FOR THE RECORD: Newtown Shooting and Adam Lanza

By Sam Quiñones, A Reporter’s Blog

Today’s LA Times story is about Adam Lanza, the shooter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School horror in Newtown, Connecticut….

Here’s what didn’t make it into the story, from Olivia DeVivo, a thoughtful junior at UConn, who was kind enough to share her thoughts about the kid with whom she shared an English class when they both were sophomores at Newtown High School:

“…For Olivia DeVivo, Adam Lanza was a mystery throughout her sophomore year.

The two were in an Honors English class, reading Catcher in the Rye, Huckleberry Finn and Of Mice and Men.

Lanza sat in front of DeVivo, now 20, who remembers a young man who was thin, heartbreakingly shy and friendless.

“It was almost painful to have a conversation with him because he felt so uncomfortable,” DeVivo said.

DeVivo remembered a youth who was not “slacking off in the back of the classroom. He appeared to be paying attention, but when it came to class participation or any kind of interaction, he was not capable.”

“I’m not sure who his friends were. You can tell when there’s something a little off about a person. You could tell that it was more than just being shy,” she said.

Still, she said, “I never associated him with, or knew he had, any kind of disability.”

For a while Friday morning, five years later, DeVivo said she had trouble placing the name when she heard it for the first time connected to the shooting. It was only when she saw his photo that the memories of that sophomore English class came flooding back.

“I spent so much time in my English class wondering what he was thinking,” she said.

DeVivo is now at the University of Connecticut, double-majoring in Spanish and in psychology – the latter a long-time interest of hers.

“I think it was more because I was interested in psychology that I paid more attention and thinking maybe there was something more going on with him,” she said. “I didn’t want to reach out to him because he didn’t seem like he wanted to be approached and I didn’t want to put him in an uncomfortable.”

This article was first published in A Reporter’s blog.

Sam Quiñones has been a working reporter for 25 years, including 10 years in Mexico as afreelance writer. He is the author of two books, and many stories about immigrants, gangs, drug trafficking and more.

[Photo courtesy  DonkeyHotey]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

How a harsh criticism turned ‘Coco’ into Pixar’s most uniquely made movie yet

Victor Landa November 17, 2017

Director Lee Unkrich was hot off the box office success and Oscar win for 2010’s “Toy Story 3” when he delved into making a movie that focused on the Mexican […]

Trump Administration Targets and then Mocks Immigrant with Prosthetic Leg

Victor Landa November 15, 2017

A 20-year-old undocumented immigrant with prosthetic leg and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status has been detained by federal immigration agents and held without charges for over a month, treated inhumanely […]

More Latinas are becoming teachers and reshaping our nation’s classrooms

Victor Landa November 29, 2017

The growth of the Latino population in the United States will have a lasting cultural and intellectual impact beyond the arts, food, and celebrations. More and more, Latinas are becoming […]

As Numbers Grow, Recognizing Generations Of Latino Veterans

Victor Landa November 10, 2017

As the nation honors its veterans, government officials point to the growing numbers of Latinos in the military, while Hispanic scholars and historians remind us of the generations of Latino […]

U.S Hispanic Chamber Leader Who Has Had Turbulent Relationship With Trump May Be Ousted

Victor Landa November 22, 2017

The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) is moving behind the scenes to oust its prominent president Javier Palomarez over allegations that he misused the organization’s money for his personal […]

How Indie Latinx Comic Book Authors Are Capturing the Latinx Experience

Victor Landa November 13, 2017

Back in 2010, comics creator Javier Hernandez was walking around San Francisco with his friend Ricardo Padilla when he had an idea: Why don’t they build a comics convention focusing […]

Half of Latino Immigrant Characters on TV Are Portrayed as Criminals, Study Finds

Victor Landa November 1, 2017

Define American, the immigration nonprofit founded by Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, has released its first-ever media reference guide for writers, directors, and producers concerning Latino immigrant characters. Immigrants and […]

Could Hispanic vote push Lupe Valdez into Texas Governor’s Office?

Victor Landa December 8, 2017

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is running as a Democratic candidate for Texas Governor after a year of speaking out on big state issues– particularly the controversial sanctuary cities ban. Experts says […]