Robbie Parker, the father of six-year-old victim Emilie, gave this extraordinarily moving statement following his daughter’s death.
"I’d like to offer our deepest condolences to all the families affected by this shooting – it’s a horrific tragedy and our hearts and our prayers go out to them. This includes the family of the shooter.
I can’t imagine how hard this experience must be for you. I want you to know that our family and our love and support goes out to you as well. My daughter Emilie would be one of the first ones to be standing there giving her love and support to all the victims; that’s the sort of person she is, not because of any parenting my wife and I could have done but because those were gifts that were given to her by her Heavenly Father.
As the deep pain begins to settle in our hearts we find comfort reflecting on the incredible person that Emilie was and how many lives she was able to touch. Emilie was bright, creative and very loving, always willing to try new things. She loved to use her talents to touch the lives of everyone she came into contact with. She carried around her markers and pencils so that she never missed an opportunity to draw a picture or make a card.
“Let us please keep a semblance of love that we feel for our families and the compassion we feel for others, even strangers, and keep them with us at all times, not just in times of sorrow and tragedy and may we do this so we can better all of our communities so that we can make everyone, everywhere feel safe."