Staff WriterFor the first time since the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, Peter Lanza, father of 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza, has spoken publicly about his son's actions. Though he has stated that he will never speak about the shooting on camera, Lanza interviewed with writer Andrew Solomon following the incident, and offered details regarding his son's unusual behavior, which only became more pronounced as he grew through adolescence. Solomon reports that the six interview sessions took place over a period of months, with some meetings lasting up to seven hours. The interview, which will appear in the New Yorker within the next two weeks, also delves into the role of Lanza's mother, Nancy Lanza, who was her son's first victim when he shot her four times in the head. Nancy was a collector of firearms, which Adam used to undertake his spree. She reportedly kept them in a lockbox in the basement of her home. Those who knew Nancy stated that she was always responsible with her guns. "The reason he shot Nancy four times was one for each of us: one for Nancy; one for him; one for (his brother) Ryan; one for me," said Peter Lanza during his interview. Nancy was also reported to have taken her son to shooting ranges when she was unable to leave him alone. They often communicated by e-mail despite living under the same roof, and she maintained a positive outlook on his behavior, even planning to relocate both Adam and herself to Washington state or North Carolina, possibly so Adam could attend a special school he had expressed interest in. As told by Peter Lanza, his son's behavior took an abrupt turn around the ages of 11 or 12, where he become markedly more frustrated and stress-addled. Peter had not seen his son for nearly two years prior to the shooting, and felt that his ex-wife, Nancy, was a significant factor in his increasing distance from young Adam. Despite achieving a 3.26 GPA while attending Western Connecticut State University, Adam Lanza had always been noticeably unusual. Former teachers remarked on his obsession with wars, battles and violence, stating that he would write ten pages rife with such graphic detail that his writing could not be shared with his classmates. Authorities found a military-style uniform among Lanza's possessions in his bedroom following the shooting. Alan Diaz, a former student alongside Lanza at Newtown High School, said: "I would call him a genius." His intelligence did not aid him in social situations however, and Diaz made attempts to include Lanza when others would not. Lanza would occasionally open up and tell jokes, but still had difficulty interacting and connecting with his peers. His son's total victim count is stated to be between 26 and 28: 20 children, six staff members, and one more when Adam put a handgun to his head and committed suicide as first responders arrived on the scene. "The social awkwardness, the uncomfortable anxiety, unable to sleep, stress, unable to concentrate, having a hard time learning, the awkward walk, reduced eye contact." Though Peter had visited with many different mental health professionals in regards to his son's unusual behavior, none of them determined the young boy to harbor violent tendencies. Peter also stated that he may have exacerbated the issue by accepting Asperger's as the root cause, later saying that, "Asperger's makes people unusual, but it doesn't make people like this." Lanza went on to say of his son, "You can't get any more evil," as well as commenting on how the shooting has affected him, "How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he's my son? A lot." Our condolences go out to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, as well as to Peter Lanza himself. Read the full interview here.
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