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Parents of Newtown victim Emilie Parker don't blame killer's dad

Published March 22, 2013 7:15 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Newtown, Conn. • When Alissa and Robbie Parker met face to face recently with the father of the young man who killed their daughter and 19 other first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School, they weren't angry with him and didn't blame him for the massacre.

Instead, the Parkers said they and Peter Lanza shared their condolences for one another and talked about his son, Adam Lanza, during the emotional meeting, which lasted more than an hour.

"I don't feel like he should be held responsible for what happened that day," Alissa Parker told "CBS This Morning" during the second part of an interview that aired Friday. "That was not ultimately his decision to do that, so how can I hold him responsible? Were there missteps in the raising of his son? Possibly."

Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot 20 children and six educators with a military-style rifle on Dec. 14, then killed himself as police arrived. Authorities say he also killed his mother, Nancy, at their Newtown home before he went to the school. The Parkers lost their 6-year-old daughter, Emilie, in the rampage.

The Parkers wouldn't reveal what Peter Lanza said about his son. Connecticut state police haven't released any information about a motive, but people close to the investigation have said that Adam Lanza showed interest in other mass killings and had literature on other mass shootings at his home.

Peter Lanza, who was divorced from Nancy Lanza, has declined to comment about the meeting with the Parkers.

Asked whether she forgives Adam Lanza, Allisa Parker said it's not her burden to bear.

"I do hold him accountable, but I feel like God will determine that," she said. "And I feel like he's in a place where the judgment will happen, and I don't have to. I don't have to judge him, and I'm at peace with that."