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Conn. shooter's aunt from Crystal Lake: Family is 'shaken to the core'

Published: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 9:28 a.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – The aunt of the suspect in the Connecticut school shooting says her family is "shaken to the core" by Friday's massacre that left 26 people dead, including 20 elementary-aged children.

"We're in total shock. No one can believe it," Marsha Lanza of Crystal Lake told the Northwest Herald late Friday night. "This whole thing is mind-boggling. We're shaken to the core."

Martha Lanza's sister-in-law, Nancy, was among those killed by Adam Lanza in Friday's rampage.

In a phone interview with the Northwest Herald, Martha Lanza said she had not seen Adam since he was about 3 years old, but communicated regularly with his mother.

"I knew he had some learning issues in school," Martha said, "but I don't know if there were any behavioral issues. Right now, we don't know anymore than you probably do."

Martha said her husband, Nancy's brother, is in North Carolina working because he lost his job in Illinois. She said her husband saw Adam this past summer and did not notice that he was suffering from any mental health issues.

"I'm numb; my heart is absolutely numb," Martha Lanza said.

Martha Lanza has lived with her family in Crystal Lake since 1999. They have five boys, two of whom attend Prairie Ridge High School.

She told The Associated Press that her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it.

Marsha Lanza described Nancy Lanza as a good mother and kindhearted.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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