Connecticut Shooter Adam Lanza Described As Painfully Shy Loner, Troubled Student

Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza has been described by former classmates as a painfully shy and awkward teenager who would sometimes suffer breakdowns that left him completely unable to communicate.

The day after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children and six adults dead, families and others affected by the tragedy sought clues into the gunman’s intentions. While the motives of Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza remain unclear, a clearer picture of the troubled 20-year-old is emerging.

Those who knew Lanza say he was a bright boy but socially awkward and deeply troubled.

“[Adam] was not connected with the other kids,” family friend Barbara Frey told ABC News that Adam was “obviously not well.”

Police believe that Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza shot his mother in the face in the home they shared in Newtown, then took her car to Sandy Hook Elementary School. There he forced his way into the school, which had just put in a new security system, and began killing adults and children.

Those who knew Lanza said they saw him as extremely quiet.

“Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were five years old,” wrote a neighbor and former classmate Timothy Dalton on Twitter. “As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised.”

The remembered Lanza as someone who carried a black briefcase around school, wearing the same outfit of khakis and a buttoned-up shirt every day. When other students tried to talk to him he would become afraid and shy away. One classmate said it appeared to be physically difficult for him to speak.

Few other details have emerged about Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza. His brother Ryan, briefly mis-identified as the shooter, told police that his brother had a personality disorder or autism, The Huffington Post reported. His connection to the school appears unclear as well — initial reports said that his mother was a teacher at the Sandy Hook, school board members have said they believe this is not true.