Sandy Hook report does not link perpetrator’s actions to video games

Tuesday, 26th November 2013 02:42 GMT By Brenna Hillier

A report on the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has detailed the gaming habits of the perpetrator, but did not draw any links with his appalling actions.

GamePolitics reports that the investigation found “the shooter acted alone and was solely criminally responsible for his actions of that day”.

The Connecticut State Attorney summarised the report’s findings, placing responsibility solely on the shooter’s shoulders without nominating an explicit motive.

“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 report said.

“The shooter did not recognise 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’ll notice the summary makes no mention of video games as a possible cause, despite political and media talk about a link in the wake of the tragedy. The perpetrator did indeed play video games, including regular weekend sessions of Dance Dance Revolution lasting between four and ten hours.

His collection of games included 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, PSO, 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.

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary occured in December 2012, and resulted in the deaths of 27 children and staff. The full report has been made available to the public.



  1. Amaterasu

    Sorry to say, but I don’t get you… Can you explain to me the journalistic value in even listing his collection of games? You just made a newspost about the fact that no correlation is mentioned or on display in the report, yet you decide that it seems somehow meaningful or valuable to include this list. Discursively, this seems a bit like playing into the hands of precisely the media outlets which usually make facile links between exposure to popular culture and real-life violence.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. NinjaMidget


    Calm yourself. It doesn’t play into the hands of media outlets as the report has been made available to the public.

    Perhaps the list is noted down there to provoke discussion among peeps on this site on the wide variety of genre’s and narrative contexts that this guy played. It highlights that the violence in the game ranges from cartoonish to realistic, to almost non-existent (Pikmin etc).

    The report is about 50 pages and includes undesirable information for a videogame news website such as autopsy sections. I’d rather commend Brenna for taking the time to highlight the areas directly pertaining to games and their potential correlation (although of course not in this case or in any others) to real world violence.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. bradk825

    @1 This is a gaming news site, the story is pertaining to the gaming-related part of the report, and the report contained the names of the games. How is it hard for you to understand why that would be included?

    #3 1 year ago
  4. angry_nation

    OMG, luigi’s mansion made him kill all those children….

    just for reference, i own/play 16 of the games listed. come and get me, NSA! suck it Prism! or whatever the spy program was called.

    “The purpose of the report is to identify persons other than the shooter who are criminally responsible for the twenty-seven homicides…”

    maybe his mother who gave him what appears to be unhindered/unmonitored access to these firearms? rather, the fact that it sounds as if they weren’t locked up (don’t quote me). i’m also guessing that not one of the guns had a gun lock on it, which could have been enough to stop a nutjob such as this one. wasn’t this kid 20 years old? in the US you must be 21 to possess any handgun…

    btw, the firearms industry is speculating that guns, and people not locking them up, will be treated (by new legislation, sometime in the next few years) like bartenders over-serving someone who then goes out and drives drunk / kills someone. that is, if you don’t have your guns locked up, and someone takes one and commits a crime with it, you are partially culpable… wrap your head around that.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. bradk825

    @4 I was thinking it was Dance Dance Revolution. Think about it for a second… yeah, exactly.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Pitts

    @1- I think the fact that no official document arrives at the same initial knee-jerk conclusions as John Q Public is incredibly newsworthy in an ongoing debate that constantly seeks to malign and scapegoat non-issues like video games for the US’s increasing problems with gun violence in schools.

    #6 1 year ago

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