Father of School Shooter: ‘I Know Adam Would Have Killed Me’

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Adam Lanza

(CNN) — The father of Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza said his son would have killed him if he’d had the opportunity.

“With hindsight, I know Adam would have killed me in a heartbeat, if he’d had the chance,” Peter Lanza told New Yorker magazine in an interview that appears in the March 17 issue.

It’s the first time Peter Lanza has spoken publicly about his son.

“The reason he shot 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.

Authorities say Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother, Nancy, before fatally shooting 20 children, six staff members and himself at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

Peter Lanza said his son talked with many mental health professionals but none saw violent tendencies in his personality.

He said he may have overlooked troubling signs himself by accepting a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome, though he doesn’t think Asperger’s caused the violence.

“Asperger’s makes people unusual, but it doesn’t make people like this,” he said.

He also said his ex-wife didn’t detect the potential for violence.

“She never confided to her sister or best friend about being worried,” he said. “She slept with her bedroom door unlocked and kept guns in the house, which she would not have done if she were frightened.”

Peter Lanza said he thought his son was “a normal, weird little kid” but by the time he reached middle school “it was crystal clear something was wrong.”

“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.”

He said he thinks about his son and the massacre every waking hour.

“You can’t get any more evil,” he said. “How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he’s my son? A lot.”

He said he’s offered to meet victims of the shooting and two families took him up on the offer.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” he said. “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. A person that lost their son, their only son.”


  • Karentheis

    I would not beat yourself up! I am sure if you would of known you would of had him institutionalized. Get on with your life ,do not let your evil son ruin your life ! God bless you !

  • Kim Supermutt Goodman

    Asperger’s didn’t cause violence hurt and pain did. It is not easy living on this Earth when you don’t fit in. You want friendship but people reject you. You want attention but people ignore you. You want people to understand you but they think you are weird, odd or strange. When a person is different at some point they realize that they are different and they feel inferier to just about everyone. A child who is different needs their parents and family to comfort their pain and at least make an attempt to enter their world of isolation, emptiness and pain. They need to be told that even though they are different they still have value. The person needs a great deal of comfort. How would you feel if you were different and knew it? How would you feel if you wanted friends but got rejection and teasing because you lack what society called “appropiate” social skills? How would you feel if you could see the pain or sorrow those around you felt for you because you were not “normal?” How would you react if your heart hurt so bad from not getting your special needs met, from not being able to get that bond you so desperately needed from another human being or from being rejected and looked down on so much?

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