“Video gamer”. It was the earliest and most persistent labels media outlets placed on Newtown shooter Adam Lanza, after he ruthlessly murdered 20 kids and six adults last December. But that assertion seemed to be based mostly on interviews with people who knew his family, and not hard evidence.
After months of speculation, an FBI affadavit is revealing some of what was in the Lanza home and the findings include multiple video game consoles and a cache of firearms.
As reported in the New York Times, The Smoking Gun and other places, unsealed search warrants say that a stash of weapons and ammunition — including pistols, rifles, knives and samurai swords — were found in the killer’s Connecticut home. A police search of the residence turned up multiple game consoles and accessories as well.
The documents also say that FBI agents spoke to an unnamed person who called Lanza “a shut-in and an avid gamer who plays Call of Duty, among other games.”
Millions of people play Call of Duty every year. But the reporting and investigations thus far seems to indicate that Lanza was a different sort of player than the vast majority of that game’s audience. His personality — which was allegedly influenced by some degree of mental illness — may have made him the kind of person who acts out what he sees on the screen. And now it seems clear that what Lanza was seeing was some amount of virtualised gunplay. Gunplay that he brought into the real world in the most tragic way.
Sandy Hook Killer’s Home Contained Large Cache of Weapons [New York Times]
Warrants Detail Items Seized From Lanza Home [The Smoking Gun]
Top picture: Associated Press