Newtown, CT – Ryan Lanza, the man who was falsely identified as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, found out about the massacre (and the deaths of members of his family) while at work. He left to grieve, while allegedly updating his Facebook to declare his innocence amid the confusion.
An image of a Ryan Lanza made national headlines and websites like our own this afternoon, and though we can’t yet 100% confirm that that image actually belongs to the brother of Adam Lanza, the suspected shooter in the Sandy Hook massacre, we can say that the bereaved Ryan Lanza is both shocked and grieving. UPDATE: MSN confirms that the image and Facebook posts circulated yesterday are from the Ryan Lanza in question.
Though concrete details have yet to emerge in this tragedy, for which there is no rational explanation, 20 children, six adults, and the shooter, Adam Lanza, are all dead. But the tragedy claimed another victim as well: Ryan Lanza.
“Ryan is in shock,” a close friend, Brett Wilshe, told The Stamford Patch.
Ryan Lanza is a 24-year-old Quinnipiac University graduate. Early reports held that Ryan Lanza himself had murdered someone in his Hoboken apartment, and then drove to Newtown to commit today’s appalling crimes. In fact, WBTW reports that Adam Lanza may have been carrying his brother’s ID, which caused the confusion.
Regardless, a picture, allegedly of Ryan Lanza, was plastered all over the internet, causing him to take to Facebook to declare his innocence. The profile in question has since been deactivated.
Lanza works at Ernst & Young, a financial company in the city, and lives in a five-story brick building on Grand Street, known as “The Metropolitan.” He was reportedly planning on going to Connecticut after hearing of the shooting, worried that his developmentally disabled younger brother may have been the shooter.
“Oh my god, I think my mother is dead,” he allegedly wrote on Facebook.
Friends were shocked to see Ryan Lanza’s face and hear his name splashed all over the news.
“At first you’re devastated that 30 people were shot to death,” friend Katie Colaneri said. “And then you find out it’s someone that you know, that you’ve met, that you’ve hugged. And you don’t know whether to feel angry or sad. You find out your friend is alive but caught up in this mess. It’s incredible.”
“He’s not a guy capable of shooting up a school,” another friend said.
Ryan Lanza is in police custody, though not as a suspect, reports KSDK.