When Alissa and Robbie Parker met face to face recently with the father of the young man who killed their daughter, they were not angry with him and did not blame him for the massacre.
Instead, the Parkers said, they and Peter Lanza shared their condolences for one another and talked about his son, Adam Lanza, during the emotional meeting which lasted more than an hour.
“I don’t feel like he should be held responsible for what happened that day,” Mrs. Parker said. “That was not ultimately his decision to do that, so how can I hold him responsible? Were there missteps in the raising of his son? Possibly.”
Mrs. Parker said she told Peter Lanza that there was an opportunity to learn from the killings and this his cooperation was vital.
The Parkers would not reveal what Peter Lanza said about his son. The Connecticut State Police have not released any information about a motive.
Mr. Lanza has declined to comment about the meeting with the Parkers, who said they came away from it with a better understanding of Adam Lanza.
Mr. Parker, who was among the first of the victims’ parents to publicly discuss the shooting, said he and his wife wanted to meet with Peter Lanza because he was the only person who could answer their questions.
“Adam’s gone and his mother’s gone, and those are the two people that could give us the most information to the questions that all of us have,” he said.
The Parkers, who have two other daughters, ages 3 and 5, said they were not angry because they know they cannot undo what happened at the school that day.
“So the idea of wasting any energy on anger towards somebody or trying to point blame at anybody seems like a waste of time and energy that we can use to be better parents to our girls,” Mr. Parker said.
However, Ms. Parker said she believed Ms. Lanza bore some responsibility for what happened because the Bushmaster rifle used in the shooting belonged to her.
Asked whether she forgives Adam Lanza, Ms. Parker said it was not her burden to bear.
“I do hold him accountable, but I feel like God will determine that,” she said. “And I feel like he’s in a place where the judgment will happen, and I don’t have to. I don’t have to judge him, and I’m at peace with that.”