In September of his eighth-grade year, Adam Lanza was wracked by anxiety, his mother told doctors.
So intense were the feelings that Nancy Lanza drove him to the emergency room at Danbury Hospital for an evaluation.
Lanza, then 13, was asked the standard queries by physicians: Was he suicidal? Would he hurt others? His answer to each was “no.”
The 2005 episode, detailed in medical records, suggests what some investigators, family members and friends see as a shift in his middle school years to a more perilous emotional footing for a boy diagnosed with a sensory disorder and what a family member has described as Asperger’s syndrome. Seven years later, Lanza would kill his mother and then go on a murderous rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
The Courant obtained exclusive information from medical and school records that have for months been kept secret by agencies investigating the shootings. The documents span Lanza’s life from birth to age 18, including a September 2005 medical summary of the Danbury Hospital emergency room visit.
The information sheds more light on Lanza’s childhood and adolescence, which, up to the point of the Danbury Hospital visit, had appeared free of documented crises, including four and a half apparently stable years as a student at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he would return as a 20-year-old and massacre 20 first-graders and six adults, and then kill himself.
With the state police report on the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting due to be released later this summer, the Courant spent the past month interviewing more than a dozen former Newtown educators, classmates of Lanza, family members, town officials and investigators.
As part of its review, the newspaper was able to obtain details about Lanza’s pediatric medical records, which are also being reviewed by a number of investigative agencies in the state. Among the goals is to examine the turning points in Lanza’s life in an attempt to better understand his experiences leading up to the massacre.
To read the full story by Alaine Griffin, click here to go to courant.com.