CBS News first reported that Peter Lanza met with Robbie and Alissa Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter Emilie was killed. CBS plans to air an interview with the Parkers about their conversation with Peter Lanza on Friday.
Errol Cockfield Jr., a spokesman Peter Lanza hired to represent the Lanza family, confirmed to The Courant Thursday that the Parkers reached out to Lanza sometime in January, asking if they could talk.
"He thought it was a very positive gesture," Cockfield said.
Lanza's estranged son, Adam, 20, shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. Moments after police arrived, Adam Lanza killed himself. Before driving to the school that morning, Adam Lanza, killed his mother, Nancy. Peter and Nancy Lanza had divorced in 2009 after a long separation.
The day after the shooting, Robbie Parker fought back tears as he spoke to journalists about his daughter, Emilie, who was killed in the rampage. In the interview, Parker said he was not mad and offered sympathy for the Lanza family.
"It's a horrific tragedy and we want everybody to know that our hearts and our prayers go out to them," Parker told reporters on Dec. 15. "This includes the family of the shooter. I can't imagine how hard this experience must be for you and I want you to know that our love and our support goes out to you as well."
Cockfield said Peter Lanza and Robbie and Alissa Parker met privately within the last month. Cockfield said the Parkers are the only family members of those killed at the Sandy Hook school who have met with Lanza.
The Courant submitted questions to Peter Lanza and received some responses through a person who was in contact with him. The responses were included in the Courant story "Raising Adam Lanza" that ran February 17.
Nancy and Peter Lanza divorced in the fall of 2009 after a separation that — according to those close to both sides of the Lanza family — started in 2001. In divorce records on file in Superior Court in Stamford, the couple cited irreconcilable differences. Peter Lanza remarried in 2011.
According to records, Peter Lanza paid Nancy yearly alimony totaling $240,000 in 2010; $265,000 in 2011; and $289,800 in 2012. Peter Lanza was solely responsible for the cost of college for Adam and brother Ryan. He also was responsible for buying Adam a car.
The Lanzas had joint custody of Adam, who was 17 in 2009, although he lived with his mother.
After the divorce, Peter Lanza continued to see his sons weekly, taking them skiing, hiking, rock climbing, to coin shows and on overnights at his Stamford apartment, the person who has recently been in touch with Peter Lanza said.
Peter Lanza often would help Adam with his math and science homework and described his son as "highly intelligent" and a "voracious reader," the person said.
But during the following year, 2010, Adam severed all contact with his father.
"Something happened with Adam," the person in touch with Lanza said. "Given the amount of time they were spending with each other, it was a sudden shift."
During this period, Adam also cut contacts with his brother, Ryan, who lived in Hoboken, N.J., and worked at a New York City financial firm.
The person in touch with Peter Lanza said the father did not know why Nancy Lanza pulled Adam Lanza out of Newtown High School in 2008, after the boy's sophomore year. The contact said Lanza was not aware of his ex-wife holding any grievances or frustrations against the school. The contact said Peter Lanza was also not aware of Nancy Lanza's plans to move out of state, possibly to Washington, so that Adam Lanza could attend college.
Adam Lanza attended Sandy Hook in the first grade. He was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder as a child, and with Asperger's syndrome in middle school.
Asked about the Asperger's experience, the person close to Peter Lanza said the father found it challenging.