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Newtown Shooter Adam Lanza's History Reviewed in New Report

State of Connecticut
Some of Adam Lanza's belongings as discovered by police in his home.
The report says the school system cared about Lanza, but that lapses in communication played a role in his mental deterioration.

Nearly two years after the shooting at Sandy Hook, officials are still looking for answers. A new report from the Office of the Child Advocate provides a window in the mental health of the gunman, Adam Lanza. 

The report details Lanza's mental health history and provides transcripts of emails he exchanged with his mother. Investigators referred to him as "AL," and characterized the 20-year-old as socially withdrawn both at school and at home. 

Hank Schwartz is a psychiatrist who worked on the investigation. "AL, in the last years of his life, with significant mental health issues, went completely untreated," he said on Friday. "The outcome, of course, we're all aware of."

The report says the school system cared about Lanza, but says lapses in communication between the family, educators, and health care providers unwittingly played a role in Lanza's mental deterioration. 

Andrea Spencer also worked on the report. "The mother became really the sole source of information through which the school attempted to respond to his difficulties," she said. "What happened was that funnel did not include, to any degree, a consideration of the clinical recommendations that she had received, which was unfortunate."

Throughout the report, the authors stress they're not blaming anyone. Rather, they say only Lanza was responsible for what happened at Sandy Hook. 

Going forward, the report recommends universal screening of children for mental health needs until they are 21. It also recommends better training for educators on mental health issues, and better sharing of information. 

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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