Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old who went on a rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that left 27 individuals dead, shot his mother Nancy Lanza at their residence first. 

This mass shooting, which took place on December 14, 2012, remains one of the deadliest shooting incidents to have occured in the United States, a country which has seen a surge in gun violence in the last decade. 

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Who was Nancy Lanza? 

Several details about Nancy Lanza were revealed in a report published by The Washington Post, which says it took “interviews around the country with friends and family” of Lanza, also examining the divorce papers of Nancy and her husband Peter Lanza. 

According to the report, Nancy Lanza (nee Jean Champion) had a “charmed upbringing” in Kingston, N.H. Her family was well-off, her mother was a school nurse while her brother became a police officer. She married Peter Lanza in 1981, and the couple had two children. 

After the two shifted to Newtown, Connecticut, their marriage slowly started breaking apart, which eventually led to a divorce. Around the time of the divorce, the couple’s elder son Ryan Lanza graduated from college and secured a job in New York, where he later moved to work. 

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Nancy and Adam Lanza, her younger son and later the orchestrator of the mass shooting at the elementary school, lived together. 

Nancy began to develop strange habits during this time, she did not allow any relatives to visit their residents, she started collecting powerful weapons and often took Adam to ‘multiple shooting ranges,’ as officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revealed. 

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Her friend Mark Tambascio reveals that her interest in guns grew recently. “She took it up as a hobby about three years ago, target shooting,” Tambascio told the New Haven Register. “She didn’t talk much about it to me. Just, ‘Oh, I went shooting today,’ you know. Nothing else.”

The weapons used by Adam to shoot her and later the faculties and children at the school were registered in the name of Nancy.