Sandy Hook Spree Killer Fired AR-15 79 Times Before Stovepipe

TTAG has learned that spree killer Adam Lanza fired his mother’s Bushmaster AR-15 79 times inside the Sandy Hook Elementary school before experiencing a stovepipe. (An empty, fired cartridge failed to eject from the rifle and became stuck in the action, preventing another cartridge from firing.) Lanza did not clear the weapon. Investigators found the non-functional AR-15 at least five feet away from the killer’s body; he may have thrown the rifle after the malfunction before switching to a handgun. A source close to the investigation says Lanza killed himself within seconds of making eye contact with one of the first responders.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

56 Responses to Sandy Hook Spree Killer Fired AR-15 79 Times Before Stovepipe

  1. avatarThat's odd says:

    Because there was no long gun found inside the school.

    http://t.co/Z6MixLo1

    • avatarNelson says:

      LOL like OBL ‘death at sea’ NON-Muslim ritual, official STORY full of holes.

      Those were “several sources” in a released statement that testified to the fact that NO “assault-style weapons” were found next to the alleged assailant Adam Lanza.

      Yet, oh so conveniently, magically, an AR15 appears next to Lanza’s dead body??

      Really? No, really? Really?

      When the official ‘released statement’ changes, you better believe someone’s lying, and it’s not an unintentional discrepancy.

      Govt lies all the time. The only question is, which one of the lies is the Truth?

      So, which is it?

      Yes, an AR15 was used? Or no, it wasn’t?

      If the latter is the reality, then how and why did the coroner 1st testify that the children’s bodies were riddled with rifle round damage, when he was testifying right after they cited the fact that only pistols were found next to the killer?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl5BMN6RbUE

      Dan dan dan!

      Where are the CCTV tapes?

      The ballistics?

      The Public has the right to know. Facts are what’s needed.

      But considering the fact that MSM cannot even bother to research what an “assault rifle” (mainly ONLY those with select-fire features) is, and like scribes of yore, merely parrot what they’re told to read, ie. the dreaded, completely fictitious misnomer “assault weapon,” let alone conflating “magazines” with “clips,” don’t get your hopes up: wouldn’t be the 1st time they changed the official narrative of the attack, for the umteenth time.

      Sometimes I wonder why they don’t just park their cameras in front of Govt PR hacks and be done with it; MSM only have their ‘reporters’ on the scene to relay the official narrative, to give the illusion that a 3rd party has vetted the info, regardless of whether they’re merely repeating exactly what they were told, without ever verifying.

      If anyone thinks all this discrepancy of info is due to the ‘fog’ of initial confusion, you haven’t been around news biz.

      1st ‘news crew’ on the scene often DO get a lot of the details, correctly.

      Only after PR person wants a neat story for the typically pussified American sheeple, do they all ‘get on the same page’ for a neat, tidy verbal flourish.

      • avatarCA_Chris says:

        My problem with this theory is that it assumes that the news entertainment media does not make up its facts from the start. We have ample prior evidence that these so-called journalists on the major news entertainment sources will fabricate a sellable story long before any facts are available, and the first sellable lie is quickly followed and expanded upon by its competitors. Hence why now every shooter is made to sound as if he were carrying a vulcan machine gun a la The Terminator while wearing the battle armor from District 9.

        And strangely, I haven’t heard much about the NY shooter. Maybe because his story contradicts the media narrative, and is instead a good argument for life imprisonment for his kind of murderer? And that his case highlights that the world does still have simply evil people in it who will find a means to kill no matter what laws are in place?

      • avatarJohn says:

        The biggest problem here, aside from people grasping for a conspiracy where none really exists, is that The Media get paid the big bucks, IE get more viewers/readers/listeners, when they report BREAKING news in breathless tabloid fashion INSTANTLY, simply because their clientele–which includes us, apparently–demands INSTANT ‘news’ and refuses to wait until the action ends, the investigation is complete, the answers are known, and a logical timeline and summary of events with cold, proven facts is available. Instead, we, and thus The Media, DEMAND instant gratification for our perverted sense of ‘involvement’ in the exciting emergency/tragedy/spectacle by wanting to know every sordid detail whether it’s a fact or a rumour or a made-up pseudo-fact intended to hold our interest until the next breathless ‘news update.’. Thus, we get the initial rumours, the half-truths, the serious guesses and errors, the ‘eyewitness accounts’ from the stupidest, most ill-informed bystander that can be located by the video crew at the time, and later get to point out the discrepancies while stating our cynical distrust of The Media, when it’s WE who encourage them by insisting on our ‘right to know’ of some total stranger’s tragedy.
        We have met The Enemy, and he is US.

    • avatarmike says:

      The article is wrong. NO rifle at all was found. There is a NBC video showing a shotgun being removed from trunk. Officials have reported 4 handguns were found, no rifle.

  2. avatarGS650G says:

    A recurring theme in these cases seems to be the perp isn’t willing to face armed resistance. Adam was no different.

    Since I’ve avoided the media overkill on this story what’s the real story? Did he use an AR or not? It doesn’t matter to the Left since they are going for ARs anyway but can we at least get a straight answer?

    • avatarAharon says:

      I noticed that recurring theme too. Previously at the Oregon Mall, elsewhere, and now in CT the perps shot themselves before someone else could kill them or at least wound them and be forced to stand trial.

      Good for you for avoiding the media overkill coverage about the shooting. I think I poisoned my brain reading too much about it. I don’t know what the true story is regarding if he used an AR or if it was later planted. How the initial police reports could have mixed up an AR and all the .223/5.56 over the floor mistaking it for just one or two 9mm pistols and 9mm ammo I don’t know. While not impossible the timing of the event and the way it occurred or being reported is a strange political coincidence (sarcasm).

    • avatarWilliam says:

      You mean did he use the AR-15 that was found in the trunk of the other suspect’s CAR? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

  3. avatarBLAMMO says:

    Typical. Almost without exception, these pukes punk out in the face of any resistance or confrontation whatsoever. Colin Ferguson and Jared Loughner were tackled by unarmed bystanders. And they gave up. They didn’t fight tooth and nail to the death. Most others, like at Sandy Hook and the Clackmas Mall, check themselves out as soon as they see the first armed responder. They don’t want to be shot or wounded. Like they’re afraid of experiencing even a few seconds of pain or suffering.

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      Actually, I don’t believe spree killers are worried about personal pain or suffering. They are worried about control. And they know that an armed person could control the end of the spree killer’s life. Or worse, the armed person could wound the spree killer causing them to go unconscious … only to be hospitalized, recover, and go to prison for the rest of their lives where they have almost no control.

      Thus the spree killers are not taking any chances. They usually kill themselves immediately to maintain control to the end. Occasionally, the spree killers surrender immediately. While lose control in one sense, they can continue to deliver their “message” and continue control that way.

      • avatarThe One says:

        Or maybe they are just competing their programming by killing themselves so there will be no capture and eventual revealing mind control like the Aurora shooter James Holmes is telling fellow prisoners? All of the mass shooters have been on psychiatric drugs of some kind…

    • Point of correction, the guy who tackled Loughner was an AZ CCW holder who was packing a Glock. He didn’t shoot because he was worried about hitting other people.

  4. avatarThomas Paine says:

    del ton?

  5. avatarNathan says:

    How did they determine the exact number of rounds fired? Brass? Empty mags? And what happened to “The assault weapon was found in the car” which was reported for the past 2 weeks?

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Brass would be the most sensible way to determine round count. And the story of the “assault weapon found in the car” was an error that was corrected before the first day was over. The AR and handguns were found with the body; the weapon in the car trunk was a shotgun.

    • avatarLemming says:

      Here’s some footage of them finding a gun in his car. It’s clearly a shotgun.

      Hmm, no linking? Check out youtube video gNRqp9pcfY8

  6. avatarPhreddie says:

    “And the story of the “assault weapon found in the car” was an error that was corrected before the first day was over.”

    But it will never die.

  7. avatarWoodekt says:

    I hate that this whole issue is 99% about guns and 1% about crazy. When it should be 95% about crazy and 5% about guns.

    • avatargabba says:

      if anyone on the right wants to come out for universal mental healthcare i’m sure it would be welcome.

      • avatarSid says:

        Why?

        We can’t afford universal aspirin coverage, much less universal health care, and it is laughable that we will ever be able to afford universal mental health care. The killer graduated from a well funded high school. His parents were very well capable of paying for any treatment he required.

        What we can afford much quicker and for very little cost in bulk is universal gun safes. In bulk, gun safes would cost less than the deductible on a mental health policy. Have someone in your home who is even possibly bat-shit crazy, here’sa gun safe.

        • avatarLolinski says:

          If he killed his mother for them, do you really think that a gun safe would have stopped him?

  8. avatarjwm says:

    I’ve heard the anti’s come up with all sorts of new rules and outright bans on guns and their uses. If any of these news rules or bans become law it will take at least 1 and more probably 2 generations before any effects are seen on the streets. And there’s no way to know for sure if those future effects will be positive or negative. My own instincts are they will just make matters worse.

    What I’ve not seen a single anti address is the issue of how to make our schools safe now, when winter break is over and the kids and staff return to school. In fact the anti’s have come down against the one logical step for immediate security on our school grounds, which is armed personnel on school grounds.

    Knowing that we have a failed mental health system and that there’re 300 + million guns already out there and god knows how many tons of ammo, the anti’s oppose the one move that may actually secure our schools. Why?

    We’ve also seen time and again that at the first sign of an armed resistence the spree killers end their rampage. And yet the anti’s resist an armed response on site for our schools. Why?

    • avatarRandy Drescher says:

      Because they don’t give a sh.t about the kids, obviously. Of all importance is keeping the the nice peacefull school from being screwed up with bad guns. Beyond that & what I feel is the real reason for all the bans is simply that the libs do not want minorities to be shot. Look at Katrina, cops didn’t want minority looters to be shot, so they took guns. look at the cities with high crime lots of minorities, no guns(CC anyways), Large magazines means you can shoot a large amount of people, obviously. Who are these people that would be shot, save for the mental killers, they are rioting minorities, minority looters, minority robbers etc. Who are the people with the AR’s, My guess 95 percent white? This for the trolls, nothing anyone on here didn’t know, Randy

    • avatarJohn says:

      They resist because they loathe the sheepdogs in their midst. If they admit that life IS dangerous at times, that there ARE monsters in the dark and that they really NEED sheepdogs, then they cannot exist in their comfortable little Condition White bubbles. They would rather simply not think about such things–after all, tomorrow is another day.
      I strongly recommend that you read Col. Grossman’s ‘On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs’–google it.

  9. avatarstateisevil says:

    As always we have to accept what the gunvernment (sic) says. The same one that wants to ban our guns.

  10. avatarJM says:

    Well, I’m thankful that he didn’t know Tap, Rack, Bang… but at the same time… A stovepipe stopped him? Seriously? Wow.

    • avatarC says:

      That was my first reaction. “Stovepipe? Really?”

      Turns out that rather a lot of these guys get confounded by super simple problems. It’s a good thing only dumb asses try to pull that kind of shit.

  11. avatarmike says:

    79 rounds….so a high cap ban would force the next lunatic to carry 8 mags, instead of 3 or 4. Oh wait… the lunatic can just buy overpriced hi cap mags on the black market since there’s millions of them hoarded by now. Same with the actual rifle. So an AWB would be effective how so again?? Sounds to me the PRICE of these items will deter better than the ban itself. But unfortunately we all know the saying “money talks.”

  12. avatarAM says:

    File this under “I told you Bushmaster sucks.”

    (Good thing he chose it over a more reliable weapon.)

  13. avatarSee This Also says:

    The “investigator” in me is curious as to why the stovepipe occurred. The standard line always seems to be “AKs are inaccurate but reliable, ARs are accurate but unreliable”. So was it the design of the AR at fault here, or the build quality of this particular Bushmaster, or was it not well maintained, or was he using crappy ammo, or…?

    Anyway too bad it didn’t stovepipe a lot sooner.

  14. avatarDavid-p says:

    Time for a math lesson. The coroner reported that all the kids were killed with the AR. Reports say that it took first responders 20 minutes to get there. This story said that he only fired the bushmaster 79 times, we will round up to 80 for easy math. 80 rounds/20 minutes= 4 rounds a minute. So what guns would they have to ban to make a difference in this case: all of them. There are stories of the civil war where guys were able to load over four times a minute during battle with muzzleloaders. I could easily sustain a rate of fire over 4 rounds a minute with a break open.

    This ban is not about saving life’s or getting to the root of the problem. It is all about power or at least stripping regular people’s rights. Make sure you write, call, fax, and email your leaders and tell them this is BS and you will strip them of power if they strip you of rights. Get or friends and family involved. Tell them what this could mean and have a prewritten letter ready for them to sign, go as far to mail & fax it for them. Even Obama is looking weak on this. Today he gave a list of 4 things he has to get done. Gun control was not one of them. He had to be asked about gun control and even then he said that the American people have to demand it. We have to demand that this be stopped!!

    • avatarDaveL says:

      This story said that he only fired the bushmaster 79 times, we will round up to 80 for easy math. 80 rounds/20 minutes= 4 rounds a minute. So what guns would they have to ban to make a difference in this case: all of them.

      Including black powder muskets, in the hands of skilled shooter.

    • avatarMikeP says:

      Pretty much – the reasons they keep throwing out as to why you “don’t need” *that particular* firearm pretty much applies to all or most all. It’s a series of false first premises they want the uninformed to sign off on, thereby laying the groundwork for expansion of any bans (“well, you agreed to [fill-in-the-blank] when we grabbed the ARs!”).

      - “You can keep your hunting rifle, but nobody ‘needs’ a firearm that can fire such a ‘high-power, high caliber’ round as .223/5.56″

      - “We’re going to take semi-automatics off the market and out of your hands to address how rapidly these shooters are able to rip off rounds “(averages approx one shot every 10-15 sec). “You can keep your lever actions, pump actions, and revolvers”.

      - “We’re going to limit your ability to hoard a ‘war stash’ by limiting the amount of ammo any one person may own – a couple of hundred rounds tops. This is because some of these shooters had six thousand rounds or more back at home when police arrived to search their home” (that they couldn’t take with them due to the weight, and were limited to what they could carry – a couple hundred rounds tops)

      - “30 is evil. 20 is evil. 10 is good. Because we said so. Just now. This of course is to address how ‘rapidly’ these shooters were able to shoot without a reload” (because it would suck for them having to spend a few more of those 10-15 seconds spans between shots changing a magazine while under the withering stress of facing down unarmed children)

      - “It’s because it’s black” (thereby establishing color as a “reasonable”, “common-sense” basis for proscribing a firearm)

      - “It’s because it’s plastic – I saw in Die Hard 2 how those can sneak through metal detectors!” (thereby establishing “grabber urban legend” as a “reasonable”, “common-sense” basis for proscribing a firearm)

      - “It’s got knobbly-looking bits where you can mount stuff! OMG! You mounted a flashlight! To a gun! You mounted a flashlight to a gun! What if you turn that on in someone’s face? You could temporarily dazzle them!”

      - “It has places for you to grab hold of – ‘grips’”

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      Of course, going in, he didn’t know he had twenty minutes. Let’s assume he thought he had five minutes. That’s a decent response time for police in a lot of places. In that amount of time, 80 rounds is one fired every 3.75 seconds. Try looking at a timepiece with a seconds display some time and say “bang” to yourself every fourth second. It’s a really slow pace.

      The upshot is because he was without any real opposition, he could have done this with just about anything.

      Even with a quarter the time he ended up having, he could have gotten off all the shots he actually fired with just about any gun in common circulation.

  15. avatarCaseyBenton says:

    What is it with crappy ARs used by loonies? It seems like the last couple big nutjob-with-an-AR stories all feature some theme of “the AR failed after X rounds”.

    My AR (which wasn’t exactly a top-o-the-line package) failed like twice in its life, both times my fault entirely. Is it divine judgement on these d-bags that causes what is normally a solid platform to turn to crap in their hands, or are they really just that inept and limpwristed?

    I guess I just answered my own question…

    • avatarAnon in Ct says:

      A stovepipe is a “failure” of the gun? Shit happen – a trained person performs their IA, clears the jam and moves on. Of course, I trained on guns provided by the lowest bidder.

  16. avatarJesse Nelson says:

    Well since the author hasn’t as of yet provided outside data to confirm this I have to wait.

    No offense meant to Robert Farago, but I always have to get more than one source for stories like this.

  17. avatarLance says:

    Shows I think we never know till the official report. Shows the media has a axe against our freedoms to grind.

  18. avatarsteve says:

    Sorry, but DiFi says it’s time to bit the bullet…

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/274891-sen-feinstein-america-has-to-bite-the-bullet-and-enact-new-gun-control-measures

    “Feinstein can count on the support of President Obama, who said in a a separate interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that he hoped to pass new gun legislation in the next year.”

    They will use this to keep the eye off of the fiscal/debt issues.

  19. avatarjuliesa says:

    I’ve been lurking here awhile, learning a lot. One thing I keep I wondering is if anyone here knows how many people in the Aurora shooting were killed by Holmes’ shotgun, and how many by his AR, which reportedly jammed early on? I tried googling it but failed.
    Either way, it’s clear that “banning” “assault weapons” and some mags would have no effect on the ability of crazy/evil people to do these shootings.

    • avatarmatt says:

      Probably not many if any by his shotgun, according to reports it was the first weapon he shot, emptying the magazine in to the back rows, and then dropping it and switching to his AR. The C mag on his AR jammed, I dont recall if he changed to a box magazine or a sidearm.

  20. avatarBarstow Cowboy says:

    Here’s a thought…he had to be buzzed into the building by a person who was looking at him. Naturally we can assume that if that person who was buzzing him in saw that he had a rifle they wouldn’t buzz him in, right? SO, unless he found a way to conceal a 3 foot long rifle with a 9″ magazine sticking out of it, doesn’t that cast some doubt onto the claim that he brought the rifle in there with him? This is all so easy, there are no doubt eyewitnesses, shell casings and autopsy results, and maybe even some video. It kind of reminds me of the George Zimmerman saga where you KNEW there had to be evidence out there, but it was withheld for dramatic purposes.

    • avatarJohn says:

      A small amount of research on the InterWebz would’ve told you that the monster shot his way in through an armoured-glass door. Nobody ‘let him in.’

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      The reports or information released states he shot out the side window next to the locked door. So no one actually buzzed him in.

  21. avatarDavid says:

    A stovepipe stopped one of the hollywood shooters and that was an AK (yes they jam too). The guy transitioned to pistol instead of clearing the jam. Just sayin . . .

  22. avataruncommon_sense says:

    Has anyone noticed that it took 20 minutes — an eternity — for the shooter to see armed law enforcement? That is so pathetic I cannot even find words to describe it. Really? It took 20 minutes?!?!?!?

    And how in the world could anyone ever claim that it is worse to have armed teachers and/or parents of the children on school grounds than letting a deranged lunatic spree killer walk around a school unchallenged for 20 minutes? Only someone with a serious phobia, mental illness, or related condition could make such a claim.

    Please note I am not joking about that last statement. You have to see someone with a serious phobia first hand to fully understand the magnitude of their uncontrolled emotional response. Once you do, you will understand the anti-gun people. I saw this one time when our family pushed my mom really hard to fly for a family vacation. After a few minutes, she quite literally exploded in anger and rage stating that “planes are flying coffins”, she would never ever under any circumstances fly in a plane, and that she was about to make our lives miserable if we didn’t immediately drop the subject. Of course my mom has a phobia with airplanes. Does the nature of her response sound vaguely familiar? Her response was entirely emotional, irrational, totally devoid of facts or reality, and culminated in violent threats against anyone who dared challenge her position. That sounds like gun grabbers to me.

    • avatarRob says:

      Exactly.

      It’s not just that it took them 20 minutes to get to the school, it’s that it took the police 20 minutes to travel 1.8 miles to the school!

      1.8 miles is the distance between the school and the nearest police station in Newtown, CT according to google maps. About 5 minutes driving time.

      That’s an average of 475 feet per minute.

      I’ve seen kids at fat-camp f*&$in’ crawl faster than that!

      Hell! I could have run that distance in less time! And I’m out of shape, and pushing 30!!

      To contrast: The 45 ACP ammo I have loaded in my handgun will travel at 950 feet per second.

      When I fire a shot, by the time the round falls to the Earth, (assuming a flat surface with no obstacles to get in the way, and assuming the effect of gravity on the flying round) the round has travelled roughly one thousand (or more…) feet, and the Newtown CT police have travelled about 7 feet. That 7 feet is shorter than my bedroom.

      I wonder if those disgraced police officers could hear the shots blowing those poor kids away from their station? They sure were close enough…

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