EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

October 21, 2013

Details emerge on Conn. school shootings

(Continued)

State police trying to determine Lanza’s path through the school initially believed that he entered Rousseau’s room first and then backtracked to teacher Victoria Soto’s first-grade classroom. But some of the surviving children from Soto’s class told investigators that they didn’t hear gunshots until Lanza came in their room.

, casting doubt on the original theory.

The FBI is assisting the state police with tracking Lanza’s movements using sophisticated sound technology. Sources said the secretary in the main office did not hang up the phone after calling 911 and federal authorities are trying to use the sounds recorded through that open line to help chart Lanza’s movements in hopes of better understanding his actions.

When the shooting started, school janitor Rick Thorne ran through the school warning teachers to close their doors, and then used a master key to lock many of the doors for them. The state police SWAT team that was clearing the school after the shooting had to get the key from Thorne to open some of the rooms. The key was so worn from use that morning that it snapped in one of the doors.

A source with knowledge of the investigation said that when Lanza drove to the school, he parked his car in a way that could have set him up to ambush responding police officers. He parked with the passenger’s side facing a small brick wall near the front entrance. His shotgun was left leaning against the passenger’s side door.

The spot gave him potentially a perfect line of sight to shoot at police officers driving down the long driveway, around a curve and into his line of fire.

By examining evidence at the scene, a source said, investigators determined that Lanza fired eight shots through the front glass and 11 to kill Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach, who ran out of a room to the left of Hochsprung’s office. Police believe Lanza also fired one round from his pistol in the hallway but they are unsure why. He killed himself with a second shot from the pistol.

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