Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:44 am
By Wright Bryan
In the confusion and panicked swirl of information after Friday morning's shootings in a Connecticut elementary school, one question stood out: Who could do such a thing? By the end of the day, authorities had a name, but the answer to the question was still far from clear — and remains so.
Law enforcement sources eventually said the shooter was Adam Lanza, 20, but only after mistakenly identifying the gunman as Lanza's older brother.
Sunday doesn't begin easily for people in Newtown, Conn. People are still grappling and trying to understand why someone would shoot and kill 20 children and five employees at an elementary school. Authorities are still piecing together what happened as community members begin to grieve.
Her name was Emilie Parker. Six years old. Long, flowing blond hair, piercing blue eyes and a sweet smile. Emilie was one of the 20 children killed on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As we learn the names of the victims, we're also learning their stories.
This evening in Newtown, Connecticut, Robbie Parker, the father of 6-year-old Emilie Parker who was killed in yesterday's shooting spoke publicly about the tragedy.
ROBBIE PARKER: It's a horrific tragedy. And we want everybody to know that our hearts and our prayers go out to them. This includes the family of the shooter. I can 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.
And as police begin to piece together a picture of the gunman, Adam Lanza, they will also be looking at possible motives. Here in the studio with me is NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam.
And, Shankar, you have reported in the past about building profiles of these kinds of assailants. I mean, usually, we're talking about men. We're talking about often about white men. Does what we know about Lanza fit that profile of a mass shooter?