The father of Adam Lanza, who killed 20 young children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, has broken his silence for the first time, telling the New Yorker about his son, “You can’t get any more evil.”
Peter Lanza, a finance executive who divorced Adam’s mother Nancy in 2009, spoke with the New Yorker writer Andrew Solomon during several extensive interviews leading up to a 7,600-word story published on Monday. “You can’t get any more evil,” Peter said of his son. “How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he’s my son? A lot.”
On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza went on a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Before the massacre, Adam fatally shot his mother Nancy. As first responders arrived at the school, he shot himself in the head. It was one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history and prompted a national debate about gun control.
More than a year after the shooting, Peter described his son’s upbringing. He said that by the time Adam entered middle school, “it was crystal clear something was wrong.” Adam was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, but his father thinks that had little to do with the eventual shootings. “Asperger’s makes people unusual, but it doesn’t make people like this,” he told Solomon.
“With hindsight, I know Adam would have killed me in a heartbeat, if he’d had the chance,” Peter said. After the shootings, he shied away from the press, but said he broke his silence because “I want people to be afraid of the fact that this could happen to them.”