Newtown Officials Vote to Raze Home of School Shooter

The Newtown Legislative Council voted Wednesday night to tear down the home of the man who killed 26 first-graders and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School and preserve the lot as open space.

The Board of Selectmen recommended the move to the council earlier this month. The town, which acquired the property at 36 Yogananda Street in December, is also considering a limitation on the deed that would send proceeds from any sale or development of the land directly to the victims' families.

"The process bringing into the Board of Selectman was an outreach to the families of the victims and the neighbors of that house to determine their sentiments and what action would best honor particularly the families of the victims," Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra said Wednesday. "The recommendation I’m bringing to you is for demolition of that house."

The family of six-year-old Dylan Hockley, who died at Sandy Hook, said they left the neighborhood because it was too painful to drive past the shooter's house.

"Not only is the property a constant reminder of the evil that resided there – those of us who walk, run, drive, ride or otherwise must pass it multiple times a day are having a hard time moving on," wrote another neighbor.

Llodra said she estimates the demolition would cost around $29,000, and, if all goes according to plan, would take place in the spring. Money would be allocated from an insurance fund set up after the shooting.

Although the plan cleared a major hurdle with the council vote, it's not yet set in stone. The proposal will go back to the board of selectmen, which will address it at a public meeting before signing off on the item.

Llodra said the board will likely address the demolition at its next meeting as a formality to make tonight's decision official.

A bank acquired the property after the school shooting and gave it to the town in December. Llodra previously said there was "no exchange of money for the property."

The colonial home, built in 1998, was assessed at $366,540 in 2012, according to town property records. It belongs to Nancy Lanza's estate.

Ryan Lanza, the shooter's brother and heir to the estate, authorized the deal of deeding the property to town, The Hartford Courant reported. The home has stood vacant since the 2012 tragedy.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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