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This 2005 photo provided by neighbor Barbara Frey and verified by Richard Novia, shows Adam Lanza. Authorities have identified Lanza as the gunman who killed his mother at their home and then opened fire Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, inside an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself. Novia was the school district's former head of security and he advised the school technology club that Adam and his older brother belonged to. (Barbara Frey/AP Photo)
This 2005 photo provided by neighbor Barbara Frey and verified by Richard Novia, shows Adam Lanza. Authorities have identified Lanza as the gunman who killed his mother at their home and then opened fire Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, inside an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself. Novia was the school district's former head of security and he advised the school technology club that Adam and his older brother belonged to. (Barbara Frey/AP Photo)

Alleged gunman smart but lonely; slain mother fond of guns: media reports Add to ...

According to reports, Ms. Lanza owned the guns her son used. Dan Holmes, owner of a landscaping business who recently decorated her yard with Christmas garlands and lights, told Reuters that Ms. Lanza once showed him a “really nice, high-end rifle” that she had purchased. “She said she would often go target shooting with her kids,” Mr. Holmes said.

Jim Leff, who often sat next to Ms. Lanza at the bar at My Place, a Newtown restaurant, wrote on his website that she was “a big, big gun fan,” the New York Times reports.

Court records show Ms. Lanza had no criminal history and was divorced from her husband, Peter Lanza, in 2008, the Denver Post reports. The couple had separated about a decade ago. The Denver Post also reports that court records show that either Ms. Lanza or Peter Lanza had participated in a parenting education program and that proceedings were held for custody of a minor child.

Ryan Kraft, a neighbour of Ms. Lanza’s, told the Washington Post that the separation hit the children hard. “The kids seemed really depressed” by the breakup, Mr. Kraft said.

When Adam was younger and Ms. Lanza would go out to dinner with friends, she sometimes relied on Mr. Kraft to watch him, as he was too boisterous for his older brother Ryan to manage.

Mr. Kraft said Adam would have tantrums. “They were much more than the average kid [would have],” he told the Washington Post.

Marsha Lanza, Adam’s aunt, said her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would have sought mental help for him if he needed it.

“Nancy wasn’t one to deny reality,” she said.

Initial reports said that Ms. Lanza was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the shooting took place. AP is now reporting that an official investigation on Saturday has been unable to establish any connection with the school.

Ryan Lanza

Ryan Lanza, Adam’s brother, was incorrectly identified as the suspected gunman for hours on Friday.

A law-enforcement official who has been briefed on the investigation says that Ryan, 24, has been “extremely co-operative” and is not under arrest, although he was still being questioned by authorities late Friday evening, AP reported.

Ryan’s computers and phone records were being searched but only “in an abundance of caution,” the official said. Ryan told authorities he had not been in contact with Adam since 2010, and the official said authorities do not believe he has any connection to the school killings, according to AP.

Ryan lives in Hoboken, N.J., in a building that was hit by superstorm Sandy, Katie Colaneri, a 24-year-old resident of Hoboken, told The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Colaneri, who described herself as friend of Ryan’s, said he lost power for a number of days after the storm. Ms. Colaneri described Ryan as “a little shy, but very nice and sweet.”

She added that he is devoted to his job at an Ernst & Young accounting firm. Ernst & Young would not comment on his employment status.

Peter Lanza

Peter Lanza, the father of the alleged gunman, lives in Stamford, Conn., and is remarried, according to several media reports. The Stamford Advocate reports that he is a vice-president of taxes for GE Energy Financial Services in New York.

The paper also reports it was one of their own reporters who broke the news about the shooting to Peter as he arrived at his home several hours after the shooting.

According to the Advocate’s news story, as Peter learned the details of what happened to his family, his expression “twisted from patient, to surprise to horror; it was obvious that this moment, shortly after 1:30 p.m. Friday, was the first time he had considered his family could have been involved.” He declined to comment, and moments later he was seen at a table in the front of his house on the phone, according to the Advocate.

On Saturday evening, he released a statement saying he was in a “state of disbelief” and was fully cooperating with law enforcement officials investigating the massacre.

He also said: “We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why.”

“We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so,” Peter Lanza said in a statement. “Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired.”

The Lanzas’s relationship ended over “irreconcilable differences,” the Connecticut Post reports.

The Connecticut Post also reports that Peter agreed to provide alimony payments of $10,000 a month, according to court documents, and increasing to a minimum of $12,450 up until 2023.

Peter’s gross weekly income is $8,556 and he was required to pay all of Adam’s college and graduate school expenses.

With a report from the Associated Press

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