POLITICS
04/19/2018 04:49 pm ET Updated Apr 19, 2018

Sandy Hook Father To Alex Jones: 'I'm Not Backing Down'

Neil Heslin said he is prepared for a "knock-down, drag-out fight" in court.

The father of a slain Sandy Hook Elementary student has a message for Alex Jones:  He’s ready to take him down.

“To say that Sandy Hook was a hoax and it never happened, its an outright lie,” Neil Heslin told NBC’s Today Show host Megyn Kelly Thursday. “It’s a total disrespect to myself, my son, the individuals who lost their lives that day. It extends so much further than that. It’s disrespect to the community, to law enforcement, to the first responders. It’s not right. And it needs to stop.”

Heslin’s six-year-old son was gunned down in December 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, along with 19 other small children and six adults. 

Jones has peddled a false narrative for years on his website, Infowars, claiming the shooting was a hoax. In lawsuits filed Monday and first reported by HuffPost, Heslin and two other parents are now suing Jones for defamation. The parents are each seeking more than $1 million in damages.

“Even after these folks had to experience this trauma, for the next five years they were tormented by Alex Jones with vicious lies about them,” Mark Bankston, a Houston lawyer handling the cases for the parents, told HuffPost. “And these lies were meant to convince his audience that the Sandy Hook parents are frauds and have perpetrated a sinister lie on the American people.”

In a previous 2017 NBC interview, Heslin had painfully detailed the aftermath of the shooting to Kelly. “I lost my son,” he said. “I buried my son. I held my son with a bullet hole through his head.”

Jones “doesn’t care who he hurts,” Heslin told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin later on Thursday.

“He’s relentless [with his lies],” Heslin said. “It’s a fight that he started, and it’s a fight I’m gonna finish. And I’m not backing down.”

Heslin’s other attorney, Wesley Ball, called Jones “a cancer to America.”

“We want to punish him for what he has done and hopefully cut at least some of that cancer out of our society,” Ball told Melvin.

Heslin told Kelly that Jones will no longer get to profit off of a parent’s unfathomable loss. “I’m not backing out of this lawsuit,” Heslin said. “If it comes to a knock-down, drag-out fight in a Travis County courthouse, that’s what it’ll be.”

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