IMPORTANT UPDATE, 4:38 PM EST: An earlier version of this post identified Ryan Lanza, 24, as the suspected and deceased Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter.
Initial reports were rife in the media pegging Ryan Lanza as the shooter, and reports have since surfaced that Adam Lanza, 20, may have used his brother’s identification, causing the confusion. It has not been confirmed nor has it been denied that Adam Lanza was carrying his brother’s identification at the time of the shootings.
Other reports indicate police may have “transposed” the brothers’ names, though it isn’t clear how such an error might have occurred if the pair were in separate states at the time of the shooting.
During breaking news events, police will often leak information to media confirming details off the record.
Throughout the day, law enforcement in Newtown, Connecticut have been reluctant to disclose anything but minor information regarding the events that took place today at Sandy Hook Elementary. Given the large number of deaths reported, it is likely familial notification was a top concern for law enforcement as the case was investigated.
The most recent report from the Associated Press indicates that Adam Lanza is now identified as the suspected shooter, and his brother Ryan is being questioned by police. Police have not identified Ryan Lanza as a suspect.
The identity of the purported friend of Ryan Lanza shown in the screenshot below, listed on Twitter as Andrew Fletcher of New York City, has not been confirmed. In the ensuing media confusion, Fletcher — who tweets under the handle @Fletch788, has protected his tweets.
Initial contraindicative reports that the “wrong Ryan Lanza” was identified were likely inaccurate. Given a stated hometown of Newtown, Connecticut, it is likely he is indeed Adam Lanza’s brother — and in a tragic series of events, learned of his own family deaths through the media.
Screengrabs from Fletcher’s account prior to his decision to lock the tweets are available at the end of this post. The rest of the post is intact as it appeared earlier in the day.
The Newtown school shooting suspect has been identified as Ryan Lanza, but a “likely Facebook page” for the alleged gunman appears to possibly point to the wrong man.
Ryan Lanza lists his hometown as Newtown, but indicates he most recently resided in Hoboken.
CNN and Slate have identified Lanza as the probable gunman, and the man’s Facebook page simply displays a photo with a friend’s comment:
“Look like you’re about to buy an Ale, but then paint a picture of it… very mixed… all good, though. Kinda like if Solid Snake was wearing a Neo trenchcoat. This can only turn out awesome.”
Earlier reports that the gunman was a father of a Sandy Hook Elementary student appear to have been erroneous, but Lanza’s connection to the school has not yet been revealed.
Little is known about how Lanza was identified as the shooter or on what information news stations are basing reports on, but initial reports also indicate that a parent of the alleged gunman was found dead at another location.
A screenshot circulating on Twitter purports to have recent updates from the Ryan Lanza whose Facebook has been identified by media sources as belonging to the gunman denying a connection to the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting:
Multiple reports identify the shooter as a 24-year-old named Ryan Lanza, and say his mother, now deceased, was a teacher at the school.
BREAKING: Shooter identified as Ryan Lanza, mother was teacher at school. He killed her, too.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 14, 2012
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 14, 2012
CONFIRMED body found in the family home of shooting suspect Ryan Lanza. Ambulance pulled up a short time agolockerz.com/s/268951381
— Ayana Harry FoxCT (@AyanaHarry) December 14, 2012