Peter Lanza, the father of suspected shooter Adam Lanza, has released a statement offering sympathy to the victims of his son’s attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
In the statement, the shooter’s father expresses remorse, grief and bewilderment over the tragedy caused by his son.
On Friday morning, Adam Lanza is believed to have entered Sandy Hook Elementary School armed with multiple firearms and killed 26 people, 20 of them young children, before killing himself. Adam Lanza is also believed to have killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their home in Newtown.
Peter Lanza’s full statement appears below, as reported by the Associated Press:
"Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured. Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are. We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired."
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Peter Lanza had absolutely no foreknowledge of his son’s attack on the Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to Gothamist. Peter Lanza learned of his son’s mass shooting only after being confronted by a reporter outside his home on Friday afternoon.
Maggie Gordon, the reporter for the Stamford (Conn.) Advocate who first acquainted Peter Lanza with reports of his son’s actions, wrote of the encounter, “[I]t was obvious that this moment, shortly after 1:30 p.m. Friday, was the first time he had considered his family could have been involved.”
Peter Lanza and Nancy Lanza divorced in 2009, and Adam Lanza lived with his mother, although his father was afforded limited visitation rights.