Revealed: School massacre gunman’s deadly stockpile

The gunman who killed 20 ­children and six adults at an American school fired 154 rounds in under five minutes, ­using high-capacity magazines from a home arsenal stocked with guns, swords and knives.

Newly released court papers show Adam Lanza, who killed himself after his rampage at the school in Newtown, Connecticut, on 14 December, had stockpiled the weapons at the house he shared with his mother, Nancy.

Police found National Rifle Association (NRA) certificates in the names of both Lanza and his mother. They also found Nancy’s body in her bed with a gunshot wound to her forehead and a rifle on the floor nearby.

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Lanza’s killing spree began with her murder. He then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School, which he had once attended, and gunned down staff and children, all aged between six and seven, before shooting himself.

His arms cache was discovered by police who searched his two-storey house after the massacre, but details of what they found was not released until yesterday, after a court order sealing them for 90 days expired.

Lanza had a gun safe in his room and lots of other guns in addition to the AR-15-type assault rifle and two handguns he used during his killing spree. His cache included: an Enfield Albian bolt-action rifle; a Savage Mark II rifle; a revolver; three samurai-style swords with blades up to 28in long; and a 6ft 10in wooden-handled pole with a blade on one side and a spear on the other.

Officers also found a smashed hard drive in his bedroom.

Items that could offer some clues to what motivated Lanza were also recovered.

Among them were a 2008 newspaper clipping on an Illinois school shooting, three photos of a body covered with plastic, and books on Asperger’s syndrome and autism. Friends of the Lanza family had described him as having Asperger’s.

For some in the tight-knit southern New England town, the release of the new details inflamed emotional wounds.

“We struggle every day to stay on the path of recovery and every bit of information that becomes part of the public discourse holds a potential hurt for a family who has already suffered immeasurable harm,” said Patricia Llodra.

December’s attack, which US president Barack Obama called the worst day of his presidency, reignited a fierce debate on gun violence and gun regulation.

Mr Obama, speaking yesterday at the White House alongside parents of the victims, said gun control votes in the Senate next month are America’s best chance in more than a decade to reduce gun violence. He said powerful foes of gun control hope Americans will forget the shock of the Newtown killings.

“Shame on us if we’ve forgotten,” Mr Obama said.

The NRA called on armed guards to patrol every public school in America in the wake of the incident, while gun-control advocates called for tighter restriction on both buying guns and the types of guns and ammunition clips that may be sold.The Second Amendment of the US Constitution protects the right to bear arms, widely interpreted as a right to own a gun.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns yesterday released a TV advertisement featuring victims’ families calling for tighter control of guns. Broadcast in Hartford, it was aimed to encourage a proposed Connecticut gun-control law. “We cannot afford to wait for another tragedy,” said New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, the group’s co-chairman.

“It’s long past time for elected officials to listen to their constituents and pass reforms like comprehensive background checks that we know will save lives.”

FBI agents interviewed one or more people who described Lanza as “a shut-in and avid gamer who plays Call of Duty amongst other games.”

The search also turned up a Saiga 12 shotgun and two magazines containing 70 rounds of ammunition in the car Lanza drove to the school.