Jeremy Richman, whose daughter was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, CT, was reportedly found dead outside the Newtown town hall on Monday morning. Local authorities believe he took his own life.
Richman, 49, was the father of six-year-old Avielle Richman, one of the more than two dozen people who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In a statement posted to the Newtown Police Department Facebook page, law enforcement officials said that Richman’s death does not appear suspicious, and that an autopsy will be conducted today.
“This is a heartbreaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole,” police Lt. Lt. Aaron Bahamond said in the NPD’s statement. “The department’s prayers are with the Richman family right now, and we ask that the family be given privacy in this most difficult time”
“He had such a clear purpose of what he wanted to do to honor his daughter,” an unnamed member of Richman’s family told the Hartford Courant. “I’m just shocked. I’m sitting in my car right now crying.”
According to WFSB, Richman was the founder of the Avielle Foundation, named after his late daughter, which works to prevent violence “by fostering brain health research, education, and policy; and community development, engagement, and responsibility.”
Richman’s death comes just days after two survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, FL, apparently took their own lives over the past week. On Friday, Cara Aiello confirmed that her daughter Sydney had died after struggling with PTSD and survivor’s guilt. On Saturday night, police reported that a second Parkland student, who has not been named, had taken his own life. According to a classmate’s father, the student shot himself.