Undated photo of Adam Lanza, who killed himself after fatally...

Undated photo of Adam Lanza, who killed himself after fatally shooting 27 people, including 20 schoolchildren, at a school in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012. (Dec. 31, 2012) Credit: NBC 4 NY

Among the passengers on the school bus that Marsha Moskowitz drove to and from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., for 12 years were Ryan and Adam Lanza. She knew them as the mild-mannered boys of her neighbor Nancy Lanza.

"She raised really nice boys, well-behaved," said Moskowitz, 56, who has lived in the idyllic community since 1987.

She added that Nancy Lanza, with whom she shared small talk at the Big Y grocery store recently, was a "caring mother, very nice to me -- lovely, just a very kind woman."

Police believe Nancy Lanza was killed by her youngest son, Adam, 20, who then shot and killed 20 of his mother's kindergarten students at the elementary school, along with six adult staff members. Adam Lanza then turned the gun on himself.

Moskowitz spoke Friday as she stood about 400 yards from the Yogananda Street home where Nancy Lanza had lived with her sons before Ryan, 24, now of Hoboken, N.J., moved out.

She said she was stunned that such a tragedy could happen in her community. And she recalled that she knew two of the children who died.

"They were very special kids," she said. "I knew their parents. I drove their siblings as well. The families are both just wonderful people who didn't deserve this. So innocent. That's what hurts the most. They didn't have a chance. You put them on the school bus, wave them off, and who would ever think you never see them again."

She added: "It's just not the place for that. It's one of the reasons why we moved here. It's supposed to be 'nicer in Newtown' -- that's one of the slogans."

Sandeep Kapur, who lives two doors down from the Lanza family, said he did not know them and was unaware of any disturbances at their home in the three years he has lived there.

He described the area as a subdivision of well-tended, 15-year-old homes on lots of an acre or more, where professionals work at companies like General Electric, Pepsi and IBM.

Some are doctors, and his next-door neighbor is a bank chief executive officer, said Kapur, a project manager at an information technology firm.

"The neighborhood's great," he said. "We have young kids, and they have lots of friends. If you drive past this neighborhood, it gives you a really warm feeling."

Local news clippings from recent years mention Adam Lanza among Newtown High School's honor roll students.

A friend of Ryan Lanza's in Hoboken, Jennifer Massolo, said Ryan Lanza was at his job at Ernst & Young in Manhattan when outlets began reporting he, and not his brother, was the Connecticut shooter. She said she called him soon after and he uttered some chilling words:

"I think my brother did it. I think he shot them all and my mom."

She said Lanza told her his brother was developmentally disabled and that he had not seen him in a while.

"He was, like, shocked," she said. "He said it must be his brother and he had to go to Connecticut."

Late Friday, Hoboken police confirmed they were questioning Ryan Lanza and a roommate at police headquarters.

Neither has been charged with a crime, said Hoboken Police Capt. Jim Fitzsimmons.

Ryan Lanza lives in a building in Hoboken called The Metropolitan, which police, the FBI and bomb squads descended on earlier in the day.

"He's a great kid," Massolo said of Ryan Lanza. "I feel so sorry for him."

Peter Lanza, the boys' father and former husband of Nancy Lanza, lives in Stamford, Conn., said a report on the website of the Stamford Advocate newspaper, in Connecticut.

The report said Peter Lanza was horrified when told by a reporter that his address had been linked to the massacre in Newtown. He declined to comment and went into his home, the report said.

Nancy and Peter Lanza began divorce proceedings in 2008, and Peter Lanza recently remarried and settled in Stamford, the report said.

He has worked as a tax specialist in the financial industry and has served as an adjunct professor at Northeastern University in Boston since 1995. He has also taught classes on tax partnerships at Fairfield University in Connecticut, the newspaper said.

With Sarah Crichton in Newtown, Conn., Kevin Deutsch in Hoboken, N.J., and AP

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