Police investigating links between Sandy Hook shooter and violent games

Tuesday, 19th February 2013 09:11 GMT By Dave Cook

Detectives in Connecticut are investigating alleged links between the Sandy Hook school shootings and the killer’s love of violent videogames. A new report has suggested that the shooter owned thousands of dollars worth og violent titles, and that the shooting was his way of emulating them.

A report in the Hartford Courant states that the shooter (who I’m choosing not to name here) was a troubled boy living under a mother who was obsessed with guns. Private investigator Richard Novia goes on to suggest that both, “the guns and the violent video games [he] played may well have been an unhealthful combination for the troubled boy.”

The report goes on to say that a police search of the shooter’s home unearthed “thousands of dollars worth of graphically violent video games”, without naming any of them, and that, “detectives working the scene of the massacre are exploring whether [he] might have been emulating the shooting range or a video-game scenario.”

It was also noted that before the killings took place, the shooter destroyed his PC hard drive, which the report suggests was a way of destroying evidence of him having played violent video games.

What do you make of the above? I wrote an opinion blog after the shootings at arm’s length, suggesting that perhaps the gaming press shouldn’t be overly-cynical when approaching the idea that violent games ‘may’ have some impact on kids. However unlikely, it shouldn’t be ruled out just yet due to gaming’s infancy.

What do you think?

Thanks Polygon.



  1. Samoan Spider

    Because there’s clearly no link between his unbalanced mental state and the shooting though right?

    Edit: Missed the bit about destroying his hard drive, but then wouldn’t you do that if you’d been researching something nefarious prior to leaving your house to never return?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. TalllPaul

    …was a troubled boy living under a mother who was obsessed with guns….

    I would say that was the reason right there. Although yeah, could be games *rolleyes*

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Max Payne

    If he was ”emulating” them , that means it was something wrong with him even before he had games…

    #3 2 years ago
  4. hives

    Fed up…

    Let’s not write and talk about this anymore. We will never change the views of people that don’t know video games, so why bother.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. The_Red

    Dave, I salute you for not typing shooter’s name. Thank you and hopefully in the near future, more sites and news outlets start doing this instead of giving more popularity to those criminals.

    As for the subject, I am going to say this: A crazy survivalist mother who had more than 5 different fire arms living with his troubled son. Unless the killer was mimicking the brutal decapitations of God of War 3 while also using Lancer’s chainsaw on his victims, they must be joking. Right? (I’ve even heard Dynasty Warriors being mentioned which almost fries my brain. A mindless brawler set in ancient Japan where you ride horses and wield giant weapons is NOT the same as using guns to slaughter children in an elementary school).

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Mike W

    This is the probably with our society, nobody wants to take respondibilty for their action. And why do they keep referring to him as a boy? 20 years old is still considered a minor?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ArcticMonkey

    How embarrassing for Connecticut police…

    After that, they can look into the role the devil played as well.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. xxJPRACERxx

    Please stop this BS.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. ruckus

    Sandy Hook Shooter(TM) because using his real name would be letting him win. Or some such shit (I read his name on VG247 and it all made sense, so I shot my mother flipping hamster). Oh I’m sorry – I thought I was Media and would trivialise the feck out of something. My bad.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    Fair enough that you don’t “want” to know about the guy Dave, none of us do, but it just seems like pointless posturing to “NOT write” about him.

    If the press tried to keep his name a secret, it would just mean that everybody would be googling him, and the publicity and shock value would be that much greater.

    Can we please stop trying to pretend that the internet doesn’t exist, and that the name isn’t already widely known, and will be for a very long time?

    Adam Lanza. Adam Lanza. Adam Lanza, Adam Lanza. No bogeyman appeared, and no kids came back to life.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Dave Cook

    @10 It’s my choice dude, the guy did it to become notorious. I won’t name him.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DSB

    @11 And it works. Adam Lanza is notorious. Everybody knows who he is. You’re not making a spot of difference.

    You’re actually writing about him, without writing about him, which only makes him more interesting.

    What are you achieving?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    I had to google Adam Lanza. I never cared about his name or who the guy was. So now I know his name, thanks to you, DSB. :)

    So I think it’s fair to say that Dave didn’t help anything.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Samoan Spider

    Bloody hell, is Dave not allowed principles? I’m certain it makes no difference, but its his choice and we should respect that. And I agree, everyone knows his name, but it doesn’t mean he deserves a mention.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DSB

    @14 Right, but the thing is, you’re giving him way more attention by demonstrably pretending like he doesn’t exist.

    Arguably a guy who you can’t even mention in public has to be a lot more important than a guy who’s casually named every day.

    It’s the same reason why some bands put on masks. It makes a bunch of worthless personalities seem more interesting.

    That principle serves Adam Lanza just fine. It doesn’t serve the victims, and it doesn’t serve anyone in trying to understand what happened.

    You might be able to force some kind of denial and forget, but I don’t think they ever will.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Samoan Spider

    @15 I agree with you, but there are plenty of times in the press when a persons name isn’t mentioned, instead using the victims name ie the Bulger killer. It is surprisingly commonplace. Its not for the same reason as a band hiding their identity, its just about an individuals respect for a terrible event and its Dave’s choice entirely.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. ArcticMonkey

    (CNN) — The shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School may have been motivated by a desire by Adam Lanza to outdo Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian man who killed 77 people in July 2011, law enforcement sources told CBS Evening News.

    The unnamed sources said Lanza saw himself as being in direct competition with Breivik, who killed eight with a bombing in downtown Oslo before he moved to a nearby island where he hunted down and fatally shot 69 people.”

    This is been denied by local police, so we don’t know if this is true in this specific case, but it is fact that some of these sickos do it for the infamy. Make their name indelible to history, and to end their miserable lives by going down as some mythical evil. I don’t have a problem writing the shooters name, but if I were a professional running a popular website, I’d probably take the same personal moral high road Dave has. No it won’t bring back any of those kids, but I understand not giving that coward what he probably wanted…

    #17 2 years ago
  18. DSB

    @16 It does happen, but part of the problem in this case is that Adam Lanzas crimes were indeed too atrocious to ignore.

    Calling him the Newtown killer would be ignoring the significance of the event. A guy brought an assault rifle to a school and started murdering innocent kids.

    That arguably raises a lot of questions that a lot of people will want asked, and a major part of the answer has to be Adam Lanza.

    I don’t blame anyone for dreaming of a world where guys like that are instantly erased from any record of anything, ever, but that’s just not reality.

    @17 He already has what he wanted. That’s the sad truth about these mass killings. They’re too terrible not to provoke a major reaction. You already lost that game.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Samoan Spider

    @18 And they arguably shouldn’t be erased either because people need to learn from this and change things so the risk is removed or mitigated when the next persons tips over the inevitable edge. But there is also merit in calling him the Sandy Hook shooter because it serves to remind of the victims instead of adding to his infamy. There are two sides to this coin and which side you are depends on how you feel about the whole thing. I’m not denying either side or suggesting either is right/wrong, I’m just suggesting that an author should be allowed to pick his own side in a story like this.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. DSB

    @19 That’s fair, he could’ve gone with just “the shooter”. But then why add the “(Who I’m choosing not to name)”. That makes it look like a display, more than a gesture.

    At least in my eyes, that draws a lot more attention than simply naming the guy.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Samoan Spider

    @20 It does draw attention, that’s for sure. But in this age where everyone on the internet questions your motives, sometimes you do have to spell it out and I think doing it is alright for the most part. When the article is quoted, with the [] in it, having the reason explained makes sense.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Dave Cook

    @21 After the whole Doritosgate thing, I feel the need to justify everything I do, or else incur the wrath of the internet again. It depresses me thinking about it.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Samoan Spider

    @22 Its depressing when you have to spend more time covering your arse than doing your job, but whilst we’re in vastly different industries, I have to think the same way. Someone is always out to shaft you so I empathise completely.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. ArcticMonkey


    #24 2 years ago
  25. Samoan Spider


    #25 2 years ago
  26. Dave Cook

    @23 It’s slowly but surely putting me off. Seriously.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. RazorBladeJam

    Larzen was a better shot than Breivik, much smaller targets.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. ArcticMonkey

    @25 Thanks

    #28 2 years ago
  29. YoungZer0

    @26: I never doubted you, Dave. You’re one of the few game journalists I could never doubt. Every article from you is a pleasure to read. Keep up the good work and don’t let the shitty situation of the Doritosgate fiasco drag you down.

    @27: A little bit tasteless don’t you think?

    #29 2 years ago
  30. ruckus

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Dave Cook

    @29 Thanks chief. I’m still bewildered by everything that happened. My PS3 arrived and is waiting to be mailed off to the Sick Kids Save Point charity in Edinburgh. Need to wait until payday though as the postage will be a beast!

    Will post pics when I do it to get the haters off my back.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. ruckus

    Persecution complex issues huh…

    #32 2 years ago
  33. Samoan Spider

    @27 That better be Poe’s law in effect there else I think you’re in the wrong place.

    @Dave I’ve noticed that there are a lot of haters around lately. Seems the trolls are getting hungrier. I know its hard, but you can’t let idiots get to you although I know that this is your hobby AND your job so it makes it incredibly personal. As YZ said though, don’t let Doritosgate drag you down. You and the rest of the writers around here are one of very few sources of game information I trust. Keep it up.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Dave Cook

    @32 what do you mean dude?

    #34 2 years ago
  35. YoungZer0

    @33: Agreed. Although it sounds too simple too be true, the best thing to do is to ignore these bastards. Either that or kick them off. It still boggles my mind that we have people like loki on this website. Guy doesn’t do anything but spam anti-pc bullshit.

    #35 2 years ago

    Don’t let ‘em get you down, Dave!

    Haters gonna hate.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. RazorBladeJam

    Dave can often be seen posting vague “Why me?!” messages on facebook & lapping up the attention from his *friends*.

    Big drama queen so he is.


    #37 2 years ago

    ^ You shut your cake hole, you!

    Nothing wrong with a bit of drama, now and then…

    #38 2 years ago
  39. Samoan Spider

    @35 I’ve mentioned having an ignore button before but I got shot down by one of said trolls for wanting to ‘censor’ their free speech. Its my choice if I want to have their vile and hate filled grasp of the English language sprawled over the website!

    #39 2 years ago
  40. Dave Cook

    @37 because gamers often forget that the games press are people too, not sounding boards for their hateful abuse and immature barbs :)

    #40 2 years ago
  41. ruckus

    No attacks have occurred here.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. Dave Cook

    @41 I’ll have to politely disagree with that mate, I’ve had some really shitty people giving me crap on here before.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. theevilaires

    I missed out on Manhunt 2 :( and Bully. I hope Rockstar makes sequels to them next gen like they did for Red Dead Revolver.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. ruckus

    ‘here’ meaning this thread and people who have contributed to it.
    Anyhoo – cest la vie…

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Dave Cook

    @44 Ah, well yeah here has been fine, I meant in general :)

    #45 2 years ago
  46. deathm00n

    @Dave Little late, but I’m with YZ and Samoan, you do an amazing job, I’ve been around for almost a year and it’s the best game news I’ve been to, you don’t sit in a pedestal ignoring your readers. Keep up the good work, don’t let the trolls/haters/morality police get you down.

    #46 2 years ago

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