Newtown, Connecticut was thought to be an ideal place for children to grow up in. With it’s beautiful landscape, multiple hills for sledding, and big backyards … Newtown was the perfect town for a playful kid.
According to USA TODAY, the Lanza’s lived on Yogananda Street in Newtown.
Their neighborhood, where Adam Lanza lived with his brother and mother, had child-sized basketball hoops, soccer nets and swing sets decorating the front yards of the neighbors’ homes. This made their neighborhood a very family and kid oriented place to live, which is why it’s surprising that very few of their neighbors remember ever meeting Adam.
The Strocchia family picked Newtown to settle in because father Len called it the “quintessential New England town” for his family.
Len initially chose Newtwon for their schools and it’s (what seemed to be) kid oriented community.
Six years ago, the Strocchia family moved into the same Yogananda neighborhood that the Lanzas lived in. When the family moved in, the neighbors threw a barbecue to welcome them.
Yet they never met the Lanzas who lived just down the street from them.
According to NBC News, it does appear that Adam Lanza also attended the Sandy Hook Elementary School when he was younger.
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy told NBC News, “He attended there- that’s what I’m led to believe.” However, he did not have any documented evidence of Adam’s enrollment at Sandy Hook.
This makes it even more surprising that so few of their neighbors ever met the Lanzas.
Len Scrocchia said:
“It’s a mystery. Nobody knows them, which is odd for this neighborhood. Everyone knows each other through the children, the school bus. The community here is kids.”
Len’s wife, Jo Jo, knew a lot of the kids that lived in the neighborhood. That’s why she was very anxious for the names of the victims to be released. Once they read the names, she knew that she would recognize a lot of them.
Jo Jo Strocchia said:
“I can see all the little kids waiting for their bus with the little tiny backpacks. It’s just heartbreaking. I don’t know how the parents will find any comfort. There are fates worse than death, and this is one of them.”
After the tragic incident, Magda Szabo (another neighbor who had never met the Lanza’s) said:
“It’s inconceivable that in such a scenic and serene place that someone could conceive of something like this. It’s safe here, very family-oriented, friendly.”
Dave Lapp, who moved his family to Newtwon 12 years ago, had his children attend Sandy Hook Elementary School when they were younger. His kids are now in high school, but he said the school “had terrific teachers and a healthy environment.”
He continued by saying:
“We selected the community because of the school system and what it offered. We never worried about safety. We’ve had one homicide in a decade.”
Lapp hopes that Newtown will be able to get through this tragic incident with time. The last thing that he wants is for his community to be forever known for this tragic incident.
“We don’t want to be remembered like a Columbine.”