mass murders, but the report concluded that Lanza’s motives for the massacre might never be known.

Lanza “was undoubtedly afflicted with mental health problems; yet despite a fascination with mass shootings and firearms, he displayed no aggressive or threatening tendencies,” it said.

The new files revealed chaos during the rampage, and contain sometimes-conflicting accounts from witnesses.

Lanza remained silent as he aimed and fired in Room 10, according to an officer who interviewed the mother of one of the surviving students. The woman said her son, who ran from the classroom, recalled the shooter kicking in the door and then firing.

The documents indicate investigators were gentle in their questioning of children, interviewing youngsters only if they or their parents requested it. Some of the parents thought talking openly about the shooting and getting accurate information out would help their children heal.

After the interviews, the children were given a copy of Margaret Holmes’ book “A Terrible Thing Happened” to help them deal with that they witnessed.

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