Official Report Does Not Tie Sandy Hook Shooting With Video Games

A report on the investigation of last year’s horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has been released to the public.  The purpose of the report is to identify persons other than the shooter who are criminally responsible for the twenty-seven homicides that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 and indicate if there will be any state prosecutions.

The Connecticut State’s Attorney concluded “that the shooter acted alone and was solely criminally responsible for his actions of that day. Moreover, none of the evidence developed to date demonstrates probable cause to believe that any other person conspired with the shooter to commit these crimes or aided and abetted him in doing so.”  As such there will be no state criminal prosecution as result of these crimes.

Unfortunately, the investigation did not unearth a motive behind the shooting or why Sandy Hook in particular was targeted.  The shooter did attend the school as a child but investigators say it could just as likely be the fact that the school was nearby.

So, how about video games?  Did the shooter play them?  Yes, he did.  He seemed especially enamored of Dance Dance Revolution and went to a local theater nearly every weekend to play for “four to ten hours.”

At home he played a variety of games: Dynasty Tactics, Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts 2, Onimusha, Dynasty Warriors, The Two Towers, Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, Dead or Alive 3, Halo, Halo 2, Lego Star Wars, MechAssault, Mercenaries, MGS2 Substance, Panzer Dragoon ORTA, Shenmue II, Spiderman, Splinter Cell 2, Splinter Cell-CT, Star Wars Battlefront, Star Wars Republic Commando, Tenchu: Return from Darkness, The Return of the King, Worms Forts Under Seige, Left for Dead, Metal Gear Solid, Dead Rising, Half Life, Battlefield, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Shin Megami Tensei, Dynasty Warriors, Vice City, Team Fortress and Doom.  He was also said to be a fan of Super Mario Bros., Phantasy Star Online, Paper Mario, Luigi’s Mansion and Pikmin.

As far as mental health goes, the shooter had Asperger’s Disorder, OCD and anxiety issues.  He refused to take suggested medication or participate in suggested behavior therapies.  That said, the mental health professionals who saw him “did not see anything that would have predicted his future behavior.”

The shooter had an interest in mass shootings and as reported earlier in the year, did keep a spreadsheet chronicling various mass shootings over the years.  Other notable finds indicating such an interest: internet bookmarks pertaining to mass murder, two videos showing suicide by gunshot, commercial movies depicting mass murders, a computer game titled “School Shooting,” images of the shooter holding pistols and rifles to his head, a five-second video dramatizing children being shot, a document written showing the prerequisites for a mass murder spreadsheet, and a large amount of materials relating to the Columbine shootings and documents on mass murders.  (That’s not to say these were his only interests.  He also had comedy videos, music, internet bookmarks for candy, images of LEGO creations and pics of hamsters.)

All of the firearms involved in the shooting were legally purchased by the shooter’s mother and there’s no evidence to suggest that any of the ammunition was bought by anyone other than her.  The shooter did not have a permit to carry a pistol nor had he ever had one.  His mother did though and shooting was a family pastime; they both shot pistols and rifles at a local range.  The mother reportedly “thought it was good to learn responsibility for guns.”

The State’s Attorney sums up the investigation thusly:

“The shooter had significant mental health issues that, while not affecting the criminality of the shooter’s mental state for the crimes or his criminal responsibility for them, did affect his ability to live a normal life and to interact with others, even those to whom he should have been close.  Whether this contributed in any way is unknown.  The shooter did not recognize or help himself deal with those issues.  He had a familiarity with and access to firearms and ammunition and an obsession with mass murders, in particular the Columbine shootings.”

You can read the Official Sandy Hook Report right here.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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