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Father, Aunt of CT School Shooter Speak Out: 'We Are in a State of Disbelief

"He was a very, very bright boy; he was smart"

(Photo via CBS)

The relatives of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who reportedly shot his mother to death and then slaughtered 20 children and 6 adults at a nearby school, are speaking out in the wake of the tragedy.

Everyone is trying to make sense of the senseless crime, and his relatives presumably know him best.

Lanza's father, Peter Lanza, didn't seem to have many answers, though.

He issued this statement on Saturday:

"Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured. Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy. No words can truly express how heartbroken we are.

We are in a state of disbelief and trying to find whatever answers we can. We too are asking why. We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired."

The aunt of the gunman was a little more informative, saying her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it.

Marsha Lanza, of Crystal Lake, Ill., said she was close with Adam Lanza's mother, Nancy, and sent her a message on Facebook Friday morning to ask how she was doing.  Nancy Lanza never responded.

If her son had needed counseling, "Nancy wasn't one to deny reality," she told The Associated Press late Friday.

Speaking outside her house, Marsha Lanza added:

I know [Nancy] had issues with school-- she eventually wound up homeschooling him.  She battled with the school district, in what capacity I'm not 100% certain.  If it was behavior, if it was learning disabilities, I really don't know.  But he was a very, very bright boy; he was smart.

Marsha Lanza said her husband saw Adam as recently as June and recalled nothing out of the ordinary about him.

Other extended relatives released a statement saying they share the grief and "tremendous loss" of the victims.

"The whole family is traumatized by this event," an officer close to the case remarked.

​The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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