Commission Chair Reflects on Talks With Peter Lanza

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson shares thoughts on "New Yorker" interview with Peter Lanza

View Comments (


    In a revealing interview with the The New Yorker Magazine Peter Lanza the father of the Sandy Hook School shooter opens up about his son Adam and about the tragedy

    In a revealing interview with The New Yorker, the father of Sandy Hook school shooter Adam Lanza opens up about his son and the tragedy.

    "You can't get any more evil," Peter Lanza told reporter Andrew Solomon. "How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he's my son? A lot."

    Lanza broke his silence more than a year after the shooting that left 20 first graders and six educators dead. Adam Lanza's mother, Nancy, was also killed.

    "The article certainly reflects the person that I've spoken to three or four times," said Scott Jackson, Hamden mayor and Chairman of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.

    Jackson has talked with Lanza in preparation for the panel's final report on the shooting. A big piece of the report will focus on improving the mental health system.

    "If you read The New Yorker piece, you get a sense that there is a family that doesn't know quite what to do," said Jackson.

    Lanza spoke about his son's mental state.

    "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," said Lanza.

    It's still unclear how his son's condition ultimately led to violence.

    "Even mental health professionals aren't good at predicting who is going to be violent," said Dr. Caroyln Fallahi, a child psychologist and professor at Central Connecticut State University.

    Peter Lanza told the reporter he wished his son had never been born, but he doesn't blame his ex-wife Nancy, who was taking care of Adam.

    Dr. Fallahi believes people need better access to mental health services.

    "It's very hard to find the right person, to get somebody to oversee these cases and follow through with the intensity like somebody Adam Lanza needed," she explained.

    The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission has spent more than a year hearing from witnesses, family members and experts. Jackson expects the mental health recommendations to be the most challenging.

    "The most complicated aspect is the delivery of mental health services," he said.

    Jackson said the commission's recommendations will be out by the summer. Commission members are currently in the writing phase of the report.