Father of six-year-old victim extends prayers and support to family of shooter

Examiner says victims were shot multiple times at close range

Jessica Hill/AP

The father of a Grade 1 student killed in Friday’s elementary school massacre is urging America to resist the impulse to define itself by the tragedy. Robbie Parker, father of six-year-old Emilie, says the mass shooting must inspire Americans to act with more compassion and humility.

“Let us please keep the sentiments of love that we feel for our families and the compassion that we feel for others — even complete strangers,” he said, “not just in times of sorrow and tragedy.”

Parker remembered his daughter’s own compassion and her creative spark.

“My daughter Emilie would be one of the first ones to be standing and giving her love and support to all those victims because that’s the type of person that she is,” Parker told reporters as he worked to contain his sorrow. “Not because of any parenting that my wife and I could have done, but because those were the gifts that were given to her by her heavenly father.”

He said his daughter was a mentor to her two younger sisters. “She was an exceptional artist — she always carried around her markers and pencils, so that she never missed an opportunity to draw a picture or make a card for those around her.”

Parker offered his condolences to all of the families affected by the shooting. “It’s a horrific tragedy. And we want everyone to know that our hearts and prayers go out to them.”

The grief-stricken parent extended those wishes to the shooter’s family. “I can’t imagine how hard this experience must be for you and I want you to know that our family and our love and our support goes out to you, as well.”

Emilie Parker was one of 20 children killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The medical examiner investigating the massacre said Saturday afternoon that the victims were killed up close by multiple gunshots.

“I have been at this for a a third of a century,” Dr. H. Wayne Carver said at a news conference. “This is probably the worst that I have seen.”

Connecticut police released the names and birthdates of the victims earlier today. All of the children were in first grade: Eight boys and 12 girls, police said. The youngest of the children were six.

1. Charlotte Bacon 2/22/06
2. Daniel Barden  9/25/05
3. Rachel Davino 7/17/83
4. Olivia Engel  7/18/06
5. Josephine Gay 12/11/05
6. Ana M. Marquez-Greene 4/4/06
7. Dylan Hockley 3/8/06
8. Dawn Hocksprung 6/28/65
9. Madeleine F Hsu 7/10/06
10. Catherine V Hubbard 6/8/06
11. Chase Kowalski 10/31/05
12. Jesse Lewis  6/30/06
13. James Mattioli 3/22/06
14. Grace McDonnell 11/4/05
15. Anne Marie Murphy 7/25/60
16. Emilie Parker 5/12/06
17. Jack Pinto 5/06/06
18. Noah Pozner 11/20/06
19. Caroline Previdi 9/07/06
20. Jessica Rekos  5/10/06
21 Avielle Richman 10/17/06
22. Lauren Russeau 6/1982
23. Mary Sherlach  02/11/56
24. Victoria Soto 11/04/85
25. Benjamin Wheeler 09/12/06
26. Allison N. Wyatt 07/03/06

“I believe everyone was hit more than once,” Carver told reporters. 

Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police conducts a news briefing, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 in Newtown, Conn.

Earlier on Saturday, Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police met with reporters to update them on the investigation. “We’ve been doing everything we need to do to peel back the onion, layer by layer, and get more information,” he said.

Highlights from his briefing, which ran just more than three minutes:

  • The gunman, whom police have identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, forced his way into Sandy Hook elementary school around 9:30 a.m. Friday morning. “He was not voluntarily let into the school at all,” Vance said. “He forced his way into the school. But that’s as far as we can go on that.”
  • A crisis team has been established for people in the community of Newtown.
  • The police spokesman said investigators have produced “very good evidence” that, he said, “will be able to use in, hopefully, painting the complete picture as to how – and more importantly why – this occurred.”

The White House announced Saturday that U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Newtown on Sunday where he will meet with families and speak at a vigil later that evening.

Here’s how we reported the story Friday. We’ll continue to update news as it develops.

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Father of six-year-old victim extends prayers and support to family of shooter

  1. I know that I will repeat someone else’s words and thoughts.Still,I join myself to the ranks of others who have been rendered speechless by this inhumane act of violence.
    DO NOT TELL ME THAT NOTHING CAN BE DONE TO AVOID THESE SITUATIONS…I WILL NEVER BELIEVE IT.
    My most heart-felt condolences to the parents and families.

  2. I agree with another poster. Its time things were done. While our gun registry was a political disaster, it at least pushed gun owners to better control access to their guns and ammo. Perhaps something like that could be achieved in the US. It would help prevent these situations where kids use their parents guns. Trying to limit access to guns in general will not fly or work – there are too many already in circulation.

    I have to commend the dad quoted in the article. Its time America backed away from their brainwashed ultra conservative politics and sought some cleanup of their education, healthcare, and in general, care of each other. We are far from perfect in Canada, but I believe our generosity in supporting each other via social programs is the fundamental differentiator between the two countries. Its why I feel safe walking at night. Its why I believe we have less violent crime. I hope those being enticed here with American-style politics realize that.

    I’ve worked in a couple American cities. Its not uncommon to be warned not to walk anywhere by hotel staff. I’ve been repeatedly told areas of town to avoid for risk of life threatening violence. This situation didn’t materialize out of nowhere. In Cleveland, I was told that it is near impossible to take a bus from a poor neighbourhood to an affluent one. Its the higher walls, more jails mindset. Its sad.

    I’d like to think some positive change could come from this tragedy. Unfortunately, the popaganda machine in the States is too strong. People will forget by next week, and ask for higher walls and more jails to support tougher sentences.

  3. Americans they just cant pass a law dont they i agree with every word that keith said but america i think its time you give guns to those with hunting permits dont you think hey im only 10 saying this from the heart and it tears me up knowing that they could have changed the world have friends be important and to those who died i pay my respects!as long as i know they will go to a better life im good and to those who survived i hope you never forget what happen and learn that iverpritective parents are good and for you to try and stop this because everything is possible! Sincerely, brandon

  4. This can almost only happen i USA, why would you americans feel it necessary to have guns in you homes? To protec you selves from other people with guns at home? When kids gets killed in their schools cause some 20 year old maniac got hold of a guns way to easy someone else is Co responsible. I feel sorry for all those people involved. But you csnt pray this away, do something to prevebt it from happening again instead!

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