'Painfully Shy,' 'Strange'
Andrew Lapple sat next to Lanza in homeroom in their senior year at Newtown High.
Lapple described him as a skinny, reserved kid "who never really talked at all."
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Newtown, CT, USA
Lanza tried his hand at Little League baseball but wasn't very good. He was more of a "tech-geek," Lapple said.
"He was always carrying around his laptop holding onto it real tight,'' Lapple said. "He walked down the halls against the wall almost like he was afraid of people. He was definitely kind of strange but you'd never think he'd do something like this."
Rebecca Jaroszewski said she was in the same first- and third-grade classes with Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary. She said the memory that stands out most is Lanza standing alone while other children played at recess, straining himself to make his face turn red and making animal-like noises.
He did this often, Jaroszewski said. "He would seem really angry, but he wouldn't tell people why," she said.
When she heard the news about the shootings, "It clicked for me when I realized who it was," Jaroszewski said.
Another former classmate of Lanza's remembered him as quiet and shy and socially awkward.
Kateleen Foy, now an undergraduate at Hofstra University in New York, said she was in Lanza's seventh-grade class at St. Rose of Lima School in Newtown.
She recalled that he joined the class after the school year began and left before school got out for the summer.
"He was really shy, really painfully shy," Foy said. "He was a little hard to talk to."
Foy said she didn't recall seeing Lanza again after he left St. Rose until she spotted him in a hall while they were students at Newtown High School.
"I want people to know he wasn't always a monster," Foy said. "He became one, but he wasn't always that way."
Foy said she and other students accepted his shyness because, she said, he had been home-schooled and "hadn't really been socialized."
In high school, "There were never any concrete signs of anything like [violence]. He went with the flow. … He flew under the radar,'' Foy said.
Another high school classmate, Ryan Schmidt, said Lanza "kept to himself. … He was just a bit off. He seemed like he was always awkward and looking around expecting something or someone to be coming at him. Twitchy, almost."
Cindy Kromberg, mother of one of Lanza's Newtown High classmates, Kyle Kromberg, recalled Lanza as "such a quiet, odd child." She said he was "a kid that didn't make eye contact, very introverted, very shy, very odd, very not mainstream."
Nicholas Martinez, who rode the school bus with Lanza when they were both seventh-graders at St. Rose of Lima, recalled talking with Lanza about classic rock, which they both enjoyed. Martinez said he remembered that Lanza had been home-schooled for a time.
"Looking back now," Martinez said, "it just seems like there was a lot beneath the surface that was never attended to."