The father of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter who killed his mother, himself and 26 other peoplein 2012, says in his first public remarks on the tragedy that he is sure his son would have killed him too.
"With hindsight, I know Adam would have killed me in a heartbeat, if he'd had the chance. I don't question that for a minute," Peter Lanza tells the New Yorker in a profile published Sunday.
Lanza, noting that 20-year-old Adam had shot his mother Nancy four times, says he believes that was "one for each of us: one for Nancy; one for him; one for Ryan; one for me." Ryan is Peter's other son, who is older than Adam.
The author of the article, Andrew Solomon, writes that Peter Lanza approached him last year as the anniversary of the Dec. 14 shootings approached and met him six times for long interviews.
Lanza says he had not seen his son for two years at the time of the shootings and still does not think the tragedy could have been predicted.
"Any variation on what I did and how my relationship was had to be good, because no outcome could be worse," he says.
At another point, he says, "You can't get any more evil," adding "How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he's my son? A lot."
Lanza, who had divorced Adam's mother in 2009, says his son began to change during middle school, when he quit playing the saxophone, stopped climbing trees, avoided eye contact, and developed a stiff, lumbering gait.
"It was crystal clear something was wrong," he says. "The social awkwardness, the uncomfortable anxiety, unable to sleep, stress, unable to concentrate, having a hard time learning, the awkward walk, reduced eye contact. You could see the changes occurring."
Peter, who at one point told the New Yorker that he wishes Adam had never been born, says he had offered to meet families of the victims and that two had taken up his offer.
"It's gut-wrenching," he tells the magazine. "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.