Hardball with Chris Matthews, 12/14/12, 7:00 PM ET

Shooting at elementary school leaves over 20 dead

MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, psychiatrist Josh Weiner, and former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt discuss the latest news about the shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday that left over 20 dead, including children.

The mind of a murderer: What drove the Newtown gunman?


Even as Americans grieve over the death of 27 people, including 20 children, in the shooting in Newtown, Conn., many are also wondering how anyone could wreak such a horror.

Adam Lanza, 20, is suspected of killing the children, in addition to his mother, a kindergarten teacher at the school on Friday, according NBC News. Lanza was also found dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Clint Van Zandt, an MNSBC analyst and former FBI profiler, and Josh Weiner, a psychiatrist, tried to make sense of the disturbing murders on Friday’s Hardball.

Van Zandt said anyone who kills their own mother is “capable of doing anything.” He added, “What did his mother do? She was a kindergarten teacher. She had children that loved her and she loved them…When he shot his mother and turned on those children, those children were part of his mother and she was part of them. He killed what his mother loved.”

“Perhaps this guy was going after his mom and he wanted to wipe out everything that she cared about,” Weiner speculated. He also said it was possible the gunman wanted “to be recognized on a grand stage,” and killing the children would be a way to do it.

It’s not yet clear if Lanza committed suicide or was killed.

Van Zandt said that often in such cases, the “individual just doesn’t want to be held responsible.” He added, “there may be part of him that realizes ‘I’ve done this horrific act. I deserve to die’ but when I see people kill themselves in a situation like that I believe they are trying to remove themselves and the scrutiny of themselves from their actions from the public.”


The mind of a murderer: What drove the Newtown gunman?