School Shooter Attended College Classes as 16-Year-Old

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School Shooter and Mother Visited Gun Ranges

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School Shooter and Mother Visited Gun Ranges (ABC News)

Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who killed 20 children and six adults in a rampage at a Connecticut elementary school, took six classes at Western Connecticut State University in 2008 and 2009, beginning when he was just 16, and had a grade point average of 3.26.

Lanza was described by neighbors and former classmates as being very bright, but they also say he was also socially awkward and deeply troubled.

According to Paul Steinmetz, Director of University of Relations at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Lanza started at the school in the summer of 2008, took a couple classes that fall and then in the spring and summer of 2009.

A 16 year old attending classes rare, not unique, Steinmetz said.

He said that some high school students sign up for classes at the college if they are particularly good in some subject. He said the school has probably a few 16-year-olds every semester.

Lanza took courses in computer science, such as website design, the computer language called BASIC, and data modeling, as well as in philosophy, American history and economics.

Steinmetz said he had not heard from anybody on the staff who has any knowledge of Lanza at all, but it would be unusual for a professor to remember a student in a class from four years ago.

He said that in the classes Lanza took there would be 20 to 25 students.

Long before Lanza's spree residents of Newtown had noticed that tall, pale boy was different, and believed he had some kind of unspecified personality disorder.

"Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were five years old," wrote a neighbor and former classmate Timothy Dalton on Twitter. "As horrible as this was, I can't say I am surprised."

In school, Lanza carried a black briefcase and spoke little. Every day, he wore a sort of uniform: khakis and a shirt buttoned up to the neck, with pens lined up in his shirt pocket.

A former classmate in his 10th grade honors English class, Olivia DeVivo, says he "was always very nervous and socially awkward."

She told ABC News that "he didn't really want to be spoken to" and that when teachers would call on him "it appeared physically difficult for him to speak."

Lanza avoided public attention and had few, if any, friends, though he was a member of the high-school tech club. He liked to sit near the door of the classroom to make a quick exit.

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