Washington: Adam Lanza, who launched a shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut killing 20 children and eight adults, has been described by his neighbours and classmates as a dark, disturbed, and deeply troubled boy from a wealthy family.
"This was a deeply disturbed kid. He certainly had major issues. He was subject to outbursts from what I recall," the New York Daily News quoted a family insider, as saying.
Lanza, 20, who friends and officials said suffered from Asperger’s syndrome or a personality disorder, had a tortured mind. He was socially awkward and at times unstable, but also extraordinarily bright. "He was smart. He was like one of these real brainiac computer kind of kids," the insider said.
A "longtime" family friend said Lanza had a condition "where he couldn’t feel pain". "A few years ago when he was on the baseball team, everyone had to be careful that he didn’t fall because he could get hurt and not feel it. Adam had a lot of mental problems," said the friend.
Lanza’s strange behavior was well-known among his neighbours. His antics irked several residents.
"Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were 5 years old. As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised . . . Burn in hell, Adam," a neighbour and former classmate named Tim Dalton wrote on Twitter.
Tim Lalli, 20, who graduated with Lanza in 2010 said the latter wasn’t a total outcast, but he didn’t speak much. "Everyone just assumed he was a smart kid and that’s why he didn’t like talking to people all the time. He hung out with the smart crowd," he said.
Lanza was living with his mother, Nancy, in the family’s four-bedroom, 3,100-square-foot estate. He had killed his mother before the shootout at the school.
His brother, Ryan Lanza, who lives in Hoboken and works at Ernst and Young, didn’t talk about his younger brother while attending Quinnipiac University.
"I knew he had a brother, but I never knew anything more than he existed," said a college friend.
Ryan Lanza told the police he had not been in touch with his brother since about 2010.