New details about Nancy Lanza, the mother of Connecticut elementary school gunman, Adam Lanza, have emerged, revealing the mother was fearful her son who suffered from mental health issues was "getting worse."
Lanza reportedly had planned to move with her son to Washington state before he killed her, and then stormed Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday, spraying multiple shots with an assault rifle that killed 26 people, including 20 children.
The Washington Post reported that 52-year-old Nancy Lanza was looking into a school in Washington for her son, who suffered from a form of autism called Asperger disorder, before the massacre in Newtown, Conn.
“They were going to move out there together,” Mark Tambascio, a friend of Nancy Lanza, told the newspaper. “He was her whole life. She was very proud of both of her sons."
Tambascio said Lanza described Adam Lanza as a genius with a high IQ, who finished high school while in the 10th grade.
“She never mentioned that [Adam] was suicidal or violent. Nothing like that. Everyone that had spent any time around him, they knew he was a little bit different, but you never saw any major, major issues," he said. “She was very concerned about, obviously Adam — very difficult bringing somebody like that up. She put everyone else first.”
Police said Adam Lanza fired multiple shots from guns registered to his mother Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He killed 20 children, six adults and then, himself. Lanza also reportedly killed Nancy Lanza in the home they shared before opening fire on the school, leaving many wondering what the possible motive was.
An article in the New York Daily News, however, said that Lanza believed her son's condition was "getting worse" and feared "she was losing him."
“She just looked down at the glass and said, ‘I don’t know. I’m worried I’m losing him,’” an unnamed friend at her local bar, My Place, told the Daily News. “She said it was getting worse. She was having trouble reaching him.”
The friend also said Lanza frequently tried hurting himself.
“Nancy told me he was burning himself with a lighter. In the ankles or arms or something,” the source said. “It was like he was trying to feel something.”
Nancy Lanza, a gun enthusiast, reportedly taught her son "how to shoot a rifle by the time he was nine-years-old" but was "a responsible gun owner," the source said.
“It was important that she teach her son how to responsibly use a firearm," the source said, adding that the mother, who owned a dozen guns, and son would frequently go to a shooting range together.
His father, Peter Lanza, had divorced Nancy in 2009, and moved to a suburb in Connecticut with his new wife. In a statement, he said he had no inkling that his son would commit such vicious crimes and only learned of the shooting Friday afternoon.
"Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured," Peter Lanza said in a statement. "Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired."
The family of Nancy Lanza also released a statement through the Sheriff of Rockingham County.
“The family of Nancy Lanza share the grief of a community and a nation as we struggle to comprehend the tremendous loss that we all share. Our hearts and prayers are with those who share in this loss,” the statement read. “On behalf of Nancy’s mother and siblings we reach out to the community of Newtown and express our heartfelt sorrow for the incomprehensible and profound loss of innocence that has affected so many.”