The head of a state commission seeking access to the medical records of the Newtown gunman met with the shooter’s father Thursday in what was described as a “professional, candid, and helpful” conversation.
“We talked about the commission’s lack of access to documents and he re-expressed a desire to be as helpful as he possibly could be in terms of helping us achieve our mission and answer some of our outstanding questions,” Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson said Friday.
Jackson said he met with Peter Lanza at “a public place in Stamford.” He said Lanza seems eager to help.
Jackson heads the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, a panel created by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy following the murders last December in Newtown where 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza entered an elementary school and killed 20 first graders and six adults.
The group is looking for access to medical and educational records to give its members a better understanding of the young shooter.
“Many members of the commission, particularly the actual practitioners of mental health, believe that those documents are critical. In order to analyze the mental health delivery system from their standpoint, they need to know certain diagnostic information,” he said.
Jackson said that Peter Lanza does not necessarily have the records, but may be able to help the panel by agreeing to their release. Jackson said he is optimistic the commission will eventually be given access to the documents it’s looking for.
“We are still in the asking phase. If the asking phase fails to yield results then we’ll try to go at it another way. But having the father of the decedent saying ‘I think you ought to release this,’ I think that’s powerful, particularly given the unique circumstances,” Jackson said.
Jackson said he has not asked Peter Lanza to personally testify before his commission
Asked by a television reporter whether the father of the gunman owed the public some sort of apology, Jackson said “no.”
“I don’t believe he owes more than he has freely given,” he said, adding that Peter Lanza has cooperated with the requests of investigators and the commission. “He did not do this.”
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Lanza has cooperated and he’s “very appreciative of that.”
“I think folks need a little room and I think Mayor Jackson demonstrated great compassion in handling it the way he did,” Malloy said Friday at an unrelated event.
Malloy pointed out that Lanza lost a son and has this “terrible set of circumstances” he and his surviving son will have to deal with the rest of their lives.
Christine Stuart contributed to this report.