Brother of gunman wrongly cited as shooter - New York News

Brother of gunman wrongly cited as shooter

Posted: Updated:
The Associated Press -

By Michael Rubinkam

Not long after Friday's shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school, media outlets began reporting the gunman's identity as 24-year-old Ryan Lanza of Hoboken, N.J.
 
His name and image quickly spread worldwide as the perpetrator of the nation's second-deadliest school shooting. Facebook and Twitter lit up as people vented their fury at the man they believed was responsible.
 
In reality, Ryan Lanza was at work in New York City when the gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., some 60 miles away, and a law enforcement official later identified his 20-year-old brother, Adam Lanza, as the culprit.
 
Ryan Lanza was interviewed by investigators but is not believed to have any connection to the killings. He told officials he'd had no contact with his brother since 2010.
 
The Associated Press, relying on a law enforcement official who turned out to be mistaken, initially reported Ryan Lanza was the shooter. Many other media outlets also reported as such, citing law enforcement officials.
 
Once he realized he'd been identified as the perpetrator, Lanza evidently whipped out his mobile device and began posting a quick succession of denials on Facebook, according to screen grabs purportedly taken from his Facebook page and posted online.
 
"IT WASN'T ME I WAS AT WORK IT WASN'T ME," said one message. Then, two minutes later: "I'm on the bus home now it wasn't me." Finally, three minutes after that, he posted an obscenity and repeated, "it wasn't me," the screen grabs showed.
 
A friend of Lanza's, former Jersey Journal newspaper staff writer Brett Wilshe, told the AP he "got really scared" when he began hearing the media reports about Ryan Lanza, and sent him a message on Facebook asking what was going on and if he was OK.
 
Lanza's reply, according to Wilshe, was something like: "It was my brother. I think my mother is dead. Oh my God."
 
Wilshe said he met Ryan Lanza through mutual friends and hung out with him about once a month.
 
"I really enjoy his company because he's a great guy," Wilshe said. He said Lanza never mentioned his brother, though "I didn't know him well enough to have gotten to know his family."
 
Katie Colaneri, 24, a radio reporter from Hoboken, said she met Ryan Lanza about a year and a half ago through mutual friends, and described him as "the nicest guy." She last saw him at a community meeting after Superstorm Sandy, and they spoke of how he had been without power for several days.
 
When she heard his name, she said, it left her in "absolute shock, and I could not fathom what I was hearing."

------

 

Associated Press writer Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa., contributed to this report.

  • Connecticut NewsConnecticut NewsMore>>

  • New London running out of cash, mayor says

    New London mayor: city running out of cash

    New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has asked the state for help because the city is running out of cash and won't be able to make its $1.7 million payroll this week.
    New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has asked the state for help because the city is running out of cash and won't be able to make its $1.7 million payroll this week.
  • Cops: 73-year-old man shoots neighbor in dispute

    Cops: 73-year-old man shoots neighbor in dispute

    Monday, April 21 2014 7:37 AM EDT2014-04-21 11:37:28 GMT
    A 73-year-old Connecticut man will be appearing before a state judge after being charged with shooting his neighbor three times during an argument on Easter morning.
    A 73-year-old Connecticut man will be appearing before a state judge after being charged with shooting his neighbor three times during an argument on Easter morning.
  • Rifle seized after squirrel shooting in Milford

    Rifle seized after squirrel shooting in Milford

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:48 AM EDT2014-04-17 12:48:12 GMT
    Connecticut State NewsConnecticut State News
    Police say they found an unregistered assault rifle and three large-capacity magazines in the home of a Milford man accused of shooting a squirrel.  James Toigo has been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, reckless endangerment, breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and possessing large-capacity magazines.
    Police say they found an unregistered assault rifle and three large-capacity magazines in the home of a Milford man accused of shooting a squirrel.  James Toigo has been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, reckless endangerment, breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and possessing large-capacity magazines.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Weather conditions ripe for brush fires in NJ

    Weather conditions ripe for brush fires in NJ

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:08:34 GMT
    Forecasters have issued a red flag warning and fire weather watch for most of New Jersey.
    Forecasters have issued a red flag warning and fire weather watch for most of New Jersey.
  • NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:23 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:23:11 GMT
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
  • Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:52:22 GMT
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices