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Psychologist looks at Conn. shooter's mindset

December 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Investigators are looking at what is being characterized as a perfect, horrific storm of circumstances that led to the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

There will be a vigorous review of the 20-year-old suspect's personal history, possible criminal record and his relationship with his mother.

Even before investigators uncover details about murder suspect Adam Lanza, basic facts of the crime are revealing to a forensic psychologist. Lanza allegedly shot not only his mother, a teacher's aide, but what his mother treasured.

"It was a calculated, premeditated act of murder on this particular individual's part to inflict harm, not only on his mother but to innocent children as well," said Dr. Nadim Karim, a forensic psychologist.

Karim is also a criminalist who analyzes why some people resort to violence. Warning signs big and small may have emerged over time. It was not a case of someone snapping, Karim says.

Lanza allegedly came prepared with body armor, two handguns and a rifle.

"He knew what he was doing, he knew how to carry this off and that in it of itself suggests that he was sophisticated enough as a criminal to be able to go and inflict this type of harm," Karim said.

One law enforcement source reports that the suspect had a personality disorder. To Karim, that suggests an individual who can cover up his true motives.

"You have the ability to be manipulative, to be narcissistic, to be essentially hidden," Karim said.

And the alleged gunman may have had an additional objective in mind: terrorism aimed at all parents and their sense of their child's security.

"It's possible that a random act of violence can happen because of someone like me. And that certainly suggests a sadistic and anti-social personality," Karim said.

Investigators have been interviewing Adam Lanza's older brother, Ryan Lanza. He could have many of the answers detectives have been looking for.

Reporter Carlos Granda is on his way to Newtown, Conn. Look for his live reports on later editions of ABC7 Eyewitness News.


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