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