A father whose child was killed during the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was found dead of an apparent suicide on Monday.
Police in Newton, Connecticut were called to investigate a report of a suicide at Edmond Town Hall at around 7 a.m., at which point they discovered 49-year-old Jeremy Richman dead by an apparent suicide, police confirmed. Authorities have decided not to elaborate on the manner of death, but did confirm that Richman’s death did not appear suspicious.
Police also confirmed that Richman’s daughter, Avielle Richman, was one of the 20 students and six adults killed during the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. She was 6 years old at the time. Following her death, Richman, a neuroscientist, went on to found the Avielle Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to preventing violence. Richman had an office located in Edmond Town Hall, police said.
“This is a heart breaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole, the police department’s prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time,” Lieutenant Aaron Bahamonde said.
Richman’s death comes on the heels of two more suicide deaths linked to mass shootings. Police have confirmed that a teenage survivor of the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School died by suicide on Saturday night, NBC News reports. The student’s name has not been released, but a representative of the Coral Springs Police Department confirmed that they were a juvenile who was a current student at the school.
Another survivor, 19-year-old Sydney Aiello, died by suicide earlier this month after battling survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder, her mother, Cara Aiello, told CBS News. Cara Aiello said that her daughter, who had recently begun college, struggled to attend her classes because being in classrooms scared her.
Aiello had been close friends with Meadow Pollack, one of the 14 students and three staff members who were killed during the shooting, NBC News reports.
“The death of Sydney Aiello is tragic, shocking and heartbreaking, and surely at least in significant part the result of the ripple effect of the MSD shooting,” reads a statement from Pollack’s family obtained by the outlet.
David Hogg, another student who survived the shooting and who has been a vocal gun control advocate ever since, mourned the loss of his classmates on Sunday.
“How many more kids have to be taken from us as a result of suicide for the government / school district to do anything?” he wrote. “Rip 17+2.”
Following the student’s deaths, community leaders, including law enforcement officials, school administrators and parents, gathered for an emergency meeting, with the school district ultimately deciding to reach out to parents to encourage them to talk to their children about suicide, the Miami Herald reports.
The district is providing emergency resources for anyone who needs it, including free group therapy, according to the outlet.
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