NEWTOWN, Conn. — Robbie and Alissa Parker, the parents of Emilie Parker, one of the 20 first-graders killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, were to appear today on the show “CBS This Morning” to discuss meeting the father of the gunman.
Other than that, however, a family friend told the Standard-Examiner that the 100-day anniversary of the shooting will be a normal weekend for the Parkers, who met while attending Ben Lomond High School in Ogden.
Sunday marks 100 days since the shooting took place. Marian Salzman, a friend of the family and New York City public relations executive, said the anniversary won’t have any particular markers for the former Ogden residents.
“They’re just doing what they normally do, moving forward,” Salzman said.
“They are the strongest, most wonderful spiritual people I have met in my life. How anybody could be dealing with this ... I think 100 days is an important milestone for looking forward as well as backward.”
Salzman denied reports that Alissa Parker is becoming active to promote gun control legislation in Connecticut. Salzman said she sat through the whole CBS interview and is in regular contact with the family. “The only time guns even came up, she said, ‘Guns are not our issue.’ ”
Salzman said “their issues are family. Their issues are their own grief. Eventually their issues will be safety in schools.”
She said “the biggest message you could send is the love and heartfelt feelings they have for the people of Utah,” who turned out by the thousands in December when the family came to Ogden to bury Emilie.
In today’s portion of the interview, the Parkers will talk about how they met with the gunman’s father for more than an hour in an effort to bring some closure to the tragedy, asking him about his son’s mental health and other issues.
Alissa Parker told “CBS This Morning” in an excerpt of an interview that aired Thursday the meeting with Adam Lanza’s father, Peter Lanza, was her idea.
“I felt strongly that I needed to tell him something, and I needed to get that out of my system,” Alissa Parker said. “I felt very motivated to do it, and then I felt really good about it and prayed about it. And it was something that I needed to do.”
No one answered the phone at the Parkers’ home Thursday morning. A message seeking comment from Peter Lanza was left with a Lanza family spokesman.
The Parkers told CBS they wanted to ask Peter Lanza about his son’s medical history, his and his ex-wife’s relationships with Adam Lanza and other issues.
Robbie Parker was the first parent of a child killed at the school to speak publicly about the massacre. A day after the Dec. 14 killings, he fought back tears and struggled to catch his breath as he spoke lovingly of Emilie at a wrenching, lengthy news conference.
“She was beautiful. She was blond. She was always smiling,” he said, adding that the world was a better place because Emilie was in it. “I’m so blessed to be her dad.”
The Parkers moved to Newtown from Ogden less than a year before the shooting.
Adam Lanza, 20, shot 20 children and six educators to death at the school and killed himself as police arrived. He also fatally shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their Newtown home before going to the school.
Peter Lanza, who was divorced from Nancy Lanza, said in a statement after the killings that his family also was asking why Adam Lanza would go on a shooting spree.
People close to the investigation have told The Associated Press that Adam Lanza showed interest in other mass killers.