Newtown gunman took college classes at age 16
Adam Lanza remembered as nice, quiet student by former classmates
The gunman who killed 26 children and adults in an elementary school took college classes when he was only 16, a spokesman for Western Connecticut State University said Monday.
Paul Steinmetz, spokesman for the Danbury school, confirmed that Adam Lanza earned a 3.26 grade point average while a student there. He dropped out of a German language class and withdrew from a computer science class, but earned an A in a computer class, A-minus in American history and B in macroeconomics.
He participated when called on by the teacher in his evening course on introductory German, according to Dot Stasny, who was one of about a dozen other students in the class in the spring of 2009. She said she and a classmate once invited him out to a bar but he declined, saying he was only 17.
"We attributed him being quiet to him being so much younger than the rest of us," said Stasny, 30. "I assumed he was this super smart kid who was just doing extra course work."
'A nice, quiet kid'
Stasny said she saw him later when he came in as a customer at a video game store where she was working. She said she shared a laugh with him about how difficult the German class was. She told him she failed one of the exams, and he mentioned he got a D.
"I just remember him as a nice, quiet kid," she said.
Gretchen Olson, who shared an introductory German class at Western Connecticut with Lanza, said Monday she also believed he was quiet because he was so young "in a class of 20-year-olds."
"We never really knew much about him," she said. "We said hi to him from time to time. He smiled sometimes." Lanza was among a small group of 16-year-olds among the school's 5,000 undergraduates, Steinmetz said.
The Hartford Courant and The Wall Street Journal first reported Lanza's academic record at Western Connecticut State. Steinmetz said Lanza took his last class in the summer of 2009 and didn't return.