EXCLUSIVE: Gunman's 'survivalist' mother was OBSESSED with guns and stockpiled supplies as she planned for economic collapse before son shot her in the face while she lay in bed
PUBLISHED: 00:00 EST, 15 December 2012 | UPDATED: 02:33 EST, 17 December 2012
The mother of Newtown school massacre gunman Adam Lanza was a survivalist who was stockpiling food because she thought the world economy was on the verge of collapse.
Nancy Lanza began hoarding food and water because she feared that the onging financial crisis was going to bring about the end of civilized society.
She reportedly became 'obsessed' with guns and taught Adam how to shoot, but on Friday in a grim twist he blasted her to death while she laid in her own bed.
Law enforcement sources told the Hartford Courant that she had not gotten up - and could have even been asleep - when her son killed her.
The disclosure raises the prospect that Adam could have had the same apocalyptic views as his mother, and that she could have even encouraged them in him.
The Mayan Apocalypse, which the ancient Mayan people thought would mark the end of the world, will supposedly take place on December 21, although it is not clear if Adam thought that was the case.
In an interview the killer's aunt said Nancy Lanza was 'self-reliant' and indicated she was a 'prepper', or a person who prepares for Doomsday by learning essential survival skills - like how to shoot a gun.
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Speaking from her home near Chicago, Marsha Lanza, 57, said: 'She was stockpiling food. We talked about prepping a lot. She was getting ready for the economic collapse.
'I think she had the guns for self-defense because she lived alone.'
She added that Nancy was ‘meticulous’ and would 'never leave the guns out.'
It was revealed yesterday that Nancy Lanza had taken Adam to a shooting range and taught him how to use a firearm before he turned a gun on her and shot her dead, then executed more than two dozen terrified children and teachers at an elementary school.
She had legally purchased five firearms, all registered in Connecticut, according to police records.
'She said she would often go target shooting with her kids,' Dan Holmes, owner of the lanscaping firm Holmes Fine Gardens, told Reuters.
He recalled that she once showed him a 'high-end rifle' that she had purchased.
'She was very proud of it,' he told the New York Daily News. 'She loved her guns.'
Adam killed his mother in the home they shared on Friday morning by shooting her in the face using one of her own guns.
Adam then allegedly took his mother's car keys and several guns belonging to her - including a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols, and a .223 caliber rifle - and drove her car to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he massacred 20 children and six adults, before shooting himself.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, it was widely reported that Nancy Lanza was a kindergarten teacher at the elementary school.
But Newtown Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson said Saturday that she had 'never met' Miss Lanza and that she was not in the school database as a staff member.
Some reports alleged that Nancy had retired from working as an educator many years ago to take care of her son, Adam, who allegedly had behavioral and personality issues.
Nancy and Adam lived in a well-to-do part of Newtown, a prosperous community of 27,000 people about 60 miles northeast of New York City.
Neighbors said that the mother always took great pride in her Colonial-style house, and always kept her home tidy.
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom house is estimated to be worth around $537,000, and is situated on 2.19 acres of land.
Lanza's aunt, Marsha Lanza, said her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it.
The Crystal Lake, Illinois resident told the Associated Press she was close with Adam Lanza's mother and sent her a Facebook message Friday morning asking how she was doing.
Nancy Lanza never responded.
Marsha Lanza described Nancy Lanza as a good mother and kind-hearted. If her son had needed counseling, 'Nancy wasn't one to deny reality,' she said.
Marsha Lanza said her husband saw Adam as recently as June and recalled nothing out of the ordinary about him.
VIDEO: Police statement on behalf of Nancy Lanza's family...
Adam Lanza's father, Peter Lanza, had divorced Nancy in 2009 because of ‘irreconcilable differences,’ and now lives in Stamford, Connecticut with a new wife. A reporter for the Stamford Advocate broke the news to him that his son had allegedly shot and killed 26 people, including his ex-wife.
He works as the vice president of taxes for GE Energy Financial Services, and lives on a sprawling street glittered with multimillion-dollar homes. The couple apparently married in 2011.
A man several houses down, who said he was friends with the couple, declined to give his name, saying only that they are 'great people' and 'my heart bleeds for them.'
Friends and neighbors said the divorce, as far as they knew, was amicable.
Holmes said he had just last week decorated Nancy Lanza's yard with Christmas garlands and lights.
She was 'very nice, very pleasant and always very appreciative of our work,' Holmes said.
Jim Leff, a musician who knew Nancy through a local bar and music spot that she frequented, called her a 'lovely person.'
But he said he never became close friends with her because she was 'high-strung.'
'What held me back was my impression that she was a little high-strung,' Leff wrote on his blog. 'But now that I've been filled in by friends about how difficult her troubled son (the shooter) was making things for her, I understand that it wasn't that Nancy was overwrought about the trivialities of everyday life, but that she was handling a very difficult situation with uncommon grace.'
Former classmates of Adam Lanza recall him as a shy and extremely intelligent student.
In Newtown High School, he dressed more formally than other students and carried a black briefcase to his classes, which stuck out to some as most other students wore backpacks.
Classmate Tim Arnone, 20, who graduated with Lanza in 2010, told Reuters.
He said Lanza was 'driven hard' to succeed academically by his parents, particularly his mother. 'She pushed him really hard to be smarter and work harder in school,' Arnone said.
NBC Connecticut also reported that Adam Lanza tried to buy a rifle at a Dick's Sporting Goods in Danbury, Connecticut, on Tuesday but was rebuffed because the state has a waiting period for gun sales.
Quoting a 'family insider,' the New York Daily News reported that Adam was a 'deeply disturbed kid' who 'certainly had major issues' and was 'subject to outbursts.'
'My brother has always been a nerd,' Ryan Lanza said then, according to Milas. 'He still wears a pocket protector.'
Joshua Milas, who graduated from Newtown High School in 2009, said Adam Lanza was generally a happy person but that he hadn't seen him in a few years.
'We would hang out, and he was a good kid. He was smart,' Joshua Milas told the AP. 'He was probably one of the smartest kids I know. He was probably a genius.'
He graduated high school in 2010, but was not pictured in the school yearbook. Rather, a block reading ‘camera shy’ is the entire imprint he left.
A neighbor in Newtown, Rhonda Cullens, said she knew Nancy Lanza from monthly get-togethers the neighborhood women had a few years back for games of bunco, a dice game.
'She was a very nice lady,' Ms Cullens told the AP. 'She was just like all the rest of us in the neighborhood, just a regular person.'
Ms Cullens recalled that Mrs Lanza liked to garden and to make her house look nice for the holidays. Lanza joked, though, that no one noticed because the house was out of view, up a hill, she said.
Sandeep Kapur, who lives two doors down from the Lanza family in Newtown, said he did not know them and was unaware of any disturbances at the Lanza house in the three years that he and his family have been in the neighborhood.
He described the area as a subdivision of well-tended, 15-year-old homes on lots of an acre or more, where many people work at companies like General Electric, Pepsi and IBM. Some are doctors, and his next-door neighbor is a bank CEO, said Kapur, a project manager at an information technology firm.
'The neighborhood's great. We have young kids, and they have lots of friends,' he said. 'If you drive past this neighborhood, it gives you a really warm feeling.'
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