Ryan Lanza wrote a message on his Facebook page reminding everyone that he too is a victim and that he misses his departed family members. The only problem is the real Ryan Lanza didn’t write it.
A message that was sent to the New York Post allegedly from the brother of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter led to a false report that spread throughout the internet. In the fake Facebook message, someone claiming to be Ryan Lanza seemed to be defending his brother’s actions, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.
“I am so tired of people blaming me for something my brother did,” the imposter wrote to the newspaper. “I love Adam, his [sic] my brother.” The Ryan Lanza imposter added that the New York Post and other publications “no right to call my brother names when he isn’t here no more.”
The imposter also publicly grieved on Facebook.
“You all will be truly be missed,” he wrote. “God Bless.”
The fake Ryan Lanza also joined Facebook victim groups as well as groups called “Support Ryan Lanza” and “Clear Ryan Lanza’s Name.”
The fake message was picked up by a number of media outlets, including TMZ, which later pulled its report.
By late afternoon on Sunday, the New York Post made a correction saying that a spokesman for the Lanza family contacted them to identify the Ryan Lanza post as a fake.
“Ryan did not post the messages in this story,” the representative said.
It is the second time that Ryan Lanza has been misidentified. In the immediate wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, media outlets began reporting that Ryan Lanza, not Adam, was the shooter. Some added details from Ryan Lanza’s Facebook page for the reports, which were corrected within hours when police correctly identified Adam.