US releases chilling Newtown massacre documents

US releases chilling Newtown massacre documents
Balloons hang at the entrance to Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, after the horrific massacre of 20 children and six adults, December 15, 2012.

NEW YORK - Newtown gunman Adam Lanza wore yellow ear plugs that muffled the screams of his victims and he shot himself in the mouth after committing one of America's worst school massacres.

Disturbing details about last year's mass shooting were revealed Friday when US police released thousands of pages of documents, photographs and recordings from their investigation.

The troubled 20-year-old shot dead 20 first grade children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, using a rifle taken from his suburban mother's legally acquired home defence arsenal.

Lanza was dressed almost entirely in black, his clothes - a shirt, T-shirt, cargo pants, boxer shorts, socks, sneakers, belt and fingerless gloves - found spattered with blood and gunpowder after the murders.

"Two law enforcement officers arrived during the shooting, at which time the suspect ducked into a classroom and shot himself," according to an FBI incident report contained in the file.

Lanza shot himself in the mouth, shattering his brain and skull, according to the attached forensics report.

The documents are the latest pieces of chilling evidence that expose some of the horror that Lanza's victims endured on December 14, 2012 in the small Connecticut town.

The massacre, just one in what was then a series of deadly shooting sprees across the country, inspired a short-lived and ultimately failed drive to tighten US gun ownership rules.

According to at least one witness interviewed by the FBI, Lanza and his mother Nancy owned at least four firearms, which were kept in a gun safe in the school shooter's bedroom closet.

Witness testimony, which has been redacted to remove names and other identifying details, also revealed little known details about Lanza, who suffered from Asperger's Syndrone.

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