A police cruiser sits in the driveway as crime scene tape surrounds the home of Nancy Lanza on Dec. 18 in Newtown, Conn.(Photo: Jason DeCrow, AP)
An acquaintance of the family of Connecticut mass murderer Adam Lanza
says he may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him
to a psychiatric facility, foxnews.com reports.
And The Washington Post
quotes a Lanza family friend as saying Lanza's mother was considering
moving to Washington state so Adam could attend a special school there.
"He was her whole life," Mark Tambascio, a restaurant proprietor and close family friend, told the Post.
reports that Joshua Flashman, a Marine who grew up near the Newtown
school, said he believes Adam Lanza targeted Sandy Hook Elementary after
killing his mother early Friday because he believed she loved the
school "more than she loved him."
Flashman, 25, is the son of a pastor at a church where many of the families of the victims worship.
what I've been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for
conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed," Flashman told
the website. "Adam was apparently very upset about this. He thought she
just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really,
really angry. I think this could have been it, what set him off."
Nancy Lanza, 52, would have needed court approval to have an adult committed to a psychiatric facility.
father, Pastor Richard Flashman of Beacon Hill Evangelical Free Church
in Monroe, Conn., said in a statement that "the information Josh spoke
to them (Fox News) was hearsay and not confirmed.... I am perplexed why
Fox News would run with it."
The pastor's secretary, Eileen Bell,
said the pastor is not the source of the information his son provided.
The Lanza family did not worship at Beacon Hill and Pastor Flashman did
not know them, she said.
Foxnews says authorities trying to
determine a motive for Friday's gruesome explosion of violence that left
28 people dead, including Lanza and his mother, are looking at the
possibility that Lanza was angry about his mother's plans for his
Lanza, 20, attended Sandy Hook in his youth, and
Flashman told foxnews.com that Lanza's mother had volunteered there for
several years. Two law enforcement sources told the website they
believed Nancy Lanza had been volunteering with kindergartners at the
school. Most of Lanza's victims were first-graders sources told foxnews
that they believe Nancy Lanza may have worked with last year.
sources have said that Adam Lanza was very bright but suffered from
Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, and unspecified mental and
Liza Gold, a forensic psychiatrist at the
Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, says that the
families of mentally ill patients face heavy burdens -- and can be the
most vulnerable to harm. That's partly because a mentally ill person has
more contact with family than anyone else, she says.
with mental illness are not violent, Gold notes. Mentally ill people are
far more likely to harm themselves -- or be injured by others who prey
When a psychotic person does become violent, "the most
likely one to be killed is his mother," Gold says. "She's the only one
who never walked away."