The father of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza has given his first comments on the tragedy in a chilling interview. In the interview with New Yorker magazine, Peter Lanza referred to his son as “evil” and said he has attempted to reach out to families who lost their children in the tragic shooting. In November 2012, Adam killed his mother before fatally shooting 20 children, six staff members and then himself during the massacre in Newtown, CT.
“With hindsight, I know Adam would have killed me in a heartbeat, if he’d had the chance. The reason he shot [mother] Nancy four times was one for each of us: one for Nancy; one for him; one for (his brother) Ryan; one for me,” he said. “You can’t get any more evil. How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he’s my son? A lot.”
Peter said he thought Adam was a “normal, weird little kid” as a child, but said it became evident something was wrong by the time he reached middle school. “The social awkwardness, the uncomfortable anxiety, unable to sleep, stress, unable to concentrate, having a hard time learning, the awkward walk, reduced eye contact,” he said. “You could see the changes occurring.”
The father took Adam to several mental health professionals and he was ultimately diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. However, none of the experts saw violent tendencies in his personality. Peter remains convinced that his son’s Asperger’s syndrome and the heinous shooting are two separate things, stating that “Asperger’s makes people unusual, but it doesn’t make people like this.”