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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona