(NEW YORK) -- The father of Sandy Hook Elementary School gunman Adam Lanza says he carries guilt about his son’s violent rampage and wishes his son had never been born. “You can’t get any more evil,” Peter Lanza told the New Yorker in an article in its March 17 issue. “How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he’s my son? A lot.”
Peter Lanza hadn’t seen his son in the two years prior to the Dec. 14, 2012 shootings in Newtown, Conn., in which the 20-year-old killed his mother and murdered 26 others before taking his own life. Peter and Adam’s mother, Nancy Lanza, had divorced when Adam was in elementary school. Peter said he had tried to reconnect, but Adam continued to withdraw, ignoring his father’s requests.
In interviews with the New Yorker, Peter Lanza said he never goes an hour without thinking about the shooting. He wanted to speak out because, “I want people to be afraid of the fact that this could happen to them. It doesn’t have to be understood to be real."
Peter Lanza said he believes his son would have killed him if he had the chance.
Adam Lanza was cheerful but quiet during childhood, “just a normal little weird kid,” his father says. He even used his savings to buy Christmas toys for needy children. But as years passed, Adam Lanza became more troubled. He struggled in middle school after being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a diagnosis Adam refused to accept.
Peter Lanza believes the diagnosis masked deeper, darker issues -- possibly schizophrenia.
Nancy Lanza’s actions didn’t reflect her son’s growing danger, he said.
“She never confided to her sister or best friend about being afraid of him,” Peter Lanza said. “She slept with her bedroom door unlocked, and she kept guns in the house, which she would not have done if she were frightened.”
Following the shooting, Peter Lanza received letters of support from across the country. Some of them were written by people whose relatives have carried out public shootings. Other letters included religious items and candy. He was wary of eating the candy, just in case it contained poison.
He also met with relatives of two Sandy Hook victims, an experience he called “gut-wrenching.”
“A victim’s family member told me that they forgave Adam after we spent three hours talking. I didn’t even know how to respond,” he said.
Peter Lanza declined to disclose any details on his son’s funeral. Adam took his own life after shooting up the school, gunning down 20 students aged 6 and 7.
“No one knows that,” he told The New Yorker. “And no one ever will.”
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