Report: Police Say Sandy Hook Shooter Tried To Outscore Other Killers

Report: Police Say Sandy Hook Shooter Tried To Outscore Other Killers

Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza maintained a spreadsheet filled with information from mass killings from the past and further alleges that it’s a major sign of how video games influenced the mindset and planning of Lanza’s terrible act of lethal violence, according to a front page story in today’s New York Daily News.

A law enforcement source who spoke to the Daily News says Lanza’s spreadsheet, which allegedly measures 2m by 1m, contained information on the weapons various killers used and the number of people killed. They say it amounted to a grisly high score list, one that Lana wanted to wind up on top of:

“They don’t believe this was just a spreadsheet. They believe it was a score sheet,” the newspaper’s source continued. “This was the work of a video gamer, and that it was his intent to put his own name at the very top of that list. They believe that he picked an elementary school because he felt it was a point of least resistance, where he could rack up the greatest number of kills. That’s what (the Connecticut police) believe.”

The existence of the spreadsheet came to light during the International Association of Police Chiefs and Colonels conference, which the News‘ source had attended. Col. Danny Stebbins from the Connecticut State Police spoke at the law enforcement convention and his presentation talked about how the state’s police community are tying together this spreadsheet to Lanza’s obsession with video games. The Daily News report named no specific games that Lanza may have played, which is standard in mainstream news reports.

“It really was like he was lost in one of his own sick games,” the paper’s source went on. “That’s what we heard. That he learned something from his game that you learn in (police) school, about how if you’re moving from room to room — the way he was in that school — you have to reload before you get to the next room. Maybe he has a 30-round magazine clip, and he’s only used half of it. But he’s willing to dump 15 rounds and have a new clip before he arrives in the next room.”

The source says that Lanza’s methods in the shooting were: “Classic police training. Or something you learn playing kill games.”

Lanza is described not as a typical gamer but as a deranged one: “They believe that (Lanza) believed that it was the way to pick up the easiest points. It’s why he didn’t want to be killed by law enforcement. In the code of a gamer, even a deranged gamer like this little bastard, if somebody else kills you, they get your points. They believe that’s why he killed himself.”


The impulse many people who love and play video games will be to complain about mainstream media again blaming games for horrible real-world violence. The wake of the Newtown massacre has seen politicians and pundits of every stripe weighing on how best to evaluate the effect video games may have on behaviour, especially when it comes to people like Lanza, who was presumably mentally ill.

However, the urge to defend video games and those who play them shouldn’t prevent us from considering that, a killer like Lanza may have drawn some sick influence from playing a shooter game.

Lupica: Morbid find suggests murder-obsessed gunman Adam Lanza plotted Newtown, Conn.’s Sandy Hook massacre for years [NY Daily News]

Picture: AP/Jessica Hill


  • Does that mean that I could at any moment do the same thing? Well. Sh!t. Gotta keep an eye on myself, I’m dangerous.

    • Sick people are sick. If you’re not sick, you won’t do it.

      Lanza was seriously mentally ill. He may well have seen the whole exercise as ‘game’ and may well have been using his kills as a ‘score’ … but that’s just another symptom and indication that he was one sick puppy.

    • too right. but microsoft is the mastermind behind it so we better give them some big fines and put boundaries in place to closely monitor further activity and software production.

  • One thing I haven’t learnt in all these years playing video games is to reload before I get to the next spot. Luckily, in games you can respawn.

  • Wait wait wait, he learnt reloading and disposing a half used clip from videogames? Does anyone remember that this kid was trained and taken to shooting ranges by his mum, don’t just try to blame videogames to him learning how to use a gun. Because if he was trying to copy a videogame then he would of swung a knife at someone’s foot and believed they would have died instantly.

  • Mental health issues are obviously to blame, oh but who cares about that, let’s all blame it on video games!

    • Wouldn’t it be better to just blame how easy it is for these nuts to get high powered guns in the first place? Funny how no one points the finger at the machine firing all the deadly bits of lead and steal.

  • I wonder why he didn’t add a chainsaw to the end of his gun. He could have gotten in to chainsaw fights while he was at it. Well, unless someone lagged and just chainsawed him first. Even though with his eyes it happened differently. Stupid real life lag.

  • Seems to me more like he was figuring out more effective ways to kill more, not about score, history is full of examples of people wanting to commit suicide but take as many people as they could. With them.
    Maybe just maybe Adam was crazy for the purpose of he was crazy.
    Also unless he’s a halo player with head hunter (not sure if COD equivalent) then he don’t lose his score apon death, another case of people blaming games without knowing game mechanics.

  • There are plenty of stories of killers trying to outscore other killers, years before video games became mainstream or were even around… What is the correlation with video games?..

    • Well in Natural Born Killers Woody Harrelson is a CoD fan and Juliette Lewis plays a Bejewelled addict.


      You must have missed the subtext.

    • I thought that immediately too. There is a much more likely motive for keeping a score card: infamy. If you kill the most people, you get more infamy. This is a huge motivator for some of these killers.

    • I recall reading something along those lines a while ago as well, and that was actually the first thing that came to mind when I read the headline of this article.

      While I think it’s bad police “work” and sensationalistic “journalism” to just outright blame video games for everything, I understand that, given the sheer number of people who play video games, there’s bound to be some who are not only mentally unstable but some who are so unstable that they’re a obsessed with video games. However, in such extreme (and let’s face it, rare) cases, the video games aren’t the real problem; it’s the persons mental health. An obsession with video games is just a symptom of said mental health problems, not the cause or the root. I wish these small-minded, nay-saying non-gamers would understand that. -_-

  • Oh, so he could only have learned the tactical reload by playing “kill games”. Not from, perhaps, the internet – which has plenty of manuals on breach entry, search and clear, from the world’s best military units.
    And a spreadsheet with a list of names, so he could be the best killer? Spreadsheet… computer… computer games – ahh, I see the connection.
    Stop blaming games, America, and look at fixing your own stupidity first.

  • They found a spreadsheet. Pinpoint everything to video games because he used a spreadsheet. Good job ‘murica.

    They BELIEVED it was used as score sheet.

    The police BELIEVED he picked the school because it is the less resistance (make sense) but not really it was the school he attend and I BELIEVE he hates everyone there and just want to shoot them all dead.

    They BELIEVED he learned how to reload from video game. Every single person in his world know if you are running out of bullet you reload. Even I refill my cup of water when it is less than half. Blame video game for a common sense.

    Final point, if someone kills you they get your points. Pure bullshit. Your score RESET if you die and you have to rack up points again making this whole article complete biased to ban video game.

    At this rate might as well just close down world wide web (because it contains violence material), ban smart phone (because there are games in them), ban game consoles (games), ban board games(monopoly causes tremendous grieve).

    Everyone just sit and home read books. Oh wait books are violent too. Lets just stare at white wall whole day

  • Everyone knows killing yourself hurts your score more than getting killed by the enemy. Given that they refer to the source as a “Law Enforcement Veteran” I’d guess it’s a retired officer with some contacts who has an agenda of his own.

  • “However, the urge to defend video games and those who play them shouldn’t prevent us from considering that, a killer like Lanza may have drawn some sick influence from playing a shooter game.”

    Thank you. I had this argument out with someone the other day – if you want to be a useful part of the discussion, you need to concede that even though the vast, vast majority of gamers aren’t affected by violent games in this way, it’s important to realise that there are some people that are/will be. This is not a reason to ban all violence, but introduce new ways to ensure that certain content doesn’t reach people who are at risk, which may include the mentally ill or unstable, young kids, or already extremely violent individuals.

    I feel like it’s only through this concession that gamers can be taken seriously in this debate, and at the moment, we need all the sensible, calm and measured voices of reason we can get defending our side.

    • I agree with what your saying, but being open to the possibility is different to jumping to completely baseless conclusions. Historically, many serial killers have kept score. There’s no basis to assume that this time its linked to videogame high scores in the absence of any other evidence.

      • Exactly. Essentially, what needs to happen but isn’t and likely never will, is for everybody (read: The American Press/Bullshit Juggernaut) to calm down and have a rational, open and candid conversation about this.

  • To be fair, it’s not completely outlandish to liken his spread sheet with a FPS score card. Likewise his “tactics” sound very familiar to ones I use when playing games like CoD, Halo etc.
    However the simple fact is that Gaming is one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world. This means that if someone does commit one of these horrendous acts, then there is also a good chance they played video games.

    • I find it funny how its liken to a video game score card, but not a football score card or a baseball score card. I guess NFL and baseball just have score cards

  • This is my favourite bit:

    The source says that Lanza’s methods in the shooting were: “Classic police training. Or something you learn playing kill games.”

    Why? “Classic police training”
    No wait…. its was actually something he learnt playing ‘kill’ games

    Wouldnt want to blame the police there, would we? Would want anyone to know this guy might have done some research into police behaviour and used that for a real life… no, its best to end that statement with a swipe at gaming

    BTW – there was an arcade shooting game called Police Trainer… better ban it

  • “However, the urge to defend guns and those who shoot them shouldn’t prevent us from considering that, a killer like Lanza may have acquired some high-powered rifles from family members who own guns.”
    “However, the urge to defend mental conditions and those who suffer from them shouldn’t prevent us from considering that, a killer like Lanza may have been a sick individual prone to violent outbursts”
    “However, the urge to defend Microsoft Excel and those who use it shouldn’t prevent us from considering that, a killer like Lanza may have drawn up some sick spreadsheets from using terrible programs.”
    “However, the urge to defend video games and those who play them shouldn’t prevent us from considering that, a killer like Lanza may have drawn some sick influence from playing a shooter game.”

    Hmm, turns out you can spin that quote all sorts of ways, who would have thought?

  • 2m by 1m spreadsheet? That doesn’t make sense to me, did he print it out and tape it together? Are spreadsheets measured in real world distances now? I know the spreadsheet I’m working on now is 160 pages, I know it has entries going from A1 to DF36 and is 9 tabs of data. A Page count would make more sense but why would you need more than one page?

    They believe it was a kill score? Well if the news didn’t blare out the amount of kills every shooter got he would never know how many he had to kill. Perhaps the way these things are reported should be changed. Maybe we should stop blaring out their name and how many people died. Just say gunman and say multiple people. Take the notoriety out of it, and maybe not plaster it on news coverage 24/7.

    Did you know that part of the Punishment of Martin Bryant is he doesn’t get to know how many people he got? It was the one thing he begged police to tell him.

    I can’t think of a single game where your score is absorbed by the person who gets you. FPS games just don’t work that way, but hey why investigate things when it’s quicker to point the finger and assume.

  • You know the old saying: “One bad apple means that we should all never be able to do anything ever again. Ever.”

  • Oh what dire times we live in where I can be walking down the street, minding my own business when BLAM! I am attacked by some gamer brandishing an xbox game case in one hand while holding a 2x1m spreadsheet in the other as a shield.

    Just the other day while going to the shops to buy lollies this gamer jumped me throwing PS3 game discs at me like ninja stars! Luckly I escaped however when I returned home there was no trophies or achievements waiting for me.

    To help get thorugh the tramua, I made a nice little spreadsheet where I compared discs thrown against dodges I made and then cross-referenced it against other such harrowing tales of near games related deaths encountered in my area.

    Anyho. thanks for listening. I really needed to get that off my chest 🙂

  • How many times does the gamer community need to repeat our stand on this? Video game violence doesn’t cause real life violence. I remember very vaguely that the favourite game of one of the shooters involved in a shooting at a university was Mario Kart.

    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

  • This has gone beyond a joke. Are the American police really so stupid as to make these claims without any evidence at all? Did they consider that maybe the reason Lanza knew about and wanted to beat these guys was because they’d been made a spectacle of in the media and on the internet? Seems like great motivation for someone with a competitive nature (as they purport) to go out and try to outdo them. Have they also conveniently forgotten the part where they said his mother had trained him in using guns? Perhaps that’s why he moved like he’d had classic police training and not because of an FPS where you can’t even see your character?

    Arrgghghh… Are they just trolling now?

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