Sandy Hook victim’s father apparently took his own life

Jeremy Richman founded an organisation promoting brain research to prevent future school shootings
The father of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim has been found dead, having apparently taken his own life, police say.

Newtown, Connecticut, police said Jeremy Richman was found in his office building on Monday.

The 49-year-old was the father of six-year-old Avielle, one of 20 children killed in the December 2012 shooting.

Police said they expect a post-mortem examination from the medical examiner later on Monday.

“This is a heartbreaking event for the Richman family and the Newtown Community as a whole,” Newtown Police spokesman Lt Aaron Bahamonde said in a statement.

“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.”

The department will not reveal “the method or any other details of the death” except that it “does not appear to be suspicious”.

Six-year-old Avielle was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, one of the deadliest in US history, Mr Richman and his wife, Jennifer Hensel, started the Avielle Foundation, which seeks to prevent violence through brain science research, community engagement and education.

Mr Richman had been advocating for fixes to the mental health care system, and left his job as a pharmaceutical researcher to pursue that mission, the Hartford Courant reported.

Last week, he had spoken at Florida Atlantic University about how educators could identify mental illness and prevent school shootings.

The news of Mr Richman’s death follows the apparent suicides of two teenage survivors of the February 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

A total of 17 students and teachers died in the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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