The faces of the innocent victims began to  circulate as the families grapple with the horror that unfolded on Friday, when gunman Adam  Lanza killed 26 in a shooting rampage at the school. 

The first parent of a child victim spoke out  in an emotional press conference on Saturday.

Robbie Parker, the father  of Emilie Parker, 6, addressed the press on Saturday, holding back tears as he  remembered the precious six-year-old, the oldest of his three daughters.

The grieving father remembered the beautiful  gifts and talents endowed to the little girl by her heavenly father.

Slaughtered: (Clockwise from top left) Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Ana Marquez-Green, James Mattioli, Olivia Engel, Dylan Hockley, Charlotte Bacon and Grace McDonnell, all aged six to seven, were killed
Deaths: (Clockwise from top left) Emilie Parker, Noah Pozner, Josephine Gay, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos and Jesse Lewis all perished in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut

In a remarkable act, Mr Parker  expressed his  condolences to the family of the gunman and thanked  friends and strangers for  their support and love.

Friends of the Parker family have set up a Facebook  page to pay tribute to little Emilie  and have established a remembrance fund

Six-year-old Noah Pozner was also killed  in  the shooting on Friday, with Rabbi Shaul Praver of Adath Israel in  Newtown,  Conn., saying that the boy was shot execution style.

‘His little body could not endure so many  bullets like that,’ Rabbi Praver said on Saturday.

The spiritual leader said he was comforting  the mother of the child, who will be laid to rest on Sunday.

Ana Marquez-Greene, six, was killed when the  shooter opened fire on children and teachers at 9.30am on  Friday at Sandy Hook  Elementary School.

The little girl and her older  brother  had attended Linden Christian School nearby, before moving with their parents to  Newtown in July and enrolling at Sandy Hook. Both  children were inside the school when the shooting began.

Ana Marquez-Greene’s father is  Canadian jazz  musician Jimmy Greene. The distraught father told  MailOnline today that he  couldn’t find the words to express the loss of  his daughter Ana.

The musician took to his Facebook page asking  for prayers as the family works ‘through this nightmare.

‘We’re reminded how much we’re loved and  supported on this earth and by our Father in heaven. As much as she’s needed  here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise. I  love you sweetie girl,’ he wrote.

Another victim has been named as six-year-old  Jesse Lewis. His father Neil Heslin told theNew York  Post that he dropped his son off at  school that morning and planned to  return in the afternoon to join parents in  the holiday tradition of  making gingerbread houses.

Grace McDonnell, six, who was also  killed,  has been described as ‘utterly adorable’ and ‘full of life’. She had blue eyes  and hair that was so blonde that friends thought she  looked like a ‘little  doll’.

7-year-old Chase Kowalski, left, and Grace McDonnell, 6, were killed in the tragedy

Her parents are going through ‘indescribable’  pain, MailOnline has learned.

In a chilling twist, Lynn McDonnell, 45, a housewife, and Christopher, 49, a business executive, live in a $500,000 detached home in Sandy Hook, Connecticut that is just one street away from where alleged shooter Adam Lanza lived.

A six-year-old boy from Britain was also one  of the victims of the school shooting. It is believed the boy moved with his  parents from Hampshire to the U.S. two years ago.

Little Olivia Engel, was killed on Friday – a  day that began with excitement as the six-year-old looked forward to making a  gingerbread house after school.

Lanza reportedly got into an altercation with members of staff including Principal Dawn Hochsprung, left, and teacher Victoria Soto

A friend of the girl’s family, Dan Merton,  told the Associated Press how Olivia ‘loved attention…she had perfect manners,  perfect table manners. She was the teacher’s pet, the line  leader.’

‘Her only crime,’ he said, was ‘being a  wiggly, smiley 6-year-old.’

Other victims that have been pictured include  six-year-olds James Mattioli, Jessica Rekos and Charlotte Bacon and  seven-year-old Chase Kowalski.

School psychologist Mary Sherlach, 56, and teacher Lauren Rousseau, 30, were shot dead by Adam Lanza while trying to save their students

Outside Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic  Church in Newtown, Connecticut,  mourners left teddy bears, flowers and lit  candles for victims.

Newtown was ranked the fifth safest city in  America by the website based on 2011 crime  statistics.

‘This wonderful town that we all love for its  peace, beauty, the great  schools – all of that – has become Columbine,’ said  Julie Maxwell Shull, a sixth-grade teacher at Reed Intermediate School,  referring to the  high school that was site of a 1999 shooting in  Colorado.

Many people who live in the wealthy, wooded  town commute to New York City,  about 80 miles away were trying to come to  gripes with the unthinkable  incident.

‘We came here because it was going to be a  good, safe community for our  kids,’ said Catherine Hunyadi, as she and her  husband wiped tears from  their eyes. ‘You don’t send your kids to school  thinking something like  this might happen.’

Reports have also emerged that the  gunman,  Adam Lanza had visited Sandy Hook Elementary the day before  Friday’s massacre  during which he was involved in an altercation with  four members of staff at  the school – three of whom are now dead.The fourth teacher – and only survivor of the  altercation – wasn’t at school yesterday  and is currently being interviewed by  investigators. It hasn’t been revealed  what the argument was over or if it was reported to authorities.

Anne Marie Murphy, 52, was also killed in the shooting.  The mother-of-four was a teacher’s aide

The staff member’s testimony might be an  ‘important piece of information’ for discerning motive in this case, reports  NBC.

Broken: Mourners place flowers at a makeshift memorial near the Sandy Hook Elementary school for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

While initial reports had suggested school  principal Mrs Hochsprung buzzed  Lanza into the building – bypassing the  newly-installed security system – police have confirmed that the  shooter forced his way in.

Adam Lanza opened fire on Friday morning at  Sandy Hook Elementary School, which teaches children aged 5 to 10. He  murdered  26 people at the school before turning the gun on  himself, as well as killing  one other person – his mother – at another  nearby site.

Investigators said they have found  ‘some  very  good evidence’ to explain what drove gunman Adam Lanza, 20, to slaughter 20 children all aged six and seven and six adults at the Connecticut elementary  school.

Four teachers, who all died heroes trying to  save their students, have been named as Principal Dawn Hochsprung, 47, school psychologist  Mary Sherlach, 56, first grade teacher Victoria Soto, 27, and Lauren Rousseau, 30.

Anne Marie Murphy, 52, was also killed in the  shooting. The mother-of-four served as a teacher’s aide.

She taught art and special  education, according to the  The Wall Street Journal.

‘It was a terrible tragedy,’ her husband Mike  Murphy said.

‘She just tried to protect her  kids.’

Rachel Davino, 29, was also among the  teachers killed.

‘Our investigators at the crime scene … did  produce some very good evidence in this investigation that our  investigators  will be able to use in, hopefully, painting the complete  picture as to how -  and more importantly why – this occurred,’  Connecticut State Police Lieutenant  Paul Vance told a news conference Saturday morning.

‘We’re hopeful it will paint a complete  picture,’ he said.

All the bodies were removed from the school  overnight and the medical  examiner released the names of the victims on  Saturday.

Police have assigned a trooper to support  each victim’s family in the days  ahead. Vance asked reporters to respect the  families’ grief and privacy.

‘This is an extremely heartbreaking thing for  them to endure,’ said Vance.

It is expected that investigators will take  another two days to process  the school crime scene where it is believed Lanza  fired as many as 100  rounds from his guns.

‘It’s going to be a slow, painstaking  process,’ said Vance.

The adult woman found at the secondary crime  scene was the shooter’s mother, Nancy Lanza.

Nancy Lanza legally owned a Sig Sauer and a  Glock, both handguns of models  commonly used by police, and a military-style  Bushmaster .223 M4  carbine, according to law enforcement officials who also  believe Adam  Lanza used at least some of those weapons.

Nancy Lanza was an avid gun collector who  once showed him a ‘really nice,  high-end rifle’ that she had purchased, said  Dan Holmes, owner of a  landscaping business who recently decorated her yard  with Christmas  garlands and lights. ‘She said she would often go target  shooting with  her kids.’

Grief-stricken members of the community tied  white balloons to the sign for Sandy Hook school today in honor of all those who  lost their lives.

The gunman’s father, Peter Lanza, issued a  statement late Saturday, saying the family was ‘in a  state of disbelief.’

‘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 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  statement said.

President Barack Obama urged Americans on  Saturday to join in solidarity as they  mourned the victims, saying the hearts  of parents across the country  were ‘heavy with hurt.’

Obama, in his weekly radio and Internet  address, called for ‘meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this,’ but  stopped short of specifically calling for tighter gun-control laws.

The president wiped away tears in a  television address on Friday, telling the nation, ‘Our hearts are  broken.’

The president will be traveling to the  Connecticut town on Sunday at 7pm at an interfaith vigil for families of the  victims and other students from Sandy Hook Elementary School,


The holiday season tragedy was the  second  shooting rampage in the United States this week and the latest in a series of  mass killings this year.

It revived a debate about gun-control in a  country with a flourishing  firearms culture and a strong lobby that has  discouraged most  politicians from any major efforts to address the easy  availability of  guns and ammunition.

People in Newtown mourned the dead in  community vigils on Friday night,  including one at St. Rose of Lima Catholic  Church, which was packed with an overflow crowd outside.

‘We opened the windows (of the church) so  people could just hear and feel  they could be part of it,’ Monsignor Robert  Weiss told MSNBC on  Saturday, adding, ‘the worst days are ahead.’

‘I’m sure this morning when they woke up and  realized there was an empty bed in their house, it’s becoming more and more real  to them,’ Weiss said of the parents of the young victims.

The chaos struck as children gathered in  their classrooms for morning events. The shootings took place in two rooms,  police said. Witnesses reported hearing dozens of shots; some said as many as  100 rounds.

Former classmates of the shooter remembered  him as a quiet loner – someone who dressed more formally than other students,  often wearing khaki pants, button-down shirts and at times, a pocket  protector.

‘(His mother) pushed him really hard to be  smarter and work harder in school,’ said Tim Arnone, 20, who first met Lanza at  Sandy Hook.

Another former classmate, who declined to be  identified, described Lanza as smart but without many friends.

He said he met Lanza when both boys joined  the local Boy Scout troop.

At that time, he said Lanza was a big fan of  Japanese culture, collecting Pokemon cards and playing the PlayStation video  game Dynasty Warriors, a weapons-based animated fighting game released in the  late 1990s.

‘He was a very quiet kid,’ the friend said.  ‘I remember being his only friend in elementary school. He was always a really  nice kid, very polite.’

The death toll exceeded that of one of the  most notorious U.S. school shootings, the 1999 rampage at Columbine High School  in Littleton, Colorado, where two teenagers murdered 13 students and staff  before killing themselves.

Source: The Daily Mail


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