26 wooden angels representing the 26 victims are staked into the ground near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut following a shooting 2 days before that left 26 people dead including 20 children on December 16, 2012. A gunman opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School early Friday morning. The gunman 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed himself following the shooting rampage inside the school. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo
NEWTOWN, Conn., March 10 (UPI) -- The father of Newtown, Conn., grade school gunman Adam Lanza says he still struggles to understand what his son did, an act he said couldn't be "any more evil."
"You can't get any more evil," Peter Lanza told the New Yorker magazine in an interview released online Monday, "How much do I beat up on myself about the fact that he's my son? A lot."
Lanza also told the magazine in a series of interviews last fall he believes his son would have killed him as well if given the opportunity. And while he wonders what he could have done differently in his relationship with Adam -- they hadn't seen each other for two years before the shootings -- he said he believes the December 2012 killings couldn't have been foreseen.
"Any variation on what I did and how my relationship was had to be good, because no outcome could be worse," Lanza told the magazine in an article scheduled for a March 17 release.
Adam Lanza killed 20 grade-school children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, then turned a gun on himself as police arrived. Before going to the school, he shot and killed his mother, Nancy, in the Newtown home they shared.
"I want people to be afraid of the fact that this could happen to them," Lanza said, saying it was six months after the shootings for reality to set in. "But it's real. It doesn't have to be understood to be real."
Lanza told the magazine that he wished his son had never been born because there was no way to remember who he was other than of who he became.
"That didn't come right away. That's not a natural thing, when you're thinking about your kid," Lanza said. "But, God, there's no question. There can only be one conclusion, when you finally get there. That's fairly recent, too, but that's totally where I am."
Peter Lanza said Adam -- whom he described as a "normal little weird kid" -- was 13 when a psychiatrist diagnosed him with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism typically not associated with violence.
But, Lanza told the New Yorker said he was uncomfortable that the condition "veiled a contaminant" that wasn't Asberger's.
"I was thinking it could mask schizophrenia," he said.
"It was crystal clear something was wrong," said Lanza, a vice president for taxes at a General Electric subsidiary. "The social awkwardness, the uncomfortable anxiety, unable to sleep, stress, unable to concentrate, having a hard time learning, the awkward walk, reduced eye contact. You could see the changes occurring."
The Lanzas divorced in 2009, but remained in contact because of Adam's condition, the New Yorker said.
Lanza's final communication from Nancy came a month before the shootings and was about buying Adam a new computer, which he said he wanted to give to Adam in person, the New Yorker said. His ex-wife said she'd discuss it with their son after Thanksgiving.
"I was doing everything I could," Lanza said. "She was doing way more. I just feel sad for her."
He said he didn't think his former wife had any idea how dangerous Adam Lanza had become.
"She never confided to her sister or best friend about being afraid of him," he said. "She slept with her bedroom door unlocked, and she kept guns in the house, which she would not have done if she were frightened."
"With hindsight, I know Adam would have killed me in a heartbeat, if he'd had the chance," Lanza told the New Yorker. "I don't question that for a minute. The reason he shot Nancy four times was one for each of us: one for Nancy, one for him, one for [brother] Ryan, one for me."