Victim's father speaks about Connecticut tragedy

Father: 'I'm so blessed to be her dad'

NEWTOWN, Connecticut - The father of a 6-year-old victim in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting offered love and compassion Saturday not just to other families who lost children, but to the suspected gunman's family.

Robbie Parker lost his daughter, Emilie, in the tragedy Friday. She was the family's oldest child, shot down by rifle fire in her classroom.

"She is an incredible person, and I'm so blessed to be her dad," said Parker. "She was the type of person who could just light up the room. She always had something kind to say about anybody."

State police said evidence collected at the school and at the home of the person accused in the shooting, Adam Lanza, 20, indicates the motive for the shooting.

Robbie Parker offered compassion for Lanza's family as well as the others who's children died in Friday's shooting.

"It's a horrific tragedy, and we want everybody to know our hearts and prayers go out to them," Parker said. "This includes the family of the shooter."

Adam Lanza was reported by former classmates to be a troubled young man. He was an honor-roll student, but a loner at Newtown High School.

"When people approached him, (he) didn't talk much," said one of Lanza's former classmate's mother, Jeanni Pasacreta. "Dressed in military clothes or black."

Lanza's mother, Nancy, has been described as an avid gun collector who often took her son shooting.

Her sister, Marsha Lanza, said she'd also fought for years with the local school district over his education.

"She eventually wound up home schooling him, because she battled with the school district," said Marsha. "In what capacity, I'm not certain. If it was behavior or learning disabilities, I really don't know."

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.