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Upset by divorce? Outsider? Seeking clues in school shooter's past

December 17, 2012|By Shashank Bengali and Molly Hennessy-Fiske

STAMFORD, Conn. – When the parents of Adam Lanza divorced, the settlement left Nancy Lanza with $24,150 a month in alimony payments and able to live a comfortable life to care for her son.

Nancy Lanza, 52, was her son’s first victim on Friday, shot to death in the spacious home they shared, authorities said. Adam then took his mother’s car and some of her guns, went to the Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he forcefully entered the building and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults before turning a gun on himself.

Funeral services for the children, whose murders wrenched the nation’s heart, began on Monday.

Friends said the child had Asperger's syndrome, and family and school staffers struggled with it.

PHOTOS: Shooting at Connecticut school

Richard Novia, who formerly advised the Newtown High School tech club that was one of Lanza's few social outlets, said Lanza had been placed in a special program for students who were considered at risk of being bullied--though he had no recollection of Lanza ever being harassed.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Novia said he was told that Lanza had a medical condition that hindered his ability to feel pain, so that if he cut himself or stubbed his toe, he might not even know he was hurt, and could continue to cause harm to himself.

Novia described a nurturing environment at the high school where teachers and students were encouraged to be on the lookout for signs of abuse or emotional trauma, particularly in kids like Lanza.

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