Two weeks after one of the most deadly mass shootings in America’s history where a 20-year-old Connecticut man stormed an elementary school and shot and killed 20 first graders, four staffers and then himself, the Imperfect Parent is learning that a prominent university will study the killer’s DNA.
Adam Lanza was widely believed to suffer from Asperger, a high functioning form of Austism, however, violent and sadistic behavior is not common in those with Asperger, leaving many to wonder if there wasn’t some sort of sociopathy or neurological anomaly that predisposed the shooter to acting out on killing so many youngsters in cold blood.
Now, a team of geneticists are working to uncover if Lanza had any particular DNA patterns that might be associated with violent or aggressive behavior.
According to ABC News, one professor offered a reason for the study. Arthur Beaudet, Chairman of Molecular and Human Genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine, said, “They might look for mutations that might be associated with mental illnesses and ones that might also increase the risk for violence.”
“I don’t think any one of these mutations would explain all of (the mass shooters), but some of them would have mutations that might be causing both schizophrenia and related schizophrenia violent behavior,” Beaudet continued.
Ethical concerns about isolating such genes have been discussed as certain characteristics of sociopath killers are not always an indication of whether a person with such DNA patterns will definitely become violent. Other experts warn that DNA markers aren’t yet advanced enough to make such a distinction.
Earlier reports suggested that the Lanza family donated the shooter’s brain to the University as well, although it has been rumored Lanza shot himself in the head, lessening the likelihood of such a suggestion. It is not uncommon for mass shooters to shoot themselves in the head tendency to shoot themselves in the head, leaving researchers little to go off of in terms of examining the tangible elements of their brain.
Studies will likely also include the DNA structure of the mother, Nancy Lanza, whom Adam Lanza fatally shot four times in the face before going on his killing rampage.