US killer's psychiatrist living in NZ

By Andrew Koubaridis

Adam Lanza (left) killed 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. Photo / AP
Adam Lanza (left) killed 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012. Photo / AP

A psychiatrist who treated the gunman responsible for the Sandy Hook massacre - and who faced allegations of misconduct in the United States - is now living in New Zealand.

Paul Fox was Adam Lanza's psychiatrist when the future killer was a teenager, and United States investigators interviewed him by telephone in the days after the murders of 20 children and six adults.

The 20-year-old killed himself when police arrived at the elementary school on December 14, 2012. It was later discovered he killed his mother before driving to the school and embarking on the rampage.

The shooting was the second-deadliest in US history and caused worldwide angst over gun control in the United States.

From New Zealand, Dr Fox told the detectives he last saw Lanza about five years before the killings and remembered little about him.

He had also destroyed Lanza's psychiatric records, which is allowed for under state regulations.

The official report into the Sandy Hook shootings said Dr Fox could recall Lanza at about 15 years old and that he had aggression problems, and was possibly suffering from Aspergers syndrome.

"He recalled Adam as very rigid and resistant to engagement," according to media coverage of the report.

However, Dr Fox could remember few other details about him. He was not working as a psychiatrist at the time of the shooting because he surrendered his licence to practise amid allegations of negligence and "possible boundary violations".

Those allegations related to a patient he treated in the years after Lanza, Newstimes.com reported. The website said Dr Fox gave up his licence before he could be interviewed by a state medical board.

The Stamford Advocate said Dr Fox and his lawyers were able to "broker a deal" so he did not have to appear before the board and face a public hearing of the accusations.

Shortly after, he moved to New Zealand, where international media reported he has been working in child social services.

But a spokeswoman for Child, Youth and Family yesterday told the Herald an initial search did not show any record of Dr Fox working for the agency. She said there was a man by the same name who worked for CYF but he was not the same person.

Sandy Hook massacre

* The second-worst mass shooting in US history, the "Sandy Hook'' massacre occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the small town of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.

* Twenty children and six adults were killed during the rampage, which ended when gunman Adam Lanza shot himself.

* Many students were saved by the bravery and quick-thinking of their teachers, who barricaded them into classrooms to stop Lanza getting in.

* An investigation later revealed the shooting occurred within five minutes, and 156 bullets were fired.

- NZ Herald

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