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Residents In Killer’s Neighborhood Try To Make Sense Of Newtown’s Nightmare

Day Of Terror Started On Idyllic Yogananda Street, Not Far From The School
SWAT team members canvas the neighborhood where the Newtown school massacre killer lived with his mother on Dec. 14, 2012. (Photo: CBS 2)

SWAT team members canvas the neighborhood where the Newtown school massacre killer lived with his mother on Dec. 14, 2012. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — The day of deadly terror began at the home the gunman shared with his mother. Police would later find her dead inside.

It is where the unthinkable chain of events began, Yogananda Street, the neighborhood where 20-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman Adam Lanza lived with his mother, Nancy.

On Friday morning he took the guns that were registered to his mother, murdered her and then went on his rampage, CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported.

It is the kind of street that comes to mind when you visualize the bedroom communities of Connecticut – idyllic, picturesque and perfect. But on Friday night the neighborhood was marred by crime tape and the presence of the Connecticut State Police officers.

“It’s brutal. You want to think you live in a nice, happy town and then something like this pops up,” neighbor Tom Haitz said.

People who live around Yogananda Street said they were shaken by the terrifying events that unfolded just hours earlier: SWAT team members in full gear running through the streets, searching for the 20-year-old killer.

“My daughter went out to check and there was a policeman out there and she walked over to ask him what was going on and he immediately told her, found out if she was alone and she said no. And then he told her that we needed to leave the house,” Diane Froelick said.

But what police found instead was Nancy Lanza’s body inside her home, murdered by her own son with the guns registered in her name. Minutes later he tore through the nearby elementary school on a killing spree.

Haitz’s wife is a substitute teacher at the school, but she wasn’t working Friday.

“She knew everybody. She’s just in tears back at the house,” Haitz said.

Police were keeping guard of the neighborhood where a mother was murdered inside her home, just a couple miles from where 20 children were gunned down – a heartbreaking reality in this town once-seemingly sheltered from this kind of evil.

“This idyllic New England hamlet and there was bit of isolation thinking tragedy won’t happen here, now it has. Unfortunately, I think it will define this town,” resident James Dietter said.

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