52-year-old Nancy Lanza was killed by her son, Adam, before Friday's shooting in the small town of Newtown. Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary school, killing 20 children and 6 adults.
Nancy owned a colonial-style house in the community of 27,000 people, 60 miles (97 km) from New York City.
In 2009, Adam's parents got a divorce, with father Peter moving to Stamford, Connecticut and remarrying. The family was quite well off, with Peter being vice president of taxes for GE Energy Financial Services. Adam's mother lived in a $537,000 (€208,000) house, built on 2.19 acres (8,862 square meters) of land.
According to the Daily Mail, Nancy Lanza was a firearm collector and she is the one that first taught her son how to shoot. Police reports say she owned a total of five firearms to her name, which she had registered in Connecticut.
She allegedly took both her sons to the firing range. Adam would eventually go on to take two of her guns and commit a massacre with them.
Dan Holmes, of Holmes Fine Gardens, told reporters about her love for guns – shooting and collecting them.
“She said she would often go target shooting with her kids,” he explains.
Speaking about a “high-end rifle” she had just received, Nancy was “very proud of it.” “She loved her guns,” Holmes describes.
Police pieced together a timeline for Friday, and believe that Adam took Nancy's car after shooting her. When they found his mother's vehicle near Sandy Hook, two handguns and one rifle were recovered in it – a Glock and a Sig Sauer, as well as a .223 caliber rifle.
Holmes, who had been hired to put up Christmas decorations in her garden, describes her as “very nice, very pleasant and always very appreciative of our work.”