Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza was inspired to surpass the body count inflicted by Norwegian mass shooter Anders Behring Breivik and looked up to the man who killed 77 people.
Lanza, 20, was “obsessed” with Breivik and chose Sandy Hook to commit the shootings because the school was the “easiest target” with the “largest cluster of people,” officials briefed on the massacre told CBS News.
The officials said there is evidence suggesting Lanza idolized Breivik, who killed eight people in a bombing in Oslo and 69 others at a summer camp. The Oslo bombing was intended to divert police resources so Breivik could continue with the carnage at the camp.
Despite all the evidence, police were reluctant to identify a motive for the Newtown, Conn., shootings.
Investigators added that Lanza was consumed with video games and that he acted out fantasies by committing the killings at Sandy Hook, according to CBS. They said Lanza’s death count may have registered as a “score” in his brain.
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Lanza reportedly spent hours on end playing shooting games in a “private gaming room” in his Connecticut home that had the windows blackened out.
Breivik shared Lanza’s love of video games. The Norwegian played the shooting game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” in preparation for the Norway attacks, according to the New York Post.
Lanza also had an affinity for guns. Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, would take her son to shooting ranges. She had three guns registered to her name that were used in the Sandy Hook killings.
Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at the Newtown school. Before he began the December massacre, he fatally shot his mother.
While investigators said there were similarities between Lanza and Breivik, the 20-year-old Connecticut shooter differed slightly from his idol. Lanza killed himself as police closed in on him while Breivik surrendered to Norwegian authorities following his July 2011 attacks.
And while Breivik wrote a manifesto in which he listed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the Knights Templar, al-Qaeda and “Unabomber” Ted Kacyznski as his influences, Lanza reportedly destroyed his hard drive before the Newtown shootings, making it more difficult for authorities to find a motive.