The mother and first victim of the Connecticut gunman who took 27 lives including his own was a 'prepper', who prepared for a coming doomsday by stockpiling food and weapons.

View Comments

The mother and first victim of the Connecticut gunman who took 27 lives including his own was a 'prepper', who prepared for a coming doomsday by stockpiling food and weapons.

Nancy Lanza was shot several times by her son, 20-year-old Ryan Lanza, while she lay in bed, before he went on to shoot 20 children and five more adults before turning the gun on himself.

Reports are starting to emerge of the troubled young man and his unusual upbringing as America struggles to come to terms with the scale of the loss in Newtown, Connecticut.

Adam Lanza is said to have been a loner, a quiet genius who rarely spoke and didn't feel pain, but was described as 'brilliant' by peers.

Nancy Lanza

He was reportedly homeschooled by his mother, a school principal and gun enthusiast, who wasn't satisfied with the education her son was receiving.

It was at that home where Adam picked up one of his mother's several guns, a military grade AR-15 with 'hundreds' of rounds, and took his first victim.

Ms Lanza owned five guns, two handguns, a semi-automatic rifle and two hunting rifles, which her sister-in-law said she had for self-defence since her divorce in 2008.

As America searches for answers, investigators are turning towards Nancy Lanza's supposed identification as a survivalist.

The Daily Mail reports Ms Lanza stockpiled weapons and food for what she saw as America's coming economic collapse.

The 'prepper' revelations may provide one insight into Adam Lanza's motive for taking so many innocent lives.

Ms Lanza's sister-in-law said Nancy was 'meticulous' with her guns and would never leave them out.

Police expect their investigation into every aspect of the shooting to continue for some time, but analysis of the gunman's computer is said to provide significant insight into his motives for the rampage.

CHURCH PLANS TO PICKET CHILDREN'S FUNERALS

Meanwhile internet activist group Anonymous has attacked extremist Christian group the Westboro Baptist Church after the group promised to picket the funerals of victims of the massacre.

The hacktivist group says it has obtained the personal details of dozens of the church’s leaders, and has released them publicly.

The church's main website and a number of other websites which denounce homosexuality and Judaism have also been taken down.

The Westboro Baptist Church, Photo: Getty

On Friday the church's leader, Shirley Phelps-Roper, praised the gunman and said it would picket the chuches to "sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment [sic]."

The church's leaders have responded to Anonymous’ attacks, saying they only serve to spread the church's message.

"Thanks, Anonymous! Your efforts to shut up God's word only serve to publish it further. God did that! Our response to you? Bring it, cowards", Ms Phelps-Roper’s daughter Megan tweeted this morning.

For its part, Anonymous says in a video its campaign against the church is far from over.

"Attrition is our weapon, and we will waste no time, money, effort, and enjoyment in tearing your resolve into pieces, as with exposing the incongruity of your distorted faith," the video says.