(Updated 2:16 p.m.) Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called Thursday for the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office to release additional information regarding the ongoing Newtown shooting investigation following outcry from lawmakers over details leaked by the State Police.
Malloy’s request to prosecutors comes amid criticisms from House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, who called the information State Police Colonel Danny Stebbins shared with other law enforcement officers at a conference in New Orleans, a “slap in the face,” to the families of the Newtown victims.
Malloy said he was also “disappointed and angered” to learn the information had been released and published in a newspaper. He said he expected a report from prosecutors by March 29.
However, Cafero said it’s also a slap in the face toward the General Assembly and its leadership who are trying to craft a legislative response to the shooting.
“We’ve been respectful of the fact that law enforcement has to conduct its investigation,” Cafero said Thursday. “We didn’t want to interfere nor did we expect them to give us any information that would compromise that, but when you pick up the Daily News and realize that one of our chief law enforcement officers goes down to New Orleans and tells strangers, albeit of the same profession, about information found at the scene— information that could be helpful to how we craft this legislation and we don’t know about it. That’s wrong.”
Malloy said he was “bewildered” by Cafero’s demands for a special briefing to help inform legislation under negotiation by lawmakers.
“To Mr. Cafero and those others I must ask: what more could you possibly need to know?” he asked in a statement. “We know for a fact that on December 14, a very disturbed young man took a military-style rifle with high-capacity magazines into a school and murdered 20 innocent children and six innocent adults.”
The governor said the majority of Connecticut residents want to see lawmakers ban the sale of the gun used in the shooting and outlaw the high capacity ammunition magazines the gunman used. He said people also want laws making it more difficult for guns to fall into the wrong hands.
But many questions remain for lawmakers.
Cafero said he would like to know if the gunman attempted to purchase a gun, how the weapons were stored in the house, and how big were the magazines he used? Malloy said last week that the gunman taped together two high capacity magazines to “maximize the amount of death and destruction that he could accomplish in a relatively short period of time.”
As details both large and small begin to leak out, Cafero said he wants to know if there’s any information that may be helpful “without compromising a criminal investigation” about what happened on Dec. 14.
According to the New York Daily News, Stebbins spoke for a long time about the morning of Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary.
In a statement State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said there aren’t currently plans to release more information about the investigation publicly, which is still several months away from completion.
Vance said sensitive information was discussed at the New Orleans seminar, which was designed for law enforcement professionals. He said Stebbins spoke about the tactical approaches used by first responders on Dec. 14, as well as officer and public safety lessons learned through the incident.
“Following each tragic mass murder incident in this country it is customary for law enforcement to share their lessons learned from the investigation so that other law enforcement agencies can learn,” he said.
Vance said the State Police will not speak publicly about the ongoing investigation and will not distribute information until after the families of the victims are informed.
“The families of the victims continue to be a priority in this investigation and this fact was clearly stated at the seminar,” he said. “It is unfortunate that someone in attendance chose not to honor Colonel Stebbins’ request to respect the families’ right to know specifics of the investigation first.”