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Newtown school shooter wasn't wearing bulletproof vest, police say

Published December 28, 2012 9:42 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Adam Lanza went into the Sandy Hook Elementary School wearing a utility vest, not a bullet proof vest, state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said Thursday.

"It was a fishing type vest, a jacket with a lot of pockets; it was not a bullet-proof vest," Vance said.

On Dec. 14, Lanza killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, then went to the Newtown school, where he opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults, police say.

Vance previously has said Adam Lanza primarily used a rifle — a Bushmaster AR-15 assault-style rifle — during the school shooting, though he also had Glock 10 mm and Sig Sauer 9-mm handguns, along with additional ammunition and multiple magazines for each gun that could hold "hundreds" of bullets.

A utility vest is readily available in any sporting goods store and while it would have provided Lanza with plenty of storage for ammunition, it wouldn't have protected him from gunfire. Police never fired on Lanza, who shot himself when police closed in on him, they say.

Some media outlets have reported that Lanza wore a bulletproof vest, which Vance refuted Thursday.

Connecticut has some restrictions in place for body armor, defined as material designed to provide bullet penetration resistance. Convicted felons can't buy or possess body armor. Sales must be made in person. Violations can result in a misdemeanor charge.

Michael Lawlor, the governor's undersecretary for the State Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division, said police had asked lawmakers to adopt this 1998 legislation, "because they were encountering criminals who were wearing body armor."

Dwayne Harrison, a Bridgeport police officer and president of the National Association of Government Employees, R1-200, International Brotherhood of Police Officers in Bridgeport, noted the utility style vest that Lanza wore is readily available, and not something that would have aroused suspicion.

"Some kids just get those for fun," Harrison said. "In this case, maybe he had that for magazines and bullet rounds."




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