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The father of a Sandy Hook victim is the latest in a string of suicides linked to deadly school shootings. Jeremy Richman, 49, was found in his office at Edmond Town Hall in Connecticut. An autopsy was planned, but according to police, the death did not appear suspicious.
Jeremy Richman is the father of Avielle Richman, one of the 20 first-grade students killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting. He was also the founder of the Avielle Foundation, which is dedicated to preventing violence and building compassion through education and community engagement.
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Last week two survivors of the Parkland school shooting took their own lives. This morning it was the father of a sweet young girl killed at Sandy Hook. My heart is broken for the hole in this nation’s heart. The United States refuses to protect our kids from gun violence and now the survivors are clearly overwhelmed with life. This man was widely known as a kind soul. He was one of the leaders of the lawsuit against the conservative talkshow host Alex Jones, who repeatedly said that Sandy Hook was a fake hoax. Just think – we live in a nation where people suffer violence and are then mocked by conservatives for it. We desperately need radical change.
This comes just days after two apparent suicides had occurred involving survivors of the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. In the span of only a week, the deaths of Sydney Aiello and an unnamed male teen shocked the South Florida community.
Sydney Aiello, 19, was a senior when the massacre took place. She lost her good friend, Meadow Pollack, during the shooting. Since then, she struggled with survivor’s guilt and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The name and age of the second victim have not been released and his death is still under investigation, according to authorities. His death came on the first anniversary of March for Our Lives, the student-led demonstration against gun violence that took place in Washington and other major U.S. cities last March.
A day after the second student’s body was found, parents, elected officials, school personnel and representatives from Broward County organizations came together to discuss what can be done to improve counseling services for students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Parkland Mayor, Christine Hunschofsky, said in an interview that the first priority would be “communicating to parents the need to talk to their children, and students to talk to each other” about the tragedy and their mental health. Parents and students were provided with information and resources to cope with trauma, mental illness and suicide prevention.
Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and alum of the school, urged the Florida Legislature to do their part.
To reach the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at any time, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by messaging 741741.