The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sandy Hook

December 19, 2012

In Newtown, shooter's mom a subject of sympathy, anger

By Kevin Sullivan

The Washington Post

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Twenty-six. Not 27.

When many people in Newtown count the victims in last week's massacre, they tally 20 children in Sandy Hook Elementary School, plus six adult faculty and staff members. Few count shooter Adam Lanza's first victim: his mother, Nancy. Police said that before he attacked the schoolhouse, Adam Lanza pumped four bullets into his mother's head as she lay in bed.

As this heartbroken town tries to process Friday's horror, there is considerable anger toward Lanza's mother. Her name is noticeably absent from many of the impromptu shrines, memorials and condolence notes placed around town.

At the foot of the street leading to Sandy Hook Elementary, 26 Christmas trees stand to honor the dead at the school, each bearing the name of a victim, but no Nancy Lanza.

Outside the Newtown Convenience and Deli in the town center, 26 small plastic Christmas trees with twinkling blue and purple lights stand next to a sign that says, "In loving memory of the Sandy Hook victims."

The University of Connecticut honored the shooting victims Monday with a ceremony before a men's basketball game, with 26 students standing at center court holding lighted candles.

"I am feeling that there is more anger toward the mother than there is toward the son," said Lisa Sheridan, a Newtown parent.

"Why would a woman who had a son like this, who clearly had serious issues, keep assault rifles in the house and teach him how to shoot them?" she said. "To deal with that, there's a feeling here that we're just going to focus on the 26 innocent people who died at the school."

Emotions in Newtown are painfully raw. A half-dozen more funerals and remembrances were held Wednesday, creating almost nonstop funeral processions during the day. Black hearses and limousines drove through the streets, led by police escorts. Nearly 50 police motorcycles, from departments all over the state, were parked outside St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, waiting to escort the next funeral.

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