The father of one of the children slain in yesterday’s Sandy Hook Elementary shooting offered forgiveness to the shooter, saying his love went out to them as well.
Robbie Parker, who lost his six-year-old daughter Emilie in the massacre yesterday said: ‘I’d live to offer our deepest condolences to all the families who were directly affected. It’s a horrific tragedy, and our hearts go out to them.
‘This includes the family of the shooter, and I want you to know that our love and support go out to you as well.’
Speaking live on CNN Saturday evening, Mr Parker, 30, was barely maintaining his composure as he spoke of his slain daughter, saying that he was ‘so blessed’ to be her dad.
The 30-year-old physician’s assistant said he wanted to get his message out to the greatest amount of people possible, saying that the medium of television was probably the best way to alert friends and family as to how he and his wife are coping.
‘I’ve been contacted by so many people wanting to know how we’re doing that this might be the best way to share those feelings,’ he said, saying that he extended his condolences to all of the other parents and family members who lost a child in the ‘horrible tragedy.’
In a remarkable turn of grace, Mr Parker also said that he offered condolences to the family of the shooter, Adam Lanza.
‘I want you to know that our love and support go out to you as well,’ he said.
Emilie’s card-making was especially beautiful this last October as she placed a card into the casket of her grandfather, who also recently died because of a tragic accident.’
He continued: ‘Emilie’s laughter was infectious, and everyone who met her would agree that the world was a better place because she was in it.’
A reporter in the audience asked Mr Parker to describe yesterday morning with Emilie, the last the two would ever share.
He said the morning started off just as any other. She was getting ready for school and said goodbye on her way out. ‘She said that she loved me, and gave me a kiss, and was out the door,’ the grief-stricken father said.
To close his moving eulogy, Mr Parker said that if there is anything to be learned from the massacre, it was that people should be ‘more compassionate and more humble people.’
Twenty children and six adults were killed when Adam Lanza opened fire on the once-peaceful town of Newtown, Connecticut, sending ripples of shock to through the nation.
The grade school shooting was one of the worst in history, second only to the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech, where 32 people were shot dead.