Newtown, Connecticut school shooting gunman Adam Lanza
Gary Stoller and Oren Dorell
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- The gunman who killed 20 elementary school students in their classrooms had once attended the same school, according to a school administrator and a former classmate.
Janet Robinson, superintendent of Newtown Public Schools, said Adam Lanza attended Sandy Hook elementary, although she could not remember the year.
"I know that he was a student at Sandy Hook at some point," she said.
Relatives have denied that Lanza attended the school. But at least one former classmate said that he apparently attended the school in fifth grade in fall 2002.
Lanza, 20, killed 20 children and six adults and wounded two others at the school Friday morning. Earlier, he had fatally shot his mother at their home. He fatally shot himself after the attacks.
The signatures of Lanza and his fifth-grade classmates are on a Sandy Hook Elementary T-shirt made by the school and given to each student. Lanza and other fifth graders attended the school in fall 2002 before moving in January 2003 to a newly built Reed Intermediate School for fifth- and sixth-graders.
The Sandy Hook School T-shirt says "2003," but Lanza and his classmates actually left Sandy Hook at the end of 2002.
Lanza was home-schooled for some of his early years.
Fifth-grade classmate Dan Lynch, now a junior at the University of Connecticut, remembers Lanza at Sandy Hook school.
"I was in class with him in fifth grade, and he was extremely introverted," Lynch says. "He was really skittish, always anxious and nervous."
Adam Lanza's signature on Sandy Hook Elementary T-shirt.
(Photo: USA TODAY)
Lynch says he remembers watching a sex-education movie, and Lanza saying he was about to throw up and needed to leave the room.
Lynch says Lanza was "a nice kid when he did talk to you," and "not a bad person."
Lanza "kept to himself, and everyone left him alone," Lynch says. "I can never recall him getting bullied."
Details of the drama surrounding the school continued to surface. One firefighter in the initial rescue squad to respond to the 911 call last week at Sandy Hook Elementary had a son in the school at the time of the shooting, Sandy Hook Fire Chief William Halstead told Fire Chief magazine in an interview published Tuesday.
Halstead's daughter, Karin Halstead, the EMS captain, spotted the boy, who was safe. The wife of another firefighter was visiting the school and hid behind a dumpster during the shooting, Halstead said.
Halstead told the magazine that the fire fighters set up a triage area, expecting dozens of wounded people, but cared for only two victims: one woman with gunshot wounds in the her hand and thigh and one woman with gunshot wounds in her leg and foot.
Halstead said his ex-wife and the school nurse hid in a closet when the shooting started.