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Sandy Hook shooter used 'score sheet' and video game logic, according to NY Daily News report

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

The Connecticut State Police believe Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza applied video game logic to the shooting, based on documents the State Police found at his home — including a massive "score sheet" containing meticulous research into past massacres, reports the New York Daily News.

Lanza listed approximately 500 names in the spreadsheet along with details of the incidents, including the numbers of victims and the weapons used, according to an unnamed law enforcement veteran that the Daily News spoke with. The career cop was in attendance when Danny Stebbins, a colonel from the State Police, spoke about the Sandy Hook shooting at last week's mid-year meeting of the International Association of Police Chiefs and Colonels in New Orleans.

"It had to have taken years," the anonymous official told the Daily News. "It sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research." The spreadsheet itself was said to be 7 feet long by 4 feet wide.

According to the veteran, Stebbins said the State Police believe Lanza saw the massacre in terms of a video game. It has previously been reported that investigators found "thousands of dollars' worth" of violent games in his house.

"They don't believe this was just a spreadsheet," the longtime cop said. "They believe it was a score sheet," and that it was "the work of a video gamer."

"It really was like he was lost in one of his own sick games"

He said State Police officials also believe Lanza's suicide fits with their analysis of his thought process.

"It's why he didn't want to be killed by law enforcement," said the veteran to the Daily News. "In the code of a gamer, even a deranged gamer like this little bastard, if somebody else kills you, they get your points. They believe that's why he killed himself."

The veteran also described hearing Stebbins explain that Lanza may have learned certain tactics from games, including his strategy of reloading before entering another classroom even if his clip wasn't empty. The "tactical reload," said the officer, is something learned in "classic police training" and in games.

"It really was like he was lost in one of his own sick games. That's what we heard," he said.