Newtown gunman's body collected by father's family

Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:47pm IST

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REUTERS - The body of gunman who killed 27 people and himself in Newtown, Connecticut, this month in the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history has been collected by his family from the state medical examiner's office, a spokesman for his father's family said on Monday.

A location and date for Adam Lanza's burial was not disclosed. His father, Peter Lanza of Stamford, Connecticut, claimed the body, said the spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Connecticut's chief medical examiner released Lanza's body on December 27, a spokesman for the office said.

Police say Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in her home on December 14 before forcing his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killing 20 first-grade students, six faculty members and himself.

"Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired," Peter Lanza said in a statement the day after the shooting.

Peter Lanza and Nancy Lanza divorced in 2009, and Adam Lanza continued to live with his mother in Newtown about 5 miles (8 km) from the Sandy Hook school.

Police have so far offered no motive behind the attack. Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance has said it will likely be months before a final report on the incident is released.

The shooting ranks as the second deadliest at a U.S. school or college, exceeded only by the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, which left 32 people dead.

The incident has renewed the debate about gun control in the United States. President Barack Obama on Sunday called the day of the Newtown shooting the worst day of his presidency and has pledged to bring the full weight of his office behind efforts to pass new gun control measures.

(Editing by Dan Burns and David Gregorio)

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