(USA TODAY) -- The father of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter
who killed his mother, himself and 26 other people in 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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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
"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.
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.
The timing of the New Yorker
interview was not right for at least some residents of Newtown, which is
trying to move forward after the one-year anniversary of the shootings
on Dec. 12.
Newtown lawyer Monte Frank says he "cringed" this
morning when he saw news of the interview on television. Frank is in
Pennsylvania, one of 26 cyclists en route 400 miles from Newtown to
Washington to unite communities to make "our streets safer and put an
end to the gun-violence epidemic."
Newtown "is trying to heal,
move forward and work towards peace, hope and love," Frank says. "For
this story to come out 15 months after the unspeakable tragedy, only
serves as an another reminder of that horrible day and raises questions
as to why now."
Frank says he would have preferred the story hadn't been written.
says he hopes it doesn't turn the spotlight away from the 2nd Annual
Sandy Hook Ride on Washington, which is expected to end Tuesday with
rallies at the Washington National Cathedral and the steps of the U.S.
"Our ride is no longer about Newtown but is now America's
ride," Frank says. "We ride united with big cities and one-traffic
light towns across the nation to reduce gun violence. America needs to
stop fixating on the details of a murderer and his family but instead
focus on how Americans rise from the ashes to build bridges and come
together as one for positive change."