First Selectman Pat Llodra was among a number of officials issuing brief reactions in the wake of the state's attorney's report on the 12/14 tragedy.
Mrs Llodra observed that "much of the detail in the report is presented in such a factual, neutral way that it almost felt unreal, sanitized somehow, and not really a telling of the horror that unfolded on that awful day."
The first selectman said the document for the most part offered few new insights for her, until she came to the parts that shed some light on the person of Adam Lanza, and of his mother Nancy Lanza.
"I am overwhelmingly sad for the loss of so many loved ones – and sad, too, for a young man isolated and damaged beyond reach by mental illness, so much so that even his one available parent could not make a positive difference," Mrs Llodra said.
"I will not judge the actions or choices of Nancy as she was certainly struggling, too, to find a way to support and love her son," the first selectman continued. "I was hoping to find more answers to why Adam acted out his anger and confusion on Sandy Hook School and am disappointed to be left still wondering."
Finally, seeing the story in its entirety reminded Mrs Llodra of the heroism of Newtown's police, and of the teachers and staff at Sandy Hook School.
"There are no words sufficient to express the honor and regard I hold for them in their acts of bravery and courage in the face of danger," she said.
Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe told The Bee that he sees the state's attorney's report release as a conclusion to another chapter in the community's healing process. He said he was also pleased to see official confirmation of a number of issues related to 12/14 that were matters of speculation in the media until the report was issued November 25.
Chief Kehoe said the inability to conclusively prove why the incident happened and what motivated the tragic sequence of events that played out on 12/14 will be a lingering question that might never be answered.
"The release of the report brings us to the next step in the recovery process for our resilient community," Chief Kehoe said. "Hopefully now the families and the community will be able to start moving beyond what happened that day."
The local chief said he knew State's Attorney Steven Sedensky and the Connecticut State Police were under tremendous pressure to produce the documentation released Monday.
"Their work is truly appreciated," Chief Kehoe said. "The process, and many delicate situations [related to the investigation] were handled with the greatest degree of professionalism. Our town is indebted to the investigators for their work on this."
Governor Dannel Malloy said Monday that his thoughts were with the people who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School, as they have been nearly every day since the tragedy.
"The release of this report will no doubt be difficult on them," Gov Malloy said in a prepared statement. "But if there is one thing that I believe we must do, it’s that we must honor the lives that were lost by taking steps to protect ourselves from another horror like this. I hope that the information in this summary and in the supporting documents that will be released by the State Police takes us closer to that goal.”
US Senator Richard Blumenthal said the report provides "a gripping, graphic reminder of the cruelty and brutality that caused this unspeakable tragedy, and a testament to the bravery and courage of scores of first responders."
Sen Blumenthal said the lessons of the report are simple.
"We must improve school security, increase mental health services, and require background checks for all gun purchases so we can keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people. We should not wait for another gun violence tragedy to institute these reforms and other common sense measures," Sen Blumenthal said. "The cost of inaction is too great.
“My thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the 26 victims and the entire Newtown community; all have remained resilient and resolute in the face of unspeakable tragedy," he added. "My hope is that this report adds momentum to the push to prevent gun violence, and that it provides the families with some closure in the wake of their tremendous loss.”