Dad of Sandy Hook victim dies in apparent suicide — days after Parkland survivors
In 2012, Jeremy Richman’s six-year-old daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.
On Monday, police in Newtown, Conn., said that Richman had died in an apparent suicide.
Newtown police said the body of 49-year-old Richman was found on Monday morning inside Newtown’s Edmond Town Hall, where he had an office. An autopsy will be conducted, but police said they will not be releasing further details.
Richman was the father of Avielle Richman, one of the first-graders killed along with six educators in the shooting on Dec. 14, 2012.
After their daughter’s killing, the neuroscientist and his wife created The Avielle Foundation, a group dedicating to preventing violence by seeking a better understanding of brain health.
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The foundation’s website explains it works to fund “research aimed at understanding the brain’s chemistry, structure, and circuits that lead to violence and compassion.”
Police Lt. Aaron Bahamonde called Richman’s death heartbreaking for the family and town.
The death comes just days after news that two survivors of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting also died by apparent suicides.
The Feb. 14, 2018, shooting killed 14 students and three staff members. Just over a year later, some students have begun counting the two suicides among the victims of the shooting.
A 19-year-old recent graduate of the high school named Sydney Aiello died by suicide last week. Another survivor of the shooting, who has not been publicly identified, also died in an apparent suicide over the weekend.
Cara Aiello told WFOR-TV last week that her daughter Sydney had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and struggled to attend college because she feared being in a classroom, but never asked for help.
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The Parkland community has said it is now focusing on suicide prevention efforts and providing support to those in the community.
David Hogg, who has been prominent in advocating for gun control since surviving the Florida shooting, tweeted a message encouraging others to seek mental health assistance.
He also questioned why the government and school district are not doing enough to support students.
Hogg also encouraged others to be more understanding of the trauma and loss that survivors of mass shootings and other acts of violence face.
“Stop saying ‘you’ll get over it,” he wrote.
“You don’t get over something that never should have happened because those that die from gun violence are stolen from us not naturally lost.”
Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky said Monday that community leaders, government officials, parents, police and others held an emergency meeting Sunday on the issue.
The Parkland deaths have prompted survivors of the shooting to speak out and show support for their fellow students.
WATCH: Third person connected to U.S. mass shooting takes life
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911. For mental health programs and services around Canada, please refer to the list here.
— With files from the Associated Press
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