To the Editor:
Dr Adrienne Bentman of the state’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission complains that State’s Attorney Sedensky’s final report released November 25 “is like someone threw up the pieces of a puzzle and then said here’s a few pieces of the sky and a few pieces of the grass.”
One of the pieces left on the floor is the identity of the shooting range referenced in the report’s only paragraph that touches on the shooter’s shooting history prior to 12/14: “Over the years the shooter enjoyed target shooting and would go to a range [singular] with his brother and mother… Both the mother and the shooter took the National Rifle Association (NRA) safety courses… Both would shoot pistols and rifles at a local range [singular]…”
The Connecticut Department of Public Safety’s Investigation Report released December 27 reveals that the shooter was a frequent active shooter at not one but all four of the public-access ranges closest to his home: Fairfield County Indoor Shooting Range, Monroe; Shooters Pistol Range (indoor), New Milford; Bridgeport Shooting Range (indoor), Bridgeport; and Wooster Mountain Shooting Range (outdoor), Danbury.
The shooter and his mother completed the NRA Basic Rifle and Basic Pistol courses, respectively, at the Monroe range on February 24, 2010. NRA instructor Christian Hansen stated that the shooter and his mother frequently shot guns rented there. The shooter’s father took the shooter several times to the same range to shoot rented guns. After the Monroe range burned down November 3, 2010, the shooter and his mother shot at the New Milford range beginning February 18, 2011.
The shooter’s mother told a retired police officer that she and the shooter shot frequently at the Bridgeport range. The same witness related that he saw the shooter and his mother at the Danbury range shooting “a Bushmaster AR-15 as well as a Glock… handgun” and that, at her request, he gave the shooter a shooting lesson. These were the Bushmaster XM15-E2S .233 semiautomatic rifle (purchased March 28, 2011) and Glock 20 10mm semiautomatic handgun (purchased January 5, 2012) that the shooter used on 12/14. The shooter’s father stated that when he took him to the Danbury range the shooter brought “two long guns”—the Bushmaster and the Savage MKIIF .22 bolt-action rifle, also used on 12/14.
Russell Hanoman stated that the shooter and his mother shot often at the Blue Trail Rifle Range (indoor and outdoor), Wallingford. This is a partner range in First Shots, a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) marketing program with which the range’s Women’s Pistol Club and Junior Rifle Club and slogan—“where shooting is a family sport”—are aligned. Co-owner Deborah Lyman is director of the Junior Division of the Connecticut State Rifle & Revolver Association, whose past director is Patricia Clark. On 12/14, Ms Clark was vice chair of the NRA Youth Program Committee and chair of the NRA Nominating Committee, on which George Kollitides served. Mr Kollitides is CEO of Freedom Group, maker of the Bushmaster. Ms Clark and the NSSF are located in Newtown.
Split Rock Road, Newtown December 30, 2013