Newtown School Shooting

Updates on the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

Father of Emilie Parker speaks to media

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Emilie Parker, 6, and her father, Robert Parker.

Robert Parker addressed the media outside of the Sandy Hook firehouse in Newtown. His daughter, Emilie, 6, was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

CNN carried the comments live.

Parker, sighing and struggling to hold back tears, expressed sympathy to the other families, including the shooter’s family. He said he hopes the shooting isn’t something that “defines us,” but instead something that inspires other to be better, more compassionate and more humble.

“We find comfort in reflecting on what an incredible person Emilie was and how many lives she was able to touch in her short time on Earth,” said Parker, who is a physicians assistant at Danbury Hospital. “She was bright, creative and always willing to try new things, except food.”

Parker, 30,  said his daughter was “an exceptional artist,” who carried around art supplies so that she could draw cards to comfort people.

“I can’t count the number of times Emilie saw someone sad or frustrated and rushed to find a piece of paper,” to make a card, Parker said.

He said she would have been one of the first to comfort others.

Emilie was the oldest of three children in the Parker family and her father said his other kids looked up to her. Her siblings are 3 and 4.

“They seem to get the fact that they have somebody they’re going to miss very much,” he said.

Parker, whose family just moved to Newtown about eight months ago, was at work at the time of the shooting. Earlier in the day, he spoke to his daughter before leaving for work. He said he was teaching her Portuguese and their last conversation was in that language, with her saying good morning and asking how he was doing.

“I’m so blessed to be her dad,” he said.

Parker’s friends have set up a fund to raise money for the family, who wish to bring Emilie back to his home state of Utah for burial.

Here is video of Parker speaking to the press, from ABC News:

Categories: General
Tom Cleary

14 Responses

  1. Darlene Stetzler says:

    Dear Robert and Family,
    I am so sorry that all this has happened to so many in newtown and I Pray for you and your family and I have cried so many tears for Emilie and the other 19 I call each of their names every hour so that I will never forget them and each time I see their pictures online I wonder how any of this happened but God knows why and if we trust in God he will give us all the reason why one day.There isnt any words that anyone can say to you or any family that lost a child that day just know that everyone is Praying for all the families that lost a child and all the teacher that was lost is always in my Prayers. Emilie will always be remembered by me and never forgotten.

  2. [...] Tracy also called a gut-wrenching public appearance by Robert Parker, the father of a first-grader who was shot to death, “contrived,” and [...]

  3. Jaimee Cleghorn says:

    Dear Mr. Parker and family,
    I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious little girl! I cannot imagine the pain your family is feeling right now. I have prayed and will continue in the coming days to pray for your family and all of the families affected by this horrific tragedy!
    God bless you and your family during this most difficult time!

  4. Tracy Nick says:

    Dear Mr. Parker-
    My prayers go out to you and your family.

  5. Martins says:

    Dear Mr.Parker, i am shore that your Emilie is very proud of is father and is mother.
    God bless you.

  6. MIKE R says:

    I HAVE THE UTMOST RESPECT AND REGARD FOR YOU DURING THIS HORRENDOUS TRAGEDY THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND THE OTHER FAMILIES ARE NOW GOING THROUGH. YOU HAVE IT A NERVE IN ME IN THAT I HAVE STRAYED FROM THE LORD AND AFTER HEARING YOUR COMPASSIONATE SPEECH I HAVE AND WILL MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO ABIDE AND FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS. FOR THAT I AM ETERNALLY GRATEFUL. GOD BLESS

  7. Judy Budd says:

    Dear Mr. Parker…the world is a better place because of people like you who have such a huge heart and wonderful spirit. I’m sure your precious Emilie is nestled in the arms of her Grandma this day. I will keep you all in my prayers. God Bless.

  8. John Z. says:

    Kim,
    I too was transfixed by the amazing, reflective, thoughtful reaction that Mr. Parker struck. For me it set an excellent tone of forgiveness and grief and not anger. That he focused on the lessons he learned from his daughter was a tribute to him as a father (as I am) and to his daughter’s brief time with us. It rose above the tragedy and was a strong first reaction to help the healing begin.

  9. Jeff A says:

    Mr Parker’s empathy, kindness and forgiveness is extraordinary. His words give me hope, and I will pray for him and others affected by horrific crime.

  10. Tania Rhiney says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through unimaginable time…….Keep the communication going and talk everyday about this….don’t shut down…..

  11. alexandra patrick says:

    Dear Mr. Parker,
    Emilie is looking down at you and saying, thats my dad! What a wonderful Daddy you are for addressing the media as you did. Wow! I wish you and your family well. You are all in my prayers.

  12. [...] the sadness, least of all the families of the deceased. We’ve heard stories about heroes, and memories of the slain, but when the tears become too much, we can simply turn it off. I’ve found myself on the verge of [...]

  13. Tracie says:

    I will never forget the words this man has said about his precious daughter, and his desire to be compassionate and see others be compassionate in life. I think this is a very Christ-like heart in him, and this will be an inspiration to me in my faith as well. His family’s grief must be tremendous, and their courage extraordinary in the face of what has happened. God bless them. I’m sure his daughters are all as lovely as he is, and I can’t stop the tears from flowing. It is heartbreaking what has happened, but he is a strong man who will be a help to the families of victims that heard him say these words, too. God bless and comfort all of these people affected by this; it is a tremendous loss and agonizing, I’m sure.

  14. Kim Lynch says:

    To Robert Parker and family,
    I saw Mr. Parker’s statement on television today. It broke my heart and I cried for him and his family. What is amazing is that he’s not angry or vengeful. His focus on his daughter and how he can help other’s is truly selfless and he is an incredible human being. The beauty his spoke of his Emilie tells me that she likely was as beautiful a person as he. I don’t know how he managed through that statement and those questions, but may God bless him and his family. I am a mother of 5 young children and one of them is a 6 year old and in kindergarten. I don’t know how I could manage. Three of my children are in one school, and I’m overwhelmed at the thought that this could happen. I will pray for all the families of this overwhelming loss and keep in my heart that may all of these wonderful people, children and adults may live on in all of our hearts and forever in heaven. May the healing begin and all of us grow ourselves and love for one another, knowing all too well that life is precious and can be taken from you in an instant. God Bless!