Was Adam Lanza an Anders Breivik copycat? Why experts are skeptical (+video)
According to the report by two unnamed officials briefed on the Newtown shootings who spoke with CBS News, Lanza aspired to outdo Mr. Breivik, who hunted down and fatally shot 69 people at an annual summer camp of the Norwegian Labor Party's youth wing in July 2011. Lanza may have targeted Sandy Hook Elementary because it was the “easiest target” with the “largest cluster of people,” according to CBS News.
Investigators formulated this theory after finding news articles about the Norway shooting in the Lanza home and posited Lanza may have felt an urge to compete with Breivik. The reports suggest that Lanza wanted to exceed Breivik’s body count, not that he was inspired by the extreme right-wing ideology of Breivik, who called himself a "Christian crusader."
Investigators also found thousands of dollars worth of violent video games in the basement of the Lanza home, where Lanza would reportedly spend hours honing his shooting skills in a private gaming room with the windows blacked out. Officials speaking with PBS’s "Frontline" say Lanza may have been inspired by these video games, since he changed the magazines of his weapons more frequently than needed.
Connecticut police have dismissed the report as speculation.
Experts in the criminal-justice community are similarly skeptical of ascribing violent behavior to video games.