The chief state’s attorney has agreed to release additional information to the public about the State Police investigation into the Newtown elementary school massacre, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said late last week.
Malloy voiced concern that certain information about the Dec. 14 shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School was disclosed by a top state police commander at a recent law enforcement seminar in New Orleans.
”Like many others, I was disappointed and angered to learn that certain information about the Newtown shooting had been leaked, specifically with concern for the victims’ families who may have been hearing this news for the first time,” the governor said in a statement.
A column published last week in the New York Daily News, citing an unnamed police officer who attended the seminar, reported that Col. Daniel Stebbins discussed evidence that suggested the Newtown gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, studied other mass slayings and dedicated extensive planning to the rampage that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead. Lanza also killed his mother and later committed suicide.
State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said in a statement that the seminar was designed for law enforcement professionals only and sensitive information dealing with the tactical approaches used by first responders to the Sandy Hook shootings was discussed.
Malloy said additional information about the investigation, and a status of where it stands, will be released by March 29. The governor’s spokesman confirmed the information will be released publicly. A spokesman for Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane said it has not yet been determined how and when the information will be disseminated.
This is the latest development in debate over how much public access there should be to Newtown investigation information. Several media companies have gone to court in an attempt to get Danbury State’s Attorney Stephen Sedensky to unseal search warrant affidavits for the Lanza house. They have argued that release of information will not harm the investigation, since the only criminal suspect in the case, Adam Lanza, is dead.
Sendesky has said that while no arrests in the case are anticipated, they have not been ruled out.
While Malloy, a Democrat, expressed his anger over details of the investigation being released at the seminar, he said he is ”bewildered by the demands” of House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, and others who want a special briefing before they can take a firm position on a legislative response to the Newtown shooting.
”To Mr. Cafero and those others, I must ask: What more could you possibly need to know?” Malloy said.
”We know for a fact that on Dec. 14, a very disturbed young man took a military-style rifle with high-capacity magazines into a school and murdered 20 innocent children and six innocent adults,” he said.
”Today, more than three months later, the vast majority of people in Connecticut can agree on some simple, common-sense things we can do — right now — to ban the sale of the weapon he used, to outlaw the high-capacity magazines he used and to put in place systems that will make it much more difficult for a weapon like that to fall into the wrong hands,” Malloy added.
Earlier in the week, Cafero had called it ”really galling” to read Stebbins’ account of the Newtown investigation in the newspaper after legislative leaders repeatedly asked, with no success, for information from the State Police as they try to craft a legislative response to the massacre that addresses gun violence, mental health and school security. The bipartisan closed-door talks continued last week, and a vote by the full General Assembly may be held before the end of the month.
”We are making decisions based on the best information we have in front of us,” Cafero said. ”One of the major concerns that I believe many of us had from the outset was that we would be putting this legislation together without ever having seen the police report on what took place. That is a huge issue.”•