NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) – Fighting back tears and struggling to catch his breath, the father of a 6-year-old gunned down in the school shooting in Connecticut told the world Saturday about a little girl who loved to draw and was always smiling, and he also reserved surprising words of sympathy for the gunman.
Robbie Parker’s daughter Emilie was among the 20 children who died Friday in the one of the worst attacks on schoolchildren in U.S. history. He was one of the first parents to speak publicly about their loss.
“She was beautiful. She was blond. She was always smiling,” he said.
Parker spoke to reporters not long after police released the names and ages of the victims, a simple document that told a horrifying story of loss.
He expressed no animosity, said he was not mad and offered sympathy for family of the man who killed 26 people and himself.
To the man’s family, he said, “I can’t imagine how hard this experience must be for you.”
He said he struggled to explain the death to Emilie’s two siblings, 3 and 4.
“They seem to get the fact that they have somebody they’re going to miss very much,” he said.
Parker said his daughter loved to try new things _ except for new food. And she was quick to cheer up those in need.
“She never missed an opportunity to draw a picture or make a card for those she around her,” he said.
The world is a better place because Emilie was in it, he said.
“I’m so blessed to be her dad,” he said.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food