Sandy Hook Shooter's Brother Ryan Lanza Says He's a Victim Too

Heartbreaking 27


In the wake of a crime as barbaric as the Sandy Hook tragedy, it's easy to forget that there are people out there who deeply cared for shooter Adam Lanza. It's hard to think of him as anything other than a heartless monster. But his brother Ryan Lanza posted a message to remind us that his troubled sibling was loved, will be missed by someone, and that the victims of this crime include their family too.

"I am a victim," Ryan told the New York Post in a Facebook chat.  "I loss my mom and brother." He also included a photo tribute to both. "R.I.P.," he wrote under an image of a smling Adam in presumably happier days. "I will miss you bro. I will always love you as long as I live." A photo of his mother Nancy included the caption: "I miss you mom. I love you so much. You will be always in my heart." It's important to note he also paid homage to the the 20 children and six adults massacred at the school, writing "You will be truly be missed. God Bless."

It's hard not to feel some sympathy for this young man who is clearly reeling from the horror and despair Adam caused. But he is a victim in many ways -- he has suffered a major loss but also feels hate and scorn from the public just because he was related to the shooter. "I am so tired of people blaming me for something my brother did. I love Adam, his [sic] my brother," he wrote.

He was prompted to write those messages because of all the Facebook posts wishing his brother would "rot in hell" and calling him the "scum of the earth."  Sentiments we can all understand, but no less hurtful to Ryan. “But you have no right to call my brother names when he isn't here no more. Just let my brother rest in peace. Please. Respect that ... He is calling my brother a monster when he don’t even know him,” 

As much as my heart goes out to him, he may be asking for the impossible. Of course Ryan should not be blamed. He is not guilty of his brother's crimes. But most people will always hold hate in their heart for Adam Lanza. He has impacted that town and this country in the most monstrous of ways. They can't help but lash out and call him names. It is their way of dealing with the grief. It may not be right, it may not be totally fair, but sadly it is a new reality Ryan must learn to deal with.

Do you agree with Ryan that it's unfair for people who didn't know Adam to lash out at him?


Image via Splash

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Ashle... AshleyB1984

I don't think anyone should say anything bad to Ryan. He had nothing to do with this AND he just lost his mother also. I'm sure he is trying to understand how this happened and probably thinking of ways he could have stopped it...which I'm sure he couldn't have. Leave him alone.

nonmember avatar Amy

I get it. My brother is my best friend. He suffers mental illness and only by the grace of God have I escaped being in Ryan Lanza's shoes. My brother has done some bad things too but today he is really healthy and amazing. I have had to defend my sweet brother time and time again. No one will know him like I do.

I can't imagine the day when my brother and mom are no longer living.

Poor Ryan.

jpfsmom jpfsmom

Ryan is a victim in more ways than one. First the dumbass media incorrectly named him as the murderer, then he had to deal with the fact that his mother was killed at the hands of his brother not to mention his brother is responsible for one of the most heinous mass shootings in history and while his brother was clearly disturbed beyond understanding I'm sure on some level he still loved him and he's dealing with that loss too. Ryan too is a victim and has a right to mourn.

kelti... kelticmom

That poor boy is absolutely a victim! For all the reasons above. Named as the shooter, taken into custody, hateful posts on his fb, mother murdered, brother dead, knowing his brother murdered innocent children.......I cannot fathom what that would feel like. I will pray for him.

Casey Dalbey

I think the Lanza family is saying all the right things considering. Ryan is a victim with the death of his mother as well as being vilianized for doing nothing wrong.

bills... billsfan1104

I after with everything he has said. I have felt for him and his family from the beginning of this. In our prayer book at church, I asked for prayers for him as well.

nonmember avatar Zuri

Of course he is a victim! He was a) wrongly named as the shooter, b) lost his mom, c) lost his brother, d) has to deal with his family getting boatloads of hate from the whole country, and e) has to deal with the fact that his brother murdered innocent children! I have a brother w/ autism, and even though I've never considered that this could be me, some kids at school certainly have! The idiots who somehow know about my brother have been making fun of me since the shooting happened. After the "I am Adam Lanza's Mother" essay came out, someone suggested I write a "I am Ryan Lanza" essay. I told them they were insane if they thought I was going to exploit my little nine-year-old brother who had done nothing wrong. I don't like to think of myself as the sister of a potential mass murderer because, well, I'M NOT. My brother is innocent and it's sickening that people are scared of him now. I didn't identify myself with the Lanzas first. I identified myself with the families of the children lost first. I thought of Zeke as a victim, not a perp. I can hardly imagine what Ryan Lanza is going through, with the loss of two family members. Anyone that says he is not a victim has no heart.

Sharon Flitcroft Giesbrecht

It's a striking reminder that no matter who the criminal, or what the crime, someone loved them.  Any one of us could be in Ryan Lanza's place, no one can say for certain that it could never happen.  Compassion is what is needed here.  What good does hate do? Those who post sick things to this poor man who lost his mother and brother, no matter the circumstance, are spreading hate even if they don't realize it.  We cannot say that we all hurt and then say that only some of us are allowed to heal.  Pray for him.

fave82 fave82

I agree he's not to blame. Im sure he looks back and wonders if he could have changed the way things turned out.. However, learn some grammar..

jalaz77 jalaz77

This kid should be left alone but to ask the public to quit picking on his brother will not happen. My oldest is 7, she saw a pic of the shooter on the front cover of a mag at the grocery store today and knew his face, how? Not sure cause we have kept the news limited but have told her about this shooting. I said to her don't look at his face, don't remember his face, rember those kids and teachers who have families that will never see them again. Those people are important not him. She flipped the mag cover around so no one can see him. I feel bad for the victims brother, he lost half his family, he should try to keep away from the media but that can be difficult when they track him down. Good for him for speaking out even though I disagree with a portion of what he says.

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