Recent details in the investigation of a motive behind last week’s Sandy Hook shooting indicate that gunman Adam Lanza may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to a psychiatric facility, according to multiple news reports.
Joshua Flashman, 25, a lifelong resident of the area who was familiar with the mother's plans, told Fox News, “Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed."
Flashman, who said he grew up not far from where the shooting took place, also told Fox News, "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.”
Law enforcement officials have since confirmed the possible motive, telling reporters 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.
While Flashman suggested in his interview with Fox News that Nancy Lanza had begun filing paperwork to get conservatorship over her troubled son, IBTimes cannot independently confirm that fact because those court records are sealed.
Flashman, who said he is a U.S. Marine, also suggested that Lanza 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.”
Adam Lanza was a former student at Sandy Hook, and his mother had volunteered at the school for several years, some reports said.
Fox News reported that law enforcement sources believe Nancy Lanza had been volunteering with kindergartners at the school. Most of Lanza's victims were first graders, and sources believe Nancy Lanza may have worked with them last year.
"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 told Fox News. "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."
Earlier reports related to the Sandy Hook investigation have indicated that a great deal of planning on Adam Lanza’s part went into the last week’s school shooting.
According to authorities, Lanza rigged his .223 caliber Bushmaster rifle to allow him to cause maximum killings, several reports said.
Lanza, who is responsible for the deaths of 20 students and six adults, reportedly taped two cartridge magazines to his .223 caliber rifle so he could reload as quickly as possible and continue his killing spree, the Telegraph reported.
Wayne Carver, the Connecticut medical examiner, said the technique is known as "jungle taping" and could explain how Lanza managed to kill 26 victims at a school in a matter of minutes.
Lanza shot his mother four times as she lay in bed at their home last Friday morning, several accounts of the events said. He then stole her car and made his way to Sandy Hook, where he fired through a secured door to gain entry, and, eventually, claimed 26 victims and then his own life.
The .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, Lanza’s primary weapon, as well as a pair of handguns, which were found at the scene of the shooting, were owned and registered by his mother.
Investigators said on Sunday that Nancy Lanza regularly visited shooting ranges, and that her son also visited an area range.
Ginger Colbrun, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said that it remains unclear whether Nancy Lanza brought her son to the range or whether he ever fired a weapon there.
While some reports have surfaced that point toward an autism-related medical condition called Asperger’s as the reason behind Lanza’s violent outburst, investigators said they are still looking for a more concrete motive behind the horrific killings. Criminal psychologists are now said to be focusing on his relationship with his mother.
FBI agents have also confirmed that Lanza destroyed his computer hard-drive prior to the shootings. It is another indication that this was a premeditated attack, and that Lanza had planned the shooting all out in advance, authorities believe.
Electronics experts are trying to recover information from the damaged hard drive, in an effort to find out a motive for the killings, as well as who Lanza might have interacted with, and what searches he carried out in advance of the attacks, several news reports said.