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Report: Sandy Hook shooter had Columbine fixation

NEWTOWN, Conn., Nov. 25 (UPI) -- The shooter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut was obsessed with the Columbine shootings in Colorado, a report issued Monday states.

In the report's summary, prosecutor Stephen Sedensky III wrote the investigation concluded the 20-year-old Newtown shooter, Adam Lanza, "acted alone and was solely criminally responsible for his actions of that day," Dec. 14, when he gunned down 26 people, including 20 children and six members of the school staff." Lanza also killed his mother Nancy Lanza before going on his rampage, which ended with him taking his own life.

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"Moreover, none of the evidence developed to date demonstrates probable cause to believe that any other person conspired with the shooter to commit these crimes or aided and abetted him in doing so," the report states.

"Unless additional -- and at this time unanticipated -- evidence is developed, there will be no state criminal prosecution as a result of these crimes. With the issuance of this report, the investigation is closed.

"The obvious question that remains is: 'Why did the shooter murder 27 people, including 20 children?' Unfortunately, that question may never be answered conclusively, despite the collection of extensive background information on the shooter through a multitude of interviews and other sources.

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"It is known that the shooter had significant mental health issues that affected his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others, even those to whom he should have been close. As an adult he did not recognize or help himself deal with those issues. What contribution this made to the shootings, if any, is unknown as those mental health professionals who saw him did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior.

"He had a familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition and an obsession with mass murders, in particular the April 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. Investigators, however, have not discovered any evidence that the shooter voiced or gave any indication to others that he intended to commit such a crime himself."

Sedensky said a computer hard drive recovered from Lanza's home was found to be unreadable.

"Additional insight could be gained should efforts to recover data from the hard drive ever prove successful, which at this time appears highly improbable," he wrote. "It is because of this improbability, coupled with the current determination of no accessories or co-conspirators that the case is being closed.

He thanked law enforcement personnel who entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and the school's staff "who acted heroically."

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"The combination saved many children's lives," he said.

Extra police were posted at all Newtown schools Monday ahead of the report's release.

The additional police at the seven schools, including at the temporary Sandy Hook Elementary School building in nearby Monroe, was to "help ensure a reasonable educational environment and protect the privacy of our students and staff," interim Schools Superintendent John Reed told parents in an email.

Monsignor Robert Weiss told The (Danbury) News-Times after Sunday services at St. Rose of Lima Roman Church in Sandy Hook, an area in the town of Newtown, he understood why the report was being released but said it would "put a lot of stress" on people in the community.

"The community is very fragile. It makes it more difficult for healing," he said.

Stan Perrone, a Newtown electrician who has done work for a family who lost a child in the massacre, told the newspaper he was against releasing the report.

"The average person does not need to know the details," he said. "It's not right, releasing any of it. They are trying to make someone responsible. The families are still healing. They don't need to make more headlines."

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