Ryan Lanza, Wrongly Named As Mass Murderer, Left To Grieve

Hoboken man learns his brother killed 27 people, including their mother.

Ryan Lanza was at his job in Manhattan on Friday when news outlets began to report that he had massacred 20 school children in a sleepy Connecticut town.

The reports said Lanza, a 24-year-old Quinnipiac University graduate, had murdered someone in his Hoboken apartment and then drove to Newtown, Conn., where he used a .223 caliber rifle and two other guns to kill 27 people before turning the gun on himself.

The dead included his mother, Nancy.

Lanza's thoughts quickly went to his developmentally disabled younger brother, Adam, whom he began to fear may have been responsible for the violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, friends said.

As media reports continued to name Ryan Lanza as the shooter and plastered his face across the world, he took to Facebook and told friends he was not the man responsible for the brutal slaying.

"Oh my god, I think my mother is dead," he wrote, a friend told Patch.

Ryan Lanza and his roommate were being questioned Friday night at Hoboken Police headquarters. Neither have been charged with any crime, Hoboken Police Captain Jim Fitzsimmons said.

"Ryan is in shock," a close friend, Brett Wilshe, told Patch.

Lanza works in the city at a financial company, Ernst & Young, and lives in a five-story brick building on Grand Street known as "The Metropolitan."

Media outlets quickly scrambled to "The Metropolitan," where Hoboken police gathered with FBI agents. Initial reports said that someone was killed at the apartment and that Lanza's girlfriend was missing. As curiosity grew from onlookers and media members, police draped yellow police tape around the perimeter, closing both sides of Grand Street just after 2:30 p.m.

No bodies were found inside the building, Fitzsimmons said.

Lanza was planning to head to Connecticut after hearing about the shooting, friends told Patch.

Those who know the Hobokenite, described as "nice" and committed to his friends, were also shocked by the news.

"At first you're devastated that 30 people were shot to death," friend Katie Colaneri told Patch. "And then you find out it's someone that you know, that you've met, that you've hugged. And you don't know whether to feel angry or sad. You find out your friend is alive but caught up in this mess. It's incredible."

"He's not a guy capable of shooting up a school," another friend of Ryan's told Patch Friday afternoon.


Patch Local Editor Paul Milo contributed to this story. 

John Santaella December 20, 2012 at 06:24 AM
I do not in any way wish to trivialize what has happened in Newton, CT. Murder is horrendous and the numbers in one episode don't make more or less so. There are more suicides in this country by guns than there are murders by guns. Those suicides are by and large committed by handguns than by semi-automatic rifles. Revolver or pistol; one shot is all it takes. Most people who own guns do not commit crimes with them. Notice I did not say ''do not commit crimes'' I'm sure many bankers own guns and they'll rob you with a pen than with a gun.
Heidi Jones December 20, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I do hope Ryan and his father know that there are people out here hoping and praying for his family as well. They are victims of this tragedy too and it's not fair to assume they aren't hurting and grieving.
Kat K December 21, 2012 at 01:38 PM
My heart goes out to Ryan Lanza. I can't even imagine what he must be going through. I will keep him in my prayers, as he is a victim of this whole ordeal as well. Peace Be With You, Ryan.
John Santaella December 21, 2012 at 08:01 PM
If it were me I'd be wanting a beer about now.
Anabell Jones January 02, 2013 at 08:00 PM
I'm not saying teaching gun safety will end the recklessness of gun use http://www.airsplat.com/airsoft-safety.htm but it does not hurt to educate!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »